Barack Obama arrived in Washington in 2009 buoyed by the slogan "change we can believe in." The bitter Hagel hearings will be a fierce reminder that, when it comes to foreign policy, old is new, and the words "change" and "Washington" don't belong in the same sentence.
The fight over his confirmation as defense secretary has obscured the philosophical meaning of his nomination: President Obama's attempt to define a new U.S. world role that reflects America's changed circumstances and more limited resources.
The new Secretary of State will deal with whatever replaces the Kyoto agreement. Hagel has a 9% 2008 rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Lugar scores 18%. Are they really the best people for the job?