Chuck Hagel Lands a Job in the Obama Administration

Guess who’s finally joining the administration? At the White House today, President Obama will announce that he’s naming former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel as cochair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, which oversees the intel community. First reported by Foreign Policy, Hagel’s move had been rumored for months—though when asked by NEWSWEEK about his status earlier this month, he declined to talk about it. “I won’t talk about my conversations with the president,” Hagel said. The Vietnam veteran, who retired from the Senate last year, did not endorse Obama or his other close friend John McCain during last year’s presidential race. Yet it was no secret that Hagel’s views were more closely aligned to Obama’s than McCain’s, especially on foreign policy. Hagel, who initially supported the invasion of Iraq, ultimately became one of the war’s most outspoken critics. In the summer of 2008, he traveled with Obama on the Democrat’s first overseas tour, visiting Afghanistan and Iraq, and has been an informal adviser and confidant to Obama ever since. In recent months, he has counseled both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, another close friend, as the White House considers a strategy change in Afghanistan. Hagel's cochair will be former Democratic senator David Boren, once chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who currently serves as president of the University of Oklahoma.

Join the Discussion