The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, January 7, 2013

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

DEFENSE SECRETARY ABC News' By Matthew Larotonda David Kerley and Jonathan Karl: " Obama Will Nominate Chuck Hagel as Next Defense Secretary" President Obama will nominate former senator Chuck Hagel to be his next Secretary of Defense tomorrow. Senior officials within the administration and Capitol Hill confirmed the pick to ABC News today after the Nebraska Republican had emerged as a frontrunner among potential candidates several weeks ago. LINK

The Boston Globe's Michael Schwirtz: " Despite controversy, Hagel to be chosen as sec. of defense" President Barack Obama has selected a former Nebraska senator, Chuck Hagel, as his next defense secretary, a White House official said Sunday, turning to a prominent Republican to lead the Pentagon as it faces of the challenge of winding down the war in Afghanistan and possible reductions in military spending. But the nomination, which the White House official said would occur on Monday, has already encountered stiff opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike because of Hagel's views on Israel and Iran and his comments about an ambassador who was gay. LINK

USA Today's Tom Vanden Brook: " Hagel not shoo-in for confirmation as Defense chief" Chuck Hagel is not known for turning down a fight. Originally ordered for safe duty in Europe, Hagel instead asked to be sent to Vietnam in 1968 when opposition to the war was peaking domestically and fighting escalated in southeast Asia. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold: " Critics slam Chuck Hagel's likely nomination as Defense secretary" With former Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination as Defense secretary imminent, conservatives denounced his views on Israel and Iran as out of step with mainstream foreign policy, underscoring the difficulty he is likely to face winning Senate confirmation. An administration official said Sunday that Hagel - a decorated Vietnam veteran, a Republican and a former two-term senator from Nebraska - would be nominated Monday to succeed Leon E. Panetta. LINK

The New York Times' Scott Shane and David Sanger: " Obama's Pick for Defense Is an Ally, and a Lightning Rod" When President Obama nominates Chuck Hagel, the maverick Republican and former senator from Nebraska, to be his next secretary of defense, he will be turning to a trusted ally whose willingness to defy party loyalty and conventional wisdom won his admiration both in the Senate and on a 2008 tour of war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. LINK

Politico's Scott Wong and Manu Raju: " Chuck Hagel takes fire from Capital Hill" Senate Democrats and Republicans are far from sold on President Barack Obama's expected nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense. In fact, Obama's decision to tap the Vietnam veteran and outspoken former Republican senator is likely to spark another nasty fight with Congress right on the heels of the fiscal cliff showdown and just before another likely battle royal over the debt ceiling. LINK

TAX REVENUE The Hills' Mike Lillis: " Pelosi: More tax revenues must be part of next deficit deal" Pushing back against the Republicans' deficit-reduction strategy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this weekend that more tax revenues - not just spending cuts - must be a part of Congress's effort to rein in deficits. Pelosi said the tax hikes in the recent "fiscal-cliff" deal are a start, but don't go far enough to generate the revenues the government needs to run the country effectively. LINK

INAUGURATION The Washington Post's Josh Hicks: " Historic inauguration on MLK holiday means federal workers lose a quadrennial holiday" Inauguration Day normally entails an extra paid holiday for federal workers in the Washington area, but no such luck applies this year. That's because the public swearing-in ceremony coincides with another federal holiday - the Jan. 21 observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. That means the historic event - the first African American president taking the oath of office on a holiday commemorating one of the nation's most notable civil rights leaders - will cost the region's government employees a quadrennial holiday, at least in terms of pay and leave. LINK

CHRIS CHRISTIE Bloomberg's Terrence Dopp & Elise Young: " Christie Stands by Comeback as Sandy Drives Election Year" New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican at odds with his own party over delays in federal aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy, said storm recovery will dominate the year and determine whether he wins a second term in November. The governor, who hasn't ruled out a 2016 presidential run, said the economic "Jersey Comeback" he's been touting for a year hasn't petered out, though Sandy slowed it. The superstorm will be the focus of tomorrow's State of the State speech, Christie said in an interview Jan. 4, three days after attacking fellow Republicans in Congress for canceling a House vote on disaster assistance. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Obama's Defense Nominee Chuck Hagel Stirs Washington Lawmakers" LINK

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