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!
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • 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.