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Chuck Hagel Likely Pick For Secretary Of Defense

Chuck Hagel

In the weeks since his name has been floated as a replacement for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel has been subjected to preemptive attacks on his potential nomination. Largely, these have come from those on the right who have claimed, among other things, that he is insufficiently supportive of Israel and too dismissive of the potential threat of nuclear weapons. The vehemence of the attacks, and the fact that several Republican Senators have already vowed to oppose his nomination if it were put forward, have caused many to wonder if Obama would ever actually put his name in nomination.

Well, the answer to that question would appear to be yes:

Multiple sources on Capitol Hill and in key special-interest groups involved in national security issues say they have been told to be prepared for a Chuck Hagel nomination for Defense Secretary, either as early as Monday or perhaps more likely Tuesday of next week.

While it’s still possible for the president to have a change of heart, all signs are pointing to a Hagel nomination.

That said, a White House spokesperson tells NBC News pretty emphatically that the president has not made a final decision and does not expect the president to make a final decision until he gets back from Hawaii.

The White House spokesperson adds, the “chatter” about Hagel-as-the-pick in the national-security and Capitol Hill communities is “premature.” That said this spokesperson acknowledged Hagel is a “leading contender.”

For what it’s worth, the reason a lot of outside sources are being given a heads up on Hagel is that the White House knows if Hagel is indeed the president’s choice, it’s going to be a real fight.

There are as many as 10 Democratic senators who could vote no, Capitol Hill sources say. But Hagel has some big backers besides the president who would become the key point people in getting Hagel over the finish line – Vice President Joe Biden and Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, both of whom are huge proponents of Hagel.

Things could change before next week, of course, but it looks like Obama is fine with a fight this time around.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rob in CT says:

    Bloody hell. Nominate the guy already.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Even hard core liberals are prone to get mugged by reality and to morph into conservatives when reality hits them like tons of bricks (see Obama, B.H., Panetta, L., Holder, E., et al.) and for that reason I suspect Hagel will work out OK. Especially since Hagel is starting out overall a lot further to the right than the likes of Obama, etc. It’s not a great choice, obviously, but then again it could have been and still could be a lot worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  3. Tyrell says:

    Best secretaries of defense: Robert Macnamara, George Schultz

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  4. Laurence Bachmann says:

    I want him nominated just to piss off the neo-con crowd. What fun!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  5. cd6 says:

    Great, another “I hate Israel” decision from Team Obama.

    Why don’t they cut out the middle man and nominate Ahmadinejad for SecDef? He’s basically the exact same thing as Hagel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

  6. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “Best secretaries of defense: Robert Macnamara, George Schultz”

    Yes, McNamara, the man who later admitted that he knew Vietnam was unwinnable but pushed Johnson to vastly increase troops there so that mean Republicans wouldn’t call them soft on communism. The man single-handedly responsible for tens of thousands of American lives lost in a war he knew was pointless.

    This is your choice for the best? On what possible basis?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  7. anjin-san says:

    Hagel is a decorated combat vet, that is going to stick in the craw on a lot of Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    From Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post:

    Let’s start with an issue that should concern the Obama administration and its allies, namely the significant policy differences between Hagel and the president. President Obama believes in tough sanctions against Iran; Hagel does not. The president insists that he wants good relations with Israel (and thereby can influence its decision-making with regard to Iran); Hagel has displayed a poisonous animosity toward the Jewish state. Hagel has advocated direct negotiations with Hamas; Obama has never gone this far.

    Hagel is also probably not the best guy to oversee the gays in the military experiment.

    Anyway, just why is this guy so qualified to be SecDef? Rumsfeld had already held the job. Gates had an extensive CIA background. Panetta came over from CIA and brought a budgeting background.

    Supporting Hagel just because you don’t like those most loudly opposing him is really, really stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  9. An Interested Party says:

    Hagel has displayed a poisonous animosity toward the Jewish state.

    Yes indeed…anyone who doesn’t personally kiss Bibi Netanyahu’s ass is “poisonous” towards Israel…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  10. anjin-san says:

    Jenos Idanian

    Another right wing fantasy warrior who becomes uncomfortable when confronted by the real thing…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. anjin-san says:

    Oh, and Hagel is a self made multi-millionaire. So the right wing fantasy capitalists have a reason not to like him. So now Jenos is two for two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Anyway, just why is this guy so qualified to be SecDef?

