Hagel chose former Virginia Senator Mark Warner, a Republican, to introduce him to the Senate Armed Services Committee panel which is grilling him on his nomination for secretary of defense today.
Accompanied by former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat, Warner laid out a powerful argument in favor of Hagel's confirmation, saying that rather than read from a prepaed statement he would "speak from the heart.” Warner claims to have never read an opening statement more "forthright," or one with fewer "hedges or deviations" than Hagel's.
Warner commended Hagel's views and said that the nominee's service in Vietnam helped prepare him for the responsibilities of a Secretary of Defense, as well as said his realistic view of war and commitment to America's service member added to his qualifications for the role.
Introducing Hagel, however, he cautioned him with a final joke that sounded like a warning: "You are own your own now. Good luck."