July 22, 2008: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at a press conference in Amman, Jordan with Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) (Photo by Lynn Sweet)
WASHINGTON–Despite an almost certain confirmation battle, President Barack Obama taps a friend, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), to be Defense Secretary on Monday.
Hagel gave Obama a boost–helping him burnish his foreign relations and defense credentials– when he was running for his first term in 2008. Hagel, along with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) accompanied Obama to Iraq and Afghanistan, kicking off the first leg–the official government part–of Obama’s Mideast and European campaign swing.
After landing in Amman, Jordan after the Iraq and Afghanistan visits, Hagel stuck around for a press conference at the Temple of Hercules in Amman, letting Obama start the next phase of his trip–a pure campaign swing–with an “official” bi-partisan report on the two wars.