WASHINGTON--Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Sunday former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is a "serious candidate" if President Barack Obama nominates him for Defense Secretary--and what is shaping up as a controversial pick.
On Saturday, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said he was "concerned" over Hagel's record on Iran and Israel; my post with Kirk's statement is HERE.
Durbin, spoke to CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" about Obama and the Hagel selection--which could come this week.
"It tells me that he not only won the election but he wants to lead this country. You know, sitting back here and avoiding any confrontation and any controversy is going to make a weakened presidency. He needs to lead for the good of this nation, and we need to work together and find compromise and consensus in both political parties.
"Chuck Hagel was a Republican Senator from Nebraska, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war, a person who has a resume that includes service on the foreign relations committee as well as the intelligence committee. Yes, he is a serious candidate if the president chooses to name him.
"And when it comes to the debt ceiling, the more often we have confrontation, the more uncertainty there is in this economy. We need the certainty to move forward so that businesses will invest and jobs can be created."