That didn’t take long.
Politico has a story out speculating about an extensive shuffling of Obama cabinet posts in a second term — and they drop the name of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as a possible Secretary of Defense.
This kind of speculation is a beloved Washington parlor game, so expect to see a lot more of it in the coming weeks.
And Hagel’s name will surely be bandied about as a potential Secretary of Defense or State, as it was in 2009.
At the time, The World-Herald examined reasons why Hagel would or would not make sense as part of an Obama administration and they’re still relevant.
Presidents typically try to throw a cabinet position or two to the other party to demonstrate their bipartisanship.
Hagel is a Republican who did not take sides in the 2008 election and traveled to the Middle East with Obama in the middle of that contest. Hagel’s wife, Lilibet, openly endorsed Obama and Hagel is close with Vice President Joe Biden.
Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and now is co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
That nonpartisan group is responsible for providing direct advice to the president on the nation’s intelligence gathering operations.
Still, there still are reasons to view a Hagel appointment as unlikely.
Defense and state are two of the highest administration posts and there will be pressure for Obama to reserve those spots for a Democrat.
One reason for appointing a Republican would be to reach out to those in the GOP, but Hagel’s criticisms of President George W. Bush and others have rankled many of the party faithful.
Lastly, Hagel’s reputation for stubborn independence and willingness to share his opinions on the Sunday talk shows might not seem like the best fit for such sensitive, high-profile positions.
Nebraska Republicans suggested that Hagel’s endorsement of Democrat Bob Kerrey in the state’s Senate race was intended to pave the way for a cabinet appointment.
Hagel denied that was a motivation, saying he already had turned down big-time job offers from Obama.
But he wouldn’t share which jobs.