Hagel, Obama said, will be the "leader our troops deserve, an American patriot," who would be the first enlisted member of the military to serve as secretary of defense, and one of the few who was wounded in war. Hagel, he said, "knows that war is not a distraction, and that sending young Americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud is something we only do when absolutely necessary." He also stressed that his nomination was in the "bipartisan tradition that we need more of in Washington, the recognition that when it comes to the defense of our country we are not Democrats or Republicans but Americans."
In introducing Brennan, Obama stressed his 25-year tenure at the CIA with experience in both the analytical and operational functions of the agency. "Today, I can say to the men and women of the CIA," Obama said, "you will have one of your own" leading the agency. Perhaps to preempt the inevitable opposition because of Brennan's history with the Bush torture regime, the Cheney warrantless wiretapping program, and and the drone program in the current administration, Obama also stressed, and stretched, Brennan's "integrity and commitment to values that define us as Americans."
"I urge the Senate to confirm them as soon as possible," Obama said in closing.