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