Powell, Lugar: No Thanks

By Kate Brannen / November 5, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Cross two names off the list of potential defense secretaries under President-elect Barack Obama: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) both ruled out the possibility today.

Powell, speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter in Hong Kong, said “I am not interested in a position in government, nor have I been approached." He suggested that it was time for a new generation of leaders to step forward.

A spokesman for Lugar, meanwhile, responded to speculation that Obama was considering the senator for Secretary of State by saying Lugar does not want that position or any other in an Obama cabinet. Instead, Lugar looks forward to working with the administration through bipartisan cooperation while serving as the ranking Republican on the foreign relations committee.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, whose term is up in January, remains open to the idea of serving in an Obama administration, although he has not officially been approached, reports NBC's Ken Strickland.

Speculation continues to surround former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, who is one of Obama's closest defense advisers. However, InsideDefense.com reported Oct. 2 that Danzig supported the idea of asking Robert Gates to stay on the job. After saying he thought Gates was a "good" secretary, Danzig went on to say, “I think he’d be an even better one in an Obama administration.”