Cardin: Hagel has a lot of questions to answer

posted at 12:01 pm on January 8, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Democrats in the Senate certainly expressed considerable skepticism and some opposition to the idea of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense before Barack Obama made the nomination official. Yesterday, we saw some movement within Obama’s party to close ranks, but nothing significant except Barney Frank’s forgiveness for Hagel’s remarks about James Hormel in 1998 being “aggressively gay.” And that may be the extent to which Obama has succeeded in generating unity around a fait accompli, gauging from Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-MD) appearance on CNN this morning.  Cardin was less forgiving about the Hormel remark, and even less so about Hagel’s position on Iran, as he explained at length to Soledad O’Brien (via Weekly Standard and Washington Free Beacon):

In other words, Cardin wasn’t moved at all from his somewhat skeptical stance yesterday, before the appointment was made official.  Cardin gives Hagel praise on a personal level, but clearly isn’t enthused about the prospect of voting to make him Secretary of Defense.  Cardin tells O’Brien that Hagel is “not who I would prefer to see as Secretary of Defense,” and that Hagel will have to answer a number of questions before winning Cardin’s vote — pointedly, whether Hagel would follow orders if the US decided to use a military option against Iran.  That’s a rather insulting question, but one that Hagel’s record on sanctions and foreign policy regarding Iran leaves open.  Cardin also raises the question of Hagel’s insistence on negotiations with terrorist groups, without prompting from O’Brien, as open issues in his mind on Hagel’s qualifications.

O’Brien asks him toward the end whether Hagel will get confirmed.  Cardin responds by saying that while Presidents should have the benefit of the doubt when it comes to appointments, Hagel’s nomination raises too many questions to know now whether he should be confirmed or not.  That’s hardly a vote of confidence, and it may be a warning shot across the White House bow that they’d better have a Plan B in place.

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First question to be asked during confirmation hearing: “Would you restore DADT?” Let him sweat.

Archivarix on January 8, 2013 at 12:03 PM

That’s hardly a vote of confidence, and it may be a warning shot across the White House bow that they’d better have a Plan B in place.

Uh oh. I hope Obama doesn’t consult Boehner on how to craft a Plan B.

Doughboy on January 8, 2013 at 12:06 PM

The real issue is that the MSM is trying to paint the opposition to Hagel as GOP based, when there are more Dem Senators who have a problem with him.

Tater Salad on January 8, 2013 at 12:07 PM

O’Brien was polite and professional. That’s odd.

forest on January 8, 2013 at 12:10 PM

LOL, Let the Democrats spin this:

As Senate Candidate, Hagel Opposed Abortion Even In Cases Of Rape Because It Was “Rare”

http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/as-senate-candidate-hagel-opposed-abortion-even-i

sentinelrules on January 8, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Ben Cardin is a bigger embarrassment than Martin O’Malley.

He will sign off on whatever Obama wants every single time.

Gatsu on January 8, 2013 at 12:11 PM

O’Brien was polite and professional. That’s odd.

forest on January 8, 2013 at 12:10 PM

She was interviewing a Democrat

Tater Salad on January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM


O’Brien was polite and professional. That’s odd.

Cardin is a progressive Democrat and so far a reliable water-carrier for the White House.

casuist on January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

notice how soledad is not so confrontational with the dem….interesting….
she would be interrupting him left and right if there was an R next to his name

cmsinaz on January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

and that Hagel will have to answer a number of questions before winning Cardin’s vote — pointedly, whether Hagel would follow orders if the US decided to use a military option against Iran. That’s a rather insulting question, but one that Hagel’s record on sanctions and foreign policy regarding Iran leaves open.

Interventionism: the foreign policy of progressivism.

Dante on January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Hmm, so that’s what Ben Cardin looks like.

Angineer on January 8, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Yesterday, we saw some movement within Obama’s party to close ranks, but nothing significant except Barney Frank’s forgiveness for Hagel’s remarks about James Hormel in 1998 being “aggressively gay.”

Only because Frank wants the Kerry Senate seat, if he were already in the Senate, there would be “hell to pay” for the comment.

Tater Salad on January 8, 2013 at 12:15 PM

because he has shrapnel in his chest he must be secretary

?????????

cmsinaz on January 8, 2013 at 12:16 PM

she would be interrupting him left and right if there was an R next to his name

cmsinaz on January 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM

FIFY

sauldalinsky on January 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

sauldalinsky on January 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM

thanks :)

cmsinaz on January 8, 2013 at 12:21 PM

I couldn’t bring myself to clink on the link and have to listen to that preening media whore spew lie after lie. I can’t stand Soledad O’Brien either.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Eff sake, our country is being led by complete idiots in both parties. Allen West was our last hope.

OT-looks like Soledad has lost weight. As much as I despise that obnoxious Obama-bot non-journalist, I thought she was cuter when she was chubbier. Am I the only dude out there who likes chicks with some curves? She looks like a skeleton now. What are you going to grab onto?

WhatSlushfund on January 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM

I couldn’t bring myself to clink on the link and have to listen to that preening media whore spew lie after lie. I can’t stand Soledad O’Brien either.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Heh. Good one.

I can’t believe Brien O’Soledad still has a job. Aren’t there some real journalists out there looking for decent jobs?

Oh, wait…. this is CNN we’re talking about here.

UltimateBob on January 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM

The hypocrisy can’t go without note.

Hagel is treated as a war hero and any question about his loyalty and integrity based on his statements in the Senate and elsewhere is somehow an attack on his war record. Same goes for John Kerry who was working with anarchists, socialists, and other far-left groups after his rather questionable war record and the same held true that somehow much was to be glossed over because of Kerry’s time pretending to be an officer and gentleman