White House Clout at Stake with Defense Secretary Nomination, Ohio Wesleyan Professor Says

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Sean Kay

Sean Kay

With Susan Rice’s unsuccessful bid to become the next U.S. Secretary of State, the Obama Administration has more to lose if its choice for a new Defense Secretary also is derailed, an Ohio Wesleyan University professor says.

Sean Kay, Ph.D., was interviewed by Bloomberg News reporter Gopal Ratnam about President Barack Obama and the potential nomination of former Nebraska GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

In his Dec. 28 article, Ratnam writes: Picking another candidate would show for a second time “that the president’s important choices for personnel can be vetoed by two or three senators,” said Sean Kay, a professor of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, who specializes in U.S. foreign and defense policy. “The White House will come out of this significantly weakened.”

Kay also notes in the article that Hagel, who opposed sending more troops to Iraq in 2007, may help to challenge the “entrenched mindsets” of some in Washington.

Read the full Bloomberg article, Obama Has Double Dilemma in Choice of New Pentagon Chief.

Kay is a politics and government professor and director of international studies at Ohio Wesleyan, a Mershon Associate at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University, and a fellow in foreign policy and national security at the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C. He also is the author of “Global Security in the Twenty-First Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace (second edition.)”


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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