The Senate is now at recess following an often contentious confirmation hearing that did not go as smoothly for the former Neb. Senator as he perhaps would have liked.
Senator Lindsey Graham savaged Hagel over an outrageous statement he made about the pro-Israel lobby in 2008: “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” into doing some “dumb things.”
More from the hearing from across the conservative blogosphere.
The Washington Examiner: Hagel: War in Iraq was ‘most fundamentally bad, dangerous decision since Vietnam’:
Sen. John McCain R-Ariz. blasted former Sen. Chuck Hagel R-Neb. this morning for his positions against the war in Iraq – including the surge that brought stability into the region.
Hagel refused to say whether his position on the surge was a mistake and tried to explain his comments.
“I want to know if you were right or wrong,” McCain fired back. “Its a direct question, I demand a direct answer.”
The Washington Free Beacon: Hagel: ‘I’ve Never Been Accused of Political Expediency’
Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel claimed he “has never been accused of political expediency” during his Thursday hearing before the Senate Armed Services committee, in response to his comments on the “Jewish lobby.”
Brit Hume made a simple but deadly observation about Hagel’s performance — “he’s just not very bright.”
And he’s not. While the media is intensely interested in the intellectual capacity of any Republican (unless that Republican is obviously intelligent, in which case they don’t mention IQ at all), they never discuss the intelligence of the dimmer-bulb Democrats or Republicans like Hagel, who can be counted as allies.
Hagel’s dumb. He’s just not smart enough to be Secretary of Defense. Our troops deserve a bright man who understands complex systems and has the intellectual curiosity to discover what he doesn’t know. Not a bumbling dummy whose deepest thoughts are about the “Jewish lobby.”
To Andrew’s point about Hagel’s comments on the Iranian government, Senator Hagel confidently says today that Iran’s government is “an elected, legitimate government.”
Following up on Chuck Hagel’s assertion earlier today in the course of his confirmation hearing that the Iranian regime is “legitimate” and “elected,” CNN’s Jessica Yellin asked White House press secretary Jay Carney whether the president agrees.
Carney dodged the question this way: “I think our views on the last presidential election were clearly expressed, the president’s views on that matter and our views on the behavior of the regime in Tehran are expressed again and again and again.”
Jennifer Rubin, The Right Turn: The Hagel Hearing:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) went on a tear, demanding Hagel answer the question as to whether his opposition to the surge was wrong. Hagel squirmed and evaded and refused to answer. McCain said he would take the refusal to answer in considering his vote. It was a powerful moment, giving reason for virtually every Republican senator to oppose the nomination. McCain also got Hagel to concede that he opposed the surge in Afghanistan. Hagel’s ego was noteworthy and will create problems for him if he likewise refuses to say he was wrong on opposition to unilateral sanctions, the Global Zero report, etc.
The Washington Free Beacon: ‘This Hagel hearing is a disaster’: Liberals take to Twitter to slam Hagel:
Distraught by his poor performance in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, liberals viciously turned on secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel on social media.