Hagel for Defense?: Bruises ahead
Chuck Hagel needn't worry about whether Republicans support their fellow former GOP senator for secretary of Defense. It's pretty clear that his former colleagues think so little of him that he'll likely have difficulty gaining even one Republican vote.
What Mr. Hagel has to worry about is whether he can gain sufficient Democrat support. And that appears to be a most-iffy proposition.
Hagel morphed into a liberal Republican who represented Nebraska in the U.S. Senate for two terms ending in 2009. At least on the surface, he appears to be the perfect choice to succeed Leon Panetta. Hagel's not only a decorated Vietnam veteran, supposedly attuned well to the needs of the military and how to balance them with today's fiscal realities, but he spent time on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees.
But his record remains quite problematic. Think of his belittling of the U.S.-Israel alliance and his push to have Israel negotiate with terrorists. Think of his past intemperate remarks about gays, for which he only recently apologized, and that only when his name was floated for the Defense job. And think of what many perceive to be his coddling of Iran's mullahs.
But Hagel also spread so much ill will among his onetime Senate colleagues with his hardly amicable style that there's no “natural base” of support left among Republicans or Democrats, reports Politico.
The nation has more pressing needs than a bruising confirmation battle. The nation can do better than Chuck Hagel.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.