Cabinet nominations will be made this afternoon.
President Obama will likely make some big Cabinet picks when he speaks at the White House around 1 p.m. Eastern time. Obama is expected to nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary and John Brennan as CIA director. Hagel, a Republican, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran.
Brennan is the President’s top homeland security and counter-terrorism advisor. Before joining the administration, he worked for nearly 25 years at the CIA. If confirmed, Brennan would replace former CIA chief David Petraeus, who resigned in November in a sex scandal. Hagel would replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is retiring. Hagel served two terms in the Senate.
A Hagel nomination may face some trouble in the Senate. Some Republicans are still steamed about Hagel’s harsh criticism of the Bush administration’s management of the war in Iraq. His commitment to Israel has also been questioned. Additionally, some liberals have criticized Hagel’s past comments and record on gay rights.