After Republicans successfully bullied President Obama from nominating Susan Rice for Secretary of State, it's obvious that the president is determined that won't happen again. Thus his official announcement on Monday that he's nominating former Nebraska Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel to replace Leon Panetta for Defense Secretary, which was called an "in your face move" by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
As has been documented, Hagel's statements on Israel, Iran and other issues around the Middle East have roiled many GOP senators who say they are not inclined to support Hagel.
But the opposition may be bipartisan. A number of gay rights groups have taken issue with Hagel's previous comments about gays, and today one such group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, issued a statement.
"We continue to express our concerns about the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense due to his poor track record on LGBT equality and reproductive rights. Cabinet choices set the tone for an administration and it is critical that those members support fairness, women's health and the belief in a level playing field for all. Though Chuck Hagel has recently apologized for past anti-gay remarks, we expect him to fully explain his views during the confirmation process and what steps he intends to take as defense secretary to demonstrate his support for LGBT members of the military and their families. We recognize that people do evolve on these issues and we hold out hope that, if confirmed, Hagel will meet the bar set by other cabinet secretaries and the administration when it comes to ensuring fairness for all LGBT military families and for women in the military."