Given my low initial expectations, Hagel was, on the whole, a pleasant surprise. He produced no public embarrassments (to the extent he publicly differed from Obama, he was in the right). I’ve never seen any evidence that Hagel pushed Obama into any mistakes that Obama might have otherwise been inclined to avoid. Obama is worse than his not-very-good second term senior foreign and defense policy team and has less reason to fear public opinion than in his first term.
This would seem like a good time for another reminder to avoid despair. Some blues would be OK.