Top story: President Obama has a new fight—this time over his nomination for Defense Secretary—to add to ones over the debt ceiling, gun control, taxes, and more.
- President Obama is expected to name two new members of his national security team—at Defense and CIA—today. (First Read)
- The six reasons President Obama is nominating former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, despite the fact that Republicans are promising a fight. (National Journal)
- “The odds favor Hagel’s confirmation.” (Salon)
- Among those who’ve voiced opposition to Hagel’s nomination: John McCain. Of course, John McCain wasn’t always anti-Hagel. (John Harwood) and (Andrew Kaczynski)
- “What makes Hagel so important, and so threatening to the Republican foreign-policy elite, is that he is one of the few prominent Republican-aligned politicians and commentators…who was intellectually changed by Iraq.” (The Daily Beast)
- The nomination fights may not end with Hagel, either. Several groups linked to conservative pundit Bill Kristol have signed their “intent to go after other prospective Obama nominees.” (Politico)
And in other news ...
- Our chutzpah award winner today is John Boehner, who says of President Obama: "He's so ideological himself, and he's unwilling to take on the left wing of his own party." (The Wall Street Journal)
- In fact, the coup against Boehner was larger than first realized. (Roll Call)
- On the gun control front, the White House is considering legislation that would require “universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors.” (The Washington Post)
- 2013 already has its first buzz word: “fidgetal”. (Gothamist)
- The pro-legalization crowd may have a new argument, sure to win over football fans: “Since they legalized marijuana, the Seahawks and Broncos are a combined 16-1”. (NFL Stats)