Hagel Flunks Confirmation Hearing; Still Might Pass Senate
Looks like Quin might get his wish on Chuck Hagel’s nomination. President Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary nominee misstated the Administration’s policy on containment of Iran twice; once when Hagel said he supported Obama’s policy of containment, then when he said there was no policy. It took Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI) to remind Hagel that, actually, “We (i.e. America) do have a position on containment, and that is we do not favor containment.”
Hagel also said during his confirmation hearing today that he doesn’t know enough about military programs and technology, but promised that as Defense Secretary he would do the necessary cramming to get up to speed.
Overall, Hagel did himself no favors with the senators who oppose his nomination, and may have given fence-sitters enough wiggle room to justify abandoning him. My guess, however, is that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will work the phones and twist the arms necessary to save the Administration from a humiliating No vote on confirmation.