As Chuck Hagel Confirmation Hearing Looms, New Push for Pentagon Pick

Jewish Opposition Eases, But Conservatives Fight On

No Chances: Despite signs that Chuck Hagel has enough support to win Senate confirmation, the White House is mounting an all-out push to outflank opponents.
getty images
No Chances: Despite signs that Chuck Hagel has enough support to win Senate confirmation, the White House is mounting an all-out push to outflank opponents.

By Reuters

Published January 30, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 4)

And they have enlisted an array of luminaries to serve as Hagel ambassadors. Thirteen former secretaries of defense and state and national security advisers from both parties sent a letter to senators last week strongly backing his nomination.

Hagel will be introduced at his hearing by two former Senate Armed Services committee chairmen, Democrat Sam Nunn and Republican John Warner, who both - like Hagel - were known for breaking from party doctrine on a range of issues.

‘MURDER BOARDS’

Hagel has set up a Pentagon office and has a transition team helping him to prepare. He has met with Panetta, deputy defense secretary Ashton Carter and other military leaders, including Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The nominee has had two “murder board” sessions, panels to grill him to prepare for questions from skeptical - and hostile - senators.

A source close to the confirmation process said Hagel may squeeze in a third “murder board” session before Thursday.

Carter, who will stay on as deputy secretary of defense during Obama’s second term, told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that Obama had called him to tell him about the Hagel nomination and asked him to remain, which would provide a measure of stability.

Critics have questioned Hagel’s past statements over the power of the “Jewish lobby” in Washington, and what they say is his resistance to sanctions on Iran and eagerness to further cut defense spending. No Republican has yet publicly endorsed him.

Hagel is expected to have a tougher time with the Armed Services Committee, which must clear his nomination, than in the full 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 45 seats.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.