Even though a confirmation battle is likely on the way, President Obama stood by his decision to nominate James Clapper as the new director of national intelligence. Clapper, a 69-year-old retired lieutenant general in the Air Force, would replace Admiral Dennis Blair, who unceremoniously resigned last month. "Jim is one of our nation's most experienced and most respected intelligence professionals," Obama said in a Rose Garden appearance Saturday. "He possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it's not what we want to hear." But opponents are concerned that appointing yet another military man will mean more of the same, rather than a fresh approach to coordinating the nation’s 16 spy agencies. Obama tried to silence critics by asking the Senate for a quick confirmation, saying it "can't fall victim to Washington politics."