Today, President Obama and Vice President Biden spoke at an event honoring outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. They were also joined by several members of the Cabinet at the Pentagon, where the event was held.
Hagel, a former Republican Senator, announced in November that he was stepping down as Secretary of Defense. While it was officially announced as a resignation, numerous media reports have indicated that President Obama decided it was time for him to go.
At the ceremony, the two former Senators spoke glowingly of their former colleague and current Secretary. “In an era of politics that too often descends into spectacle, you’ve always served with decency and dignity. And in a town of outsized egos, you’ve never lost your Midwestern humility,” said President Obama. The President also spoke about how Hagel took him under his wing when he was starting out as a Senator. Vice President Biden also praised the Secretary for always speaking his mind.
Hagel also delivered remarks, mostly focusing on the armed services and those serving. “As I will soon leave this job that I have cherished for the last two years, I want you all to know that the things that I have most respected and most admired are your dignity, your courage, and your dedication,” he said.