The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From Huff Post:
Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is likely to be nominated as the Secretary of Defense, Bloomberg reports.
Sources tell Bloomberg Hagel has passed the vetting process at the White House counsel's office. Obama reportedly discussed the position with Hagel at the White House on December 4.
Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter are also reportedly contenders, according to Bloomberg.
Chuck Todd of NBC News said the White House would not confirm reports that Hagel is being considered for the position:
@chucktodd: WH claims no decision has been made on SecDef; Won't confirm the Bloomberg report regarding claim Chuck Hagel's been offered job
If nominated and confirmed, Hagel would be Obama's second Republican defense secretary. The first, Bob Gates, stayed on with Obama after serving as President George W. Bush's Defense Secretary.