The surprise resignation Monday of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stirring rampant speculation about who might take his place in President Obama’s Cabinet.
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While Obama has several possible candidates, the choice is complicated by the fact that he will have to get his nominee past a Republican-controlled Senate next year.
Two of Obama’s three Department of Defense (DOD) secretaries — Hagel and Robert Gates — have come from the GOP, raising the possibility that the president will seek yet another nominee from the opposing party to ease the path to confirmation.
But the president hasn’t shied away from confrontation with the GOP in the wake of his party’s midterm election defeats, and could seek to make a statement with his Defense pick.