Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
Former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, is the leading candidate for Secretary of Defense, according to several national news outlets.
NBC News is reporting that Hagel “is likely to be President Obama’s” pick. Bloomberg News says the President spoke with Hagel about the nomination on December 4.
Just over a month ago Hagel was campaigning in Nebraska for Bob Kerrey’s ill-fated Senate bid.
At that time several Nebraska Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns accused Hagel of endorsing Kerrey because he’s angling for a job in a second Obama administration. That seemed to infuriate Hagel, who said Johanns’ “doesn’t know anything about who I am.”
“Mr. Johanns is all-knowing and understands everything,” Hagel snapped during a press conference in Lincoln. “If that was my motive, what the hell am I doing in Nebraska?”
Hagel told reporters he’d been offered “pretty senior jobs” by Obama and turned them down. Hagel currently is co-chairman of Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
Asked by Nebraska Watchdog (see our video report here) if he would say no to a future offer, Hagel would not comment.