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'What They're Saying about Chuck Hagel'

3:12 PM, Dec 28, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Washington Post: Mr. Hagel’s stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term — and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him.

The Wall Street JournalMr. Obama can do better than Mr. Hagel—for example, by choosing former Defense Under Secretary Michele Flournoy, or perhaps Colin Powell. If he does nominate Mr. Hagel, the Senate will have to prevent the Administration's senior security ranks from being dominated by a flock of doves who think the world is better off with a militarily weaker America.

WSJ Columnist Bret StephensPrejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When ChuckHagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here," the odor is especially ripe. 

Bill Kristol: “An awful lot of Democrats I am told are quietly telling the White House, what are you doing to us?”

ADL President Abe Foxman“Chuck Hagel would not be the first, second, or third choice for the American Jewish community’s friends of Israel.  His record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship is, at best, disturbing, and at worst, very troubling.   The sentiments he’s expressed about the Jewish lobby border on anti-Semitism in the genre of professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and former president Jimmy Carter.”

AJC Executive Director David HarrisThe first AJC encounter with Sen. Hagel I recall was when we sought his support, in 1999, for a Senate letter to then Russian President Boris Yeltsin urging action against rising anti-Semitism. We were unsuccessful. On June 20, 1999, we published the letter as a full-page ad in The New York Times with 99 Senate signatories. Only Sen. Hagel’s name was absent.  Our concern then has only grown since, as we have witnessed his stance on a range of core U.S. national security priorities.

White House Project Founder Marie Wilson: “There is no doubt that the woman knows her business.  It’s Defense — the area where we have the slowest movement of women into top positions.  It would be a breakthrough.”

National Review’s Rich Lowry“At the core of his foreign policy is disdain for Israel and unquenchable desire to talk to terrorists. His realism is a pastiche of attitudes fashionable at Council on Foreign Relations meetings or the World Economic Forum in Davos, crystalized into an idée fixe lacking all nuance or true thoughtfulness.”

What The Pundits Are Saying

Mike Allen:  The Hagel balloon “has been popped…Senator Hagel as a possibility for Secretary of Defense has really lost a lot of altitude.”

Roland Martin“He’s getting hit from so many different sides, he’s got few allies in this thing.”

Ana Navarro: “I really think this would be an obtuse choice…Chuck Hagel’s nomination is DOA and in the meantime the White House is MIA.”

Reihan Salam“There are a lot of folks who are saying that he doesn’t have the administrative experience.”

Andrea Mitchell: “What Sen. Schumer said was really very revealing. If a Democratic Senator is not going to come to Chuck Hagel’s defense, I think there (are) serious problems there.” 

Chuck Todd: “Schumer ‘won't comment’ on Hagel, dodges chance to support Obama's potential pick for DoD sec. Did that just end Hagel's chances?”

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