He’s apparently leaving the possibility open, and Times Online has more

Senior advisers confirmed that Hagel, a highly decorated Vietnam war veteran and one of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate, was considered an ideal candidate for defence secretary. Some regard the outspoken Republican as a possible vice-presidential nominee although that might be regarded as a “stretch”.

Asked about his choice of cabinet last week, Obama told The Sunday Times: “Chuck Hagel is a great friend of mine and I respect him very much,” although he was wary of appearing as though he was already choosing the White House curtains. But after winning 11 primary contests in a row after Super Tuesday, he is ready to elbow Clinton off the stage.

Here’s what one expert thinks…

Larry Korb, a defence official under President Ronald Reagan who is backing Obama, said: “By putting a Republican in the Pentagon and the State Department you send a signal to Congress and the American people that issues of national security are above politics.”

Korb recalled that President John F Kennedy appointed Robert McNamara, a Republican, as defence secretary in 1961. “Hagel is not only a Republican but a military veteran who would reassure the troops that there was somebody in the Pentagon who understood their hopes, concerns and fears,” he said.

Well, let’s look at McNamara for a moment. By his own admission, his judgement ultimately turned out to be poor on Vietnam, which was the biggest decision of his career. So while we can talk about having Republicans in the White House, I want to make sure the frame on this isn’t just about having a few token Republicans. At the end of the day, it should be the best person for the job. And after the Bush years, I think whoever the President is, they should be picking people who will disagree with them. I don’t care if they’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, etc. I only care that they want to do the best job they can for our country, not just our President.


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