Two officials from the Obama administration are on the hot seat today on Capitol Hill: John Brennan, who is the president'a chief counterterrorism advisor and who has been nominated to lead the CIA, and Leon Panetta, the retiring defense secretary. For Brennan, the issue is whether he should be confirmed to be the next CIA director; while Panetta will be on Capitol Hill to answer questions about the September 11 terror attack in Benghazi that led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The editors of Barack Obama's hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, urge the president to drop the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense. The paper endorsed Obama in two presidential elections.
The editors of the paper write, "We'll be candid ... He should be in some other job, not running the Pentagon."
The Emergency Committee for Israel has released a new ad called "confusion," which highlights Chuck Hagel's rocky performance in last week's Senate hearing:
"Today the Emergency Committee for Israel released "Confusion," a web ad highlighting Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel's confused response at last week's hearing to questions about the Obama administration's Iran policy," says ECI in a press release.
The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said over the weekend that opposition to the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense is "intensifying." The second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, has been leading the charge against Hagel.
Vietnam veteran and ex-Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Isolation) made a stunning impression in his audition for the role of secretary of defense yesterday, though it was not quite the one that he wished. "Though he was being asked about things he had said over the course of the past 15 years, it was what Hagel said yesterday…that had his defenders reeling in shock and even his critics aghast at how poorly he handled himself," wrote John Podhoretz in the New York Post. Said Roger L. Simon, "They had to send him a note in the middle of the proceedings to remind him of the administration’s position on Iran and 'containment,' and even then [he] got it wrong."