So, the President is going to nominate former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, which is to say... an interesting choice to say the least. Hagel managed to get himself into trouble with pretty much everyone down the stretch of his career in the Senate. Between making remarks about a Jewish Lobby, making anti-gay remarks, as well as being fairly critical of the military strategy in Iraq, Hagel was able to alienate himself from... well... just about everyone.
Obviously most relevant to his position as Secretary of State was his criticism to the war efforts in Iraq. As a general rule, I am a fond believer that once Politicians make a determination that we need to engage in military efforts, it's their job to get out of the way and let the military do their jobs. Like many, he concluded that the "surge efforts" were a waste of effort and destined to fail, advocating that we instead pull out of Iraq. Obviously, history shows that the surge worked well, we did not fail, and pulling out of Iraq when critics advocated doing so... would have been disaster. But as we often know in politics, being right or wrong about something isn't as important as being on the right or wrong "side" of an argument.
I look for opposition to Hagel from anyone who is highly supportive of Israel, big into gay rights, and even some opposition from hard line military folks on the right. Whether that opposition is strong enough to block his nomination remains to be seen.