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.