Obama’s Nominee for Secretary of Defense Stumbles Through Hearing
By Harold Hutchison
Former Senator Chuck Hagel, nominated to serve as Secretary of Defense, stumbled through his confirmation hearing earlier today. The Vietnam veteran is the first enlisted man to ever be nominated to serve as Secretary of Defense.
During the hearing held before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hagel fumbled over stating the Obama Administration’s position on containing Iran, and had to ultimately be bailed out by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the chairman of the committee. Hagel also proved to be unresponsive when Senator John McCain (R-AZ) questioned him about his past position on the troop surge in Iraq.
The hearings were widely seen as a disaster – as Hagel seemed to either abandon or fail to back up some of his most controversial statements. “If Hagel's performance over the first couple of hours could have been described as unsteady and unimpressive, it has become disastrous,” Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard tweeted.
“I question whether he’ll make it. I had believed that he would up until now.. But I’ve heard from two or three guys on the floor including one Democrat that he did not do well today,” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said when commenting to WSJ.com.
At TheBlaze.com, Mytheos Holt wrote, “Hagel may have hurt himself, judging by some of the reactions, which have been negative not just from the predictable chorus of presidential critics on the Right, but even from liberals who would be more inclined to support Hagel’s confirmation.”