Secretary of Defense battle will make good TV

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Another blunder by President Obama?

With the looming “fiscal cliff,” the planned retreat from Afghanistan, controversial immigration reform and gun control battles overhanging and casting a pall over Congress and the White House, what does our President do?

First he throws his brand of oil on the water by informing Congress he won’t negotiate over the “fiscal cliff” issue, thereby needlessly forcing House Speaker John Boehner and Kentucky State Sen. Mitch McConnell into a corner.

Next, he ignores the protestations and warning snarls of the old war dogs, U.S. Sens. Lindsay Graham and John McCain, thereby guaranteeing a battle over his nomination of former senator Chuck Hagel to the office of Secretary of Defense.

This should make good TV viewing as the “dogs” attempt to waterboard Hagel in the Senate’s confirmation process.

Many senior Democrats are lukewarm on this nomination or are outright opposed to it.

But the independent nature and tendency to counterattack that is Hagel’s style should make it another “Thrilla in Manilla” match.

Forget “Downton Abbey,” I’m going to be glued to the tube for this action!   

Refreshed by his vacation in Hawaii and reflecting on his impressive thrashing of Romney in the 2012 election, President Obama appears to be emboldened and anxious to do battle for his second-term agenda.

He will need a good ‘cut’ man in his corner for this 15-round title bout, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a manager with smelling salts and a white towel handy — just in case!

B.J. Gillum