    What a dumb question. He is Vietnam War Veteran that was awarded the Purple Heart twice, a successful businessman that worked in several non-profits and advocacy organizations and a US Senator. He is fair more qualified to be SecDef than Rubin is to be a journalist.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  13. de stijl says:

    Nothing against Hagel. He is an honorable fellow who had the stones to come out against the Iraq disaster when it was politically unpopular – especially for a R. Hillary Clinton would probably be President if she had followed his lead.

    But why do D Presidents feel this weird need to appoint R SecDefs? I don’t get it. They are no longer the 1968 – 1975 Viet Nam Ds & folks have figured out that they’re okay on Defense. Would an R President nominate a D to head Education or HHS just to soften their image?

    It’s Broderism run amok.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Dazedandconfused says:

    @de stijl:

    Hagel wants to cut defense spending, a Republican combat vet is as good as it gets.

    Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the letters behind peoples names weren’t as important as they are now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Jean says:

    There are many reasons to oppose Chuck Hagel besides Israel, and Iran.

    Hagel has no natural constituency, except perhaps for those who want a foreign and defense policy that is tougher on Israel and softer on Iran.

    Israel would be clear that Obama views the Jewish state with hostility. Iran would be clear that it has nothing serious to fear from the Obama administration.

    Nothing else can explain this odd nomination. Team Obama tried to couch it as a bipartisan act, inasmuch as Hagel was a Republican Senator. But key Republican Senators have made it clear that they don’t want Hagel at the Pentagon. Key Democrats have also failed to express enthusiasm over that prospect. Even Barney Frank opposes Hagel. If there’s a bipartisan consensus around Hagel, it’s that Obama should nominate someone else.

    If the President would like to abandon his election promises about stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program he should just say so.

    Trying to change it by just appointing Hagel will be understood well in the Senate and will
    not be accepted.

    The loss of the confirmation will seriously weaken the President.

    To me he is the stereotypical Archie Bunker type bigot. His policies have been anti gay (even now after his late and self serving apology he doesn’t support equal benefits for gay military families.

    there are many ways a Secretary of Defense could help gay military families no matter how DOMA is decided and Hagel has not come out in favor of any of these.

    Reports to the contrary, LGBT equality is not yet a done deal in the military. There is still the matter of partner benefits. There still remain a handful of regulations that could be revised independent of the Defense of Marriage act that could bring some equity of compensation and benefits to gay and lesbian service members. but remain denied due only to Department of Defense foot-dragging:

    Included in the discretionary benefits currently denied are spousal identication cards, and shopping at the PX, the former cited in the Pentagon’s own Working Group study as not requiring DOMA repeal to deliver.

    His remarks about the Jewish lobby having too much influence would cleary be seen as bigoted if you substitute any other
    minority group’s lobby. Try NAACP or La Raza and see how long you would be considered.

    He is anti-African American (with a 17/100 rating from NAACP and admires Strom Thurmond as a great role model. anti Woman (vs choice and contraception)
    and
    Hagel has drawn additional heat from insiders who claim he lacks the credentials needed to manage a department as large and essential as the Pentagon.

    “Yes, Hagel has crazy positions on several key issues. Yes, Hagel has said things that are borderline anti-Semitism. Yes, Hagel wants to gut the Pentagon’s budget. But above all, he’s not a nice person and he’s bad to his staff,” said a senior Republican Senate aide who has close ties to former Hagel staffers.

    “Hagel was known for turning over staff every few weeks—within a year’s time he could have an entirely new office because nobody wanted to work for him,” said the source. “You have to wonder how a man who couldn’t run a Senate office is going to be able to run an entire bureaucracy.”

    Others familiar with Hagel’s 12 year tenure in the Senate said he routinely intimidated staff and experienced frequent turnover.

    “Chuck Hagel may have been collegial to his Senate colleagues but he was the Cornhusker wears Prada to his staff, some of whom describe their former boss as perhaps the most paranoid and abusive in the Senate, one who would rifle through staffers desks and berate them for imagined disloyalty,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “He might get away with that when it comes to staffers in their 20s, but that sort of personality is going to go over like a ton of bricks at the Pentagon.”

