SASC is expected to hold its Hagel confirmation hearing late this month or early next, said an official close to the process. COUNTING VOTES Politico writes, “Chuck Hagel’s battle lines are clear: To bolster his prospects of being confirmed to run the Pentagon, he must reassure a key handful of Democrats. Since Democrats control the Senate by a slim margin, the nomination could be all but secured with commitments from lawmakers within the president’s party — but some notable senators, including Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) are undecided.” GAME CHANGER New York Sen. Chuck Schumer says he will support Chuck Hagel’s nomination, removing a potential obstacle facing his confirmation. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), too will support his nomination. Former Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell offered his support, in a much-needed assist on Sunday. INSIDERS: CONFIRM HAGEL, BRENNAN Washington is abuzz with speculation about whether defense hawks’ opposition will derail the confirmation of Chuck Hagel. But 82% of National Journal’s National Security Insiders support his confirmation as Defense secretary; and 85% support John Brennan to head the CIA. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU GET … The Evolution of a Defense Secretary “ Politico reports, “Chuck Hagel has endured a lot of early criticism over his reported eagerness to cut the defense budget, but insiders say there’s no way to know how a Defense secretary will actually run the Pentagon. Just look at the current guy…”CAP THE KNIFE BECAME CAP THE LADLE,” said Gordon Adams, who worked directly for Panetta at OMB during the Clinton administration, overseeing national security budgets. Panetta is extremely good at reading the politics of a situation and he realized he couldn’t manage the Pentagon if he came in with a knife, Adams said. “You can’t lead the Building if you don’t defend the Building.” Truism.
18 Jan 2013