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Let Hagel Be Hagel

14 Jan 2013

Let Hagel Be Hagel

Following weeks of getting beat up by his many detractors in Washington, before he was even officially nominated to serve as the new secretary of Defense, the White House is making up for lost time, launching a charm offensive to get him primed for a tough confirmation fight. After Obama made the news official Monday, Hagel gave his first public remarks to his hometown paper, saying the criticism against his record “took on a life of its own” while he was stuck “hanging out there in no-man’s land unable to respond to charges, falsehoods and distortions.” HAGEL, McCAIN ARE BFFs NO MORE The two Vietnam veterans used to be inseparable, according to Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. But “a combination of policy disagreements, political slights and personality conflicts led to the collapse of a once-close friendship.” According to one McCain ally, “The split began over the length and cost of the Iraq war and Hagel’s decision to not support the surge, which John took as a personal insult.” STUMBLING BLOCKS “5 groups that could hamstring the president’s defense secretary pick,” by Josh Gerstein, “The Pro-Israel crowd … Gay-rights advocates … Senate Republicans … Democrats in the Senate – and the base … Advocates for U.S. involvement overseas.” CHUCK & CHUCK Politico writes that Hagel’s confirmation might very well come down to whether or not he gets support from Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY).

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