    Multiple sources corroborated this view of Hagel.

    “As a manager, he was angry, accusatory, petulant,” said one source familiar with his work on Capitol Hill. “He couldn’t keep his staff.”

    “I remember him accusing one of his staffers of being ‘f—ing stupid’ to his face,” recalled the source who added that Hagel typically surrounded himself with those “who basically hate Republicans.”

    Sources expressed concern about such behavior should Hagel be nominated for the defense post. With competing military and civilian interests vying for supremacy, the department requires a skilled manager, sources said.

    “The Pentagon requires strong civilian control,” a senior aide to former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the Free Beacon. “It’s already swung back in favor of the military over the past five years. A new secretary of defense should push it back in its rightful place, but it’s doubtful Hagel would be that guy.”

    “It’s not clear that [Hagel] has the standing, the managerial prowess, or the willingness to gore some oxen,” said the source.

    One senior Bush administration official warned that Hagel is ill informed about many critical foreign policy matters.

    “He’s not someone who’s shown a lot of expertise on these issues,” said the source, referencing a recent Washington Post editorial excoriating Hagel’s record. “That [op-ed] was extraordinary.”

    “Only in Washington,” the official added, “can someone like [Hagel] be seen as a heavy weight. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”

    Hagel is likely viewed positively by the administration mainly because he is a Republican who often criticizes his own party, the source said.

    “He’ll dance to a tune played by the White House,” said the former official. “That I think is the real problem.”

    As lawmakers consider a deal to avoid sweeping budgets cuts and tax hikes, Hagel’s support for slashing spending at the Pentagon has irked many defense hawks.

    “This is a time when a secretary of defense needs to be raising hell about the sequestration cuts,” said the Rumsfeld aide. “It’s not clear that Hagel has any interest in picking that fight.”

    Hagel’s reluctance to chastise Iran also remains a central concern.

    As chief of the Pentagon it is expected he would avoid planning for a military intervention should Tehran refuse to end its clandestine nuclear enrichment program.

    “The military brass is already reluctant to offer up any military options on Iran even though it’s their job to have something on the books and to leave the options of the commander in chief open,” said the Rumsfeld aide. “Hagel will only reinforce these worrisome tendencies.”

    “Chances are he’ll view any legitimate effort to talk about military options with Iran as some plot by the ‘Israel Lobby’ to box him in,” the source said.

    There is no reason to believe his appointment would change Israeli policies.

    But there is a very strong likelihood that it would be a fatal blow to the chances of a negotiated settlement with Iran.

    Iran would have to conclude that it doesn’t have to fear
    finishing it’s nuclear weapons program or even continuing towards ICBM’s pointing at America.

    President Obama should avoid the risk of loosing a confirmation vote over someone who’s views on many major issues are opposite of the President’s and instead appoint the better person Michelle Flornoy.

    Flournoy closely mirrors the previous stated policies of the President, the Democratic Party, and the American people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  16. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Your sudden concern for gay servicemembers and their families is touching.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Jean:

    Yes, the neocons fear him. He’s not the sort of fellow who frightens easily or can be bought off. Rumsfeld’s former aides disapproval of him is terribly, terribly disconcerting.

    I’m shocked that nobody has investigated those purple hearts yet. There must be something fishy about them, don’t you think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  18. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: And your “thoughts” on my beliefs on gays in the military is based on just what? Besides your gross ignorance and shallow stereotyping? Jackhole.

    So, Hagel’s main qualifications are 1) he’s a Republican, but the “right” kind — with a lengthy history of going after his own party; 2) he’s a veteran, so he’s theoretically immune to criticism; 3) he sees Israel building homes as a bigger threat to world peace than Iran building nukes, and 4) some people the left doesn’t like think he’d be a bad choice.. Oh, and he’s got a history of opposing many of Obama’s stated beliefs and positions.

    Did I miss anything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Supporting Hagel just because you don’t like those most loudly opposing him is really, really stupid.

    You forget to note why we don’t like those opposing him: Because they are a bunch of neo-con idiots responsible for the worse excesses of the Buss II admin. So, if those unaware low IQ stooges are against him, I would call it fair praise in support of his nomination.

