Quin Hillyer reports that Alabama Republicans are upset that Senator Richard Shelby is support Chuck Hagel for defense secretary:
The Steering Committee of the Alabama Republican Party has taken the rare step of officially demanding that one of the state’s two GOP U.S. Senators change a publicly announced position in a high-profile Washington battle. Specifically, the state party leaders have passed a resolution demanding that Sen. Richard Shelby “reconsider and reverse his decision to support Senator [Chuck] Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.” The resolution, passed early this afternoon, blasts Hagel for statements “favorable toward” countries “that we believe to be enemies of the United States of America,” and also criticizes him for “not being a supporter of Israel, the only dependable ally the United States of America has in that part of the world.” It notes, too, that “many Alabama citizens have expressed outrage at Senator Shelby’s decision.”
This is big stuff. Sen. Shelby is a powerful politician, and the state party long has been supportive of him. But his support of Hagel seems to really have created a backlash.
“It has been an outpouring from people across the state,” State Republican Chairman Bill Armistead told me. “There have been phone calls from a lot of people, plus we’ve all been approached by people we know at churches and in our communities. I haven’t seen anything this strong in opposition to something done by one of our representatives in Congress in a long time.”