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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Don't you think that resume is a little thin?

My friend Ed Morrissey reports that Chuck Hagel, President Hussein Obama's nominee to be Secretary of Defense, has a resume that's a little thin... (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
Hegseth says that Hagel’s status as a veteran and experience in working with veterans’ groups would make Hagel a good choice for Secretary of Veteran Affairs, but not to run the Pentagon.  Nor, for that matter, does his two terms in the Senate.  When Hagel belonged to the club, he wasn’t exactly its most clubby member.  Hagel wasn’t known for his ability to network and build coalitions; he was more known for his predilection for going his own way.  That quality has its uses in politics, but not in bureaucracies, and certainly not at the top of one.  Successful executives build teams and reach out for broad support for initiatives.


As late as 2009, Hagel opposed sanctions, and opposed a military option on Iran.  Obama’s selection of Hagel sends a deeply and dangerously unserious message to Tehran.  Hagel’s views on Israel are a sideshow; Iran should be the focus of today’s hearing.
I doubt that Hagel will have much trouble getting confirmed today.  Chuck Schumer’s support for Hagel on a floor vote probably cinched the confirmation, and unless Hagel foams at the mouth or eats an American flag in the middle of the hearing, there is zero chance that the committee won’t recommend confirmation to the full Senate.  That doesn’t mean that Hagel should be allowed to avoid the question of Iran and his past positions that put him well to the left of the administration he’ll soon be joining.
Read the whole thing. I would amend Ed's penultimate paragraph to say "As late as two weeks ago, Hagel opposed sanctions, and opposed a military option on Iran. Until he met with Chuck Schumer, I never heard Hagel come out for either of those things, including when he was under discussion to replace Bob Gates in 2010.

But with only one Republican having come out in favor of Hagel's nomination, Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin believes that it could still be filibustered.
For Hagel's opposition, the best-case scenario is that only a few Republicans break ranks and a couple of Democrats do break ranks, giving the Hagel opposition the 40 votes needed to filibuster the vote on the nomination. They recognize that is unlikely and a filibuster of a cabinet nominee is extremely rare, but they plan to continue their effort well past Hagel's confirmation hearing, hoping that more embarrassing quotes from Hagel's past surface or a new scandal comes to light.
"There's a lot of White House spin about Hagel's clear path to confirmation, but they have a real fight on their hands -- and they know it," one GOP source close to the committee said.
For the team of officials, staffers, and outsiders working to bolster the Hagel nomination, they believe that Hagel's Thursday testimony will take the wind out of the sails of the opposition and set the record straight on the former senator's views.
"It's unfortunate that you have a number of senators that decided to take a very public very aggressive position weeks ahead of the confirmation hearing without actually speaking to the nominee," one Hagel supporter close to the process told The Cable. "This hearing is the first honest opportunity for Hagel to explain his positions, defend his record out in the open, and he will forcefully address much of the misinformation about his record that has been advanced by a small minority of folks on the Hill."
"We think we are in a good, strong position going forward, but nobody takes anything for granted in this business," an official working on behalf of the confirmation effort added.
There's a very good reason to have taken a public stance against Hagel weeks ahead of the confirmation hearing: His record. For the last three weeks, Hagel has said all the right things and the White House has done a good job of spinning his record. But that doesn't change the fact that Hagel is probably the most anti-Israel Senator to serve since Charles Percy and JW Fulbright (both Senators in my youth). Can a leopard change its spots? No, but apparently Chuck Hagel can hide them for a few weeks.

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At 8:00 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

Hey, Chucky, howzit goin'?

At 5:51 AM, Blogger debbie said...

OK, so say enough pressure is put on the powers that be so Hagel is not confirmed. What then? Obama nominates someone else. Do you think he is the only one out there? Obama is president, sooner or later he will get someone equally awful because that is what he is looking for. Just saying.


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