President Obama today pulled the pin on a grenade by nominating Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.
Which immediately sent lumps of shrapnel flying in the Senate.
Hagel cut his military teeth in the mine-plagued fields of Vietnam, so this guy knows that war is hell.
He may become the first Vietnam vet and first enlisted soldier to serve as defense secretary. He also would be one of the few Pentagon chiefs ever to have been wounded in war.
Hagel once again will have to prove his mettle as a warrior by dodging political landmines in the Senate, where some consider their former colleague – a two-term Republican senator from Nebraska – to be more toxic than this year’s monster flu bug.
Or so their raucous blats would have you believe.
Some Senate Republicans claim that Hagel has been too critical of Israel and too soft on Iran and its nuclear ambitions.
You could say that Hagel already is on the, ahem, defensive.