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On the day of his public inauguration ceremony for his second term in office, President Obama signed nominations for new secretaries of defense, state and treasury, and director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
There are no surprises, as the White House already had announced the nominations. Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is nominated to succeed Leon Panetta as secretary of defense; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is nominated to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state; and White House chief of staff Jack Lew is nominated to succeed Timothy Geither as treasury secretary.
John Owen Brennan was nominated to be director of Central Intelligence, succeeding retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned.
The nominations come just in time, as the Senate has scheduled confirmation hearings to begin this week. Kerry's nomination will be considered Thursday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a panel he has chaired.
Hagel's nomination will be taken up by the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 31. The Brennan and Lew nomination hearings have not been scheduled. Lew will face questions from the Senate Finance Committee and Brennan will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee