Lawrence Haas, a former communications director to Al Gore, explains that if Barack Obama chooses Chuck Hagel to be his secretary of defense, it would show a certain comfort with his views:
President Obama's likely appointment of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary has focused attention on Hagel's controversial views on Israel, its terror-sponsoring neighbors, and the appropriate U.S. posture towards the world's most volatile and dangerous region.
Fine. There's lots to review and lots to criticize. But, as with all presidential appointments, the issue is not the nominee, per se. It's what a likely nomination says about the thinking of the President.
For Obama, the key question is whether, fresh off re-election, his first-term experience as the nation's Commander-in-Chief and top diplomat will prompt changes in his world view as well as his approach to the leading U.S. challenges around the globe.
That Obama would even consider Hagel for such a key post, at such a perilous time for U.S. interests, sends a disturbing signal that, rather than re-think his world view, he's doubling-down on it. ...
In the end, Hagel's appointment to the Pentagon would be important less because of the advice that he'd give the President and more for what it would say about Obama's comfort with his views.