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January 31, 2013

A Bad Day for Hagel

National Journal says Chuck Hagel "fumbled badly" at his Senate confirmation hearing today.

"The strong, silent-type approach worked for the Nebraska Republican when he was on the other side of the firing line, just one of a gauntlet of senators asking questions, but it wasn't working on Thursday, with him in the hot seat before the Senate's Armed Services Committee and getting it from all sides--from some Democrats and a battery of hostile Republicans--who began by praising his service to the nation and then proceeded to eviscerate him. During the daylong hearings, Hagel appeared to lose Republican after Republican, and even a couple of Democrats, including New York's Kirsten Gillibrand, looked a little doubtful. Hagel's manner and responses did little to reassure anyone, it seemed, about his toughness on Iran and firmness on Israel."

Jonathan Bernstein: "Fortunately for Hagel, it almost certainly doesn't matter. Spending a few hours on the defensive isn't likely to sink his nomination -- unless it was already doomed."

Politico reports that Hagel's answers prompted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to announce he would oppose Hagel's nomination.


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