    After all, who a man’s enemies are says far more about his integrity, than a list of his friends ever could.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. James Joyner says:

    @Tyrell: @wr: In fairness to McNamara, he was a much better SECDEF than Schultz—who was never SECDEF.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  21. Andre Kenji says:

    Wait a minute, I would understand a Liberal Democrat complaining that Hagel is not LGTB friendly enough and that he does not share the same beliefs as Obama, but a so called Conservative Democrat?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that argument. I’ve used it myself many times.

    The problem is, it seems to be the only argument Hagel’s supporters are putting forth here.

    Are you really granting people like me that kind of power? That we can control you by simply declaring what we think, knowing you’ll mindlessly take up the opposite tack?

    Let’s try a few experiments.

    1) The DNC should never, ever even consider replacing the flouride in its water supply with cyanide.

    2) Obama should not resign as president.

    3) Honey Boo-Boo would be an even worse Secretary of State than Hagel.

    (tossing the popcorn into the microwave…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The problem is, it seems to be the only argument Hagel’s supporters are putting forth here.

    As somebody who is not a Hagel supporter (I am ambivalent) I can post a few arguments in his favor…. Of course they are the same arguments his enemies say make him unqualified:

    #1 He wants to cut defense spending.

    #2 He does not want US foreign policy to be set by Israel.

    #3 He understands that a shooting war with Iran would be an unparalleled disaster for the world economy.

    There are other people who feel the same so those arguments hardly put him head and shoulders above the rest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Also, Larrison:

    “Yes, McCain and the usual hard-liners will grandstand during the hearings, but they likely would have done that anyway, and I doubt that there most Senate Republicans want to be seen blocking Hagel. Not only would that be an extraordinary thing to do in response to any Cabinet nomination, but it would be unheard of to do it to a former colleague and a member of their own party. Republican hard-liners will do what they can to make the hearings a tiresome and drawn-out process, but in so doing they will simply be reconfirming why the public doesn’t trust them and why Hagel was the right choice.

    (my emphasis)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. Franklin says:

    @Jean: Wow, nice smear quotes. Most of those are of the variety: “He’s retarded” according to Anonymous Coward.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Your argument fell apart the instant you quoted someone saying “McCain and the usual hard-liners.”

    McCain, a hard-liner? He’s the liberals’ favorite type of Republican — he spends so much time on the Democrats’ side, there were several times he was expected to switch parties. Just like Romney — he was the “right” kind of Republican right up until he was nominated for president.

    Hagel also favors establishing relations with Hamas, the genocidal terrorist group. Obama officially opposes that. (Much like he officially opposed gay marriage for over a decade.) Is that also a good thing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  27. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your argument fell apart the instant you quoted [Larison] saying “McCain and the usual hard-liners.”

    McCain, a hard-liner? He’s the liberals’ favorite type of Republican — he spends so much time on the Democrats’ side, there were several times he was expected to switch parties.

    Echoing James’ comment to another member of the Right Wing Brain Trust, @Jenos Idanian #13 you can’t be that much of an idiot.

    True, while McCain does get “mavericky” on domestic issues, he’s clearly a foreign/military policy hardliner (with the notable and commendable exception of his stance on torture). So from support of Israel, to actively working to grow the size of the military, to advocating for armed intervention in various hot spots (remember his “bomb-bomb-bomb Iran” joke in ’08), he’s clearly a hardliner.

    As for the choice of Hagel, it makes perfect sense if one accepts that a key goal of the second Obama administration is to stop the growth of, and attempt to shrink, the size of the military budget.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your argument fell apart the instant you quoted someone saying “McCain and the usual hard-liners.”

    Well, if that is your point of view, why don’t you head on over to Eunomia and tell Larison how wrong he is. I will await the slaughter in the comments.

    as to:

    McCain, a hard-liner?

    And yeah, John “We are all Georgians now” McCain is a a hardliner hawk. He never saw a war he didn’t want to wage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: As for the choice of Hagel, it makes perfect sense if one accepts that a key goal of the second Obama administration is to stop the growth of, and attempt to shrink, the size of the military budget.

    And just what makes Hagel so useful for this? Oh, he’s a Republican and a veteran, so Obama can hide behind his skirts. All the rest of his baggage doesn’t matter.

    If that’s your argument, you’re reinforcing the old adage that liberals are overwhelmed with credentials above all else. Hagel’s actual beliefs and accomplishments and goals? Fuggedaboutit.

    Hagel’s credentials make him the ideal candidate only if you buy into the underlying premise — that credentials are all that matter. And only those credentials that support your side; the rest should be ignored.

    Hagel’s got a lengthy anti-gay record, enough to get him labeled a “homophobe” by the gay community that so strongly supports Obama. And that community just won a major battle over gays in the military — putting someone like Hagel in charge of the DoD is a huge insult to them. And to anyone — gay, straight, mixed, or indifferent — who supports the overturning of DADT.

    The theory, I guess, is that Hagel will be so grateful to Obama that he will suppress his own beliefs and policies and mindlessly implement Obama’s agenda, which basically means disowning hefty portions of his own past. If you’re comfortable with someone that malleable as SecDef, then so be it.

    Just don’t expect the rest of us to strap on the blinders and play your game by your rules. Not even if you say it’s only “fair” that we do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  30. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, if that is your point of view, why don’t you head on over to Eunomia and tell Larison how wrong he is. I will await the slaughter in the comments.

    Read the article, read the comments. So, now you are embracing the Pat Buchanan/Paleocon wing? I got fed up with them two decades ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    In Hagel’s defense, I can see why he prefers Hamas over Israel. Hamas is a lot closer to his position on gay rights than Israel is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  32. Tyrell says:

    @James Joyner: Yes, I should have checked that out. I knew that he was involved in defense and the budget at some point. He seemed like a nice person.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Again, you simply being willfully stupid here.

    To quickly lay out why Hagel makes sense… If you accept that Obama’s goal is to reduce the size of the military, that has to be done via Congress. Choosing a Republican senator with a significant amount of Military cred and experience (both in terms of Military and Legislative service) makes total sense. You’ve go someone who understands the budget process and how things get done in Congress.

    Recent events have demonstrated that, even though the house sets the budget, the Senate is going to be where all the deals are brokered for the foreseeable future. So you want to have someone familiar with that environment. Additionally, Hagel has the potential (due to his long term relationships with members of both parties) to bring the necessary moderate Republican votes over to any deals.

    You’re right that Hagel and Obama are not on the same page on all issues. That said, the ones that they agree on appear to be the key issues for the second Obama Administration (reducing the size of the military, containing Iran, getting out of Afghanistan). And personally, while I don’t agree with a number of Hagel’s position, I like the idea of cabinet officials who are willing to question/push back on the President.

    For the most part, where they are out of policy sync, isn’t so much on military issues, but rather on State Department issues. And that’s nothing new when you look at the relationship between Defense and State. So that isn’t a particularly compelling argument.

    As far as the issue of gays and Hagel, the fact is that ship has sailed. DADT is over and isn’t coming back. So I don’t see how that specifically affects Hagel’s ability to do the job.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  34. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, now you are embracing the Pat Buchanan/Paleocon wing

    To be clear, Larison’s formulation of foreign policy and Paleo-con-ness is NOT Buchanan’s. No where near it.

    And given the choice between neocon adventurism and paleocon caution, I’ll pick the latter every time (and will typically vote for it over liberal or neoliberal adventurism). Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last time the Republicans ran anyone close to a Paleocon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: That one article and comments was pretty clear: throw Israel under the bus, toss dual-loyalty accusations at any who disagree, and call anyone who doesn’t support the Palestinians wholeheartedly a “Likudnik.” Add in a few rhetorical flairs, and it could have been Pat Buchanan’s latest column.

    That reminds me… I should track down Buchanan online and see just how fervently he’s backing Hagel. I think Drudge still links to him…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Huh. Buchanan’s just as predictable as always.

    Feel good, liberals! Obama’s brilliant choice has Pat Buchanan’s seal of approval! He’s on your side on this one!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: “He is fair more qualified to be SecDef than Rubin is to be a journalist. ”

    To be fair, I am far more qualified to be the SecDef than Rubin is to be a journalist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  38. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Hagel also favors establishing relations with Hamas, the genocidal terrorist group. Obama officially opposes that. (Much like he officially opposed gay marriage for over a decade.) Is that also a good thing? ”

    And if he is sworn in as Obama’s SecDef, then he will follow Obama’s policies. Because that’s what cabinet members do.

    Glad to clear that up for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  39. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Hagel also favors establishing relations with Hamas, the genocidal terrorist group. Obama officially opposes that. (Much like he officially opposed gay marriage for over a decade.) Is that also a good thing?”

    Oh, and when Susan Rice was rumored to be up for Secretary of State, you and all the other moron concern trolls were screaming about how she’s too darn close to Obama, that she’d just reflect his policies, instead of being “independent” as (that day) you declared cabinet officers needed to be.

    Now it’s a terrible idea that Obama nominate someone for defense who doesn’t think exactly like him on all issues.

    The hollowness of your “ideas” is obvious to everyone. There’s no need to prove that by constantly contradicting them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  40. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “The theory, I guess, is that Hagel will be so grateful to Obama that he will suppress his own beliefs and policies and mindlessly implement Obama’s agenda,”

    That’s his job, dope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    You should think about going to back to “Obama eats dog” or some of your more reliable material. This stuff is sad even for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. rudderpedals says:

    I hope they either nominate the man or nominate else pronto. This tendency to run names up the flagpole and just leave them there until they’re in tatters just doesn’t seem right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. Just Me says:

    This is amusing.

    I am pretty darn sure that if this was a president Romney seeking to nominate Hagel, the usual democrats would be screaming bloody murder given some of his views, but because Obama wants him he is now the absolutely best option out there.

    His stated opinions on gays alone would get him run out of town on a rail if a GOP president tried to nominate him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  44. anjin-san says:

    if this was a president Romney seeking to nominate Hagel, the usual democrats would be screaming bloody murder

    Not I – I’ve always been a fan of his. If he led a GOP presidential ticket he would have a decent chance of getting my vote. I suspect more than a few Democrats around here feel the same way. Gates had no shortage of admirers among Democrats when he served under Bush.

    Try again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Just Me says:

    Anjin his opinions alone on gays would make the left roar in outrage if it was a GOP president making the nomination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. Dazedandconfused says:

    @rudderpedals:

    I suspect it’s not deliberate, it’s just the deep-vetting process of this era. Only way to do it is to talk to a lot of Washington DC people and ask for a lot of information.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Sejanus says:

    @Andre Kenji: “He is Vietnam War Veteran that was awarded the Purple Heart twice”

    He only reached the rank of Sergeant. While I’m not belittling his military service, I hardly see how that makes him qualified in any way to be Secretary of Defense.

    “a successful businessman that worked in several non-profits and advocacy organizations and a US Senator.”

    I think that for Secretary of Defense it is preferable to pick someone who has a strong experience with military or intelligence matters than a businessman.

    “He is fair [sic] more qualified to be SecDef than Rubin is to be a journalist.”

    No argument there.

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  48. Rob in CT says:

    I should not that I’m not a huge Hagel fan or anything… I think he’s a perfectly ok choice. Ideally, I’d want someone even less interventionist. But that’s not in the cards. It’s not a real option. Hagel is a real option. So, ok.

    The arguments being used against him are basically garbage.

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  49. CB says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    He is fair more qualified to be SecDef than Rubin is to be a journalist.

    Andre +100

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  50. mattb says:

    @Sejanus:

    He only reached the rank of Sergeant. While I’m not belittling his military service, I hardly see how that makes him qualified in any way to be Secretary of Defense.

    If this was his only military qualifications, I’d largely agree (though I think the fact he saw combat in an actual war is important).

    But everyone should remember that during his time in the senate he served on both the Intelligence and Foreign Services committee. Both those intersect with the Armed Services committee on a number of issues.

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  51. mattb says:

    @Just Me:

    I am pretty darn sure that if this was a president Romney seeking to nominate Hagel, the usual democrats would be screaming bloody murder given some of his views, but because Obama wants him he is now the absolutely best option out there.

    Two points. First, the issue with this type of logic is that Romney would never have nominated someone like Hagel because Hagel’s views on military intervention are completely antithetical to Romney’s neoconservative approach.

    The second problem is that it ignores all the cases where one’s own party does exactly the same thing you are accusing the opposition of. Look for example at the Republican embrace of Rudy Giuliani, who is rather out of step with the Republican party on most social issues. But that didn’t stop lots of love being heaped on him in the lead up to 2008.

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