Obama’s second term will open up with new faces in several key cabinet positions. With confirmation hearings approaching, the records for Obama’s nominees to fill positions on his foreign policy and national security team are being examined. Due to his presidential campaign, recent time in the Senate and the fact he was somewhat of a compromise nomination after the controversy surrounding Susan Rice, Sen. John Kerry’s confirmation for Secretary of State is expected to go over more smoothly than Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel and the nomination of John O. Brennan to be Director of the CIA.
Hagel’s past comments regarding Israel have come into question from Republican lawmakers, and several prominent Jewish Democrats are reportedly on the fence about the president’s pick for Defense. Hagel, who served two terms as a Republican Senator representing Nebraska from 1997 to 2009, met with high profile Jewish Senator Charles Schumer of New York Monday. Schumer has not yet come out publicly on the nomination, and is expected to hold major sway in the Hagel confirmation with unsure Democrats. The Hill reports that in the meeting Schumer planned to press Hagel on his views towards Iran as well as Israel. Hagel has called for less hostile relations with Tehran, and previously not supported unilateral sanctions against Iran, going on record to say that he does not believe they work.
On ‘Real News’ Monday the panel discussed what Obama’s nominations mean for relations with Iran and Israel moving forward: