Chuck Hagel (pictured) did very poorly in his Senate hearing hearing last week. He seemed disinterested and was obviously ill-prepared for the hearings.
He has the votes, but not much else.
His big problem is that no one much wants him running the Pentagon. Congressional Republicans consider him a traitor. Congressional Democrats see him as anti-gay and anti-abortion, undercutting their support for him.
Democratic support in the Senate appears more dutiful than passionate.
The next Secretary of Defense will need to do two things: Work with Congress to reduce the defense budget thoughtfully, and work with the military to re-shape the military to make it relevant to future conflict.
At the moment, Hagel appears to lack the political capital to do the former, as well as the intellectual appetite to do the latter."
Obama selected him for three reasons:
Hagel is a Republican but would be a dutiful Obama lapdog.
Hagel shares Obama’s dislike for Israel.
Hagel likes Iran and Iran favors Hagel.