BOSTON — Maine Sen. Angus S. King Jr. sees no strong reason to oppose President Obama’s pick for secretary of defense.
The newly elected senator, an independent, said he won’t make a final decision on former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination until confirmation hearings are finished. But Mr. King says there is not, in his words, “a strong disqualifying element or quality to the nominee.”
Mr. King serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing on Jan. 31.
A handful of Republicans have expressed their opposition to Mr. Hagel, a Republican who served two terms as senator from Nebraska. Democrats have been slow to embrace Mr. Hagel as well, but appear to be warming to the president’s pick.
Fox News signs Rove for four more years
NEW YORK — Karl Rove enlivened Fox News Channel’s election coverage last year by questioning the network’s declaration that President Obama had been re-elected. It hasn’t affected Fox’s desire to keep him on the air.
The network announced Thursday that it had signed Mr. Rove to a new contract as a contributor. The deal runs through the 2016 election.
Mr. Rove was once President George W. Bush’s political right-hand man and the force behind a powerful political action committee that sought to oust Mr. Obama. He caused a stir with his election night doubts, which led anchor Megyn Kelly to interview Fox’s own election experts on the air to defend their call.
Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes says Mr. Rove’s detailed knowledge of politics, fundraising and strategy make him an important player in Fox’s coverage.
Duncan: Hard to teach pupils scared of dying
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says it’s tough to prepare students for college when they’re more worried about being killed than making it to graduation.
Mr. Duncan said too many students are “trying to survive, day to day, wondering if they’re going to make it past 16, 17 and 18.” He says such fears block out the work teachers are trying to do to prepare those students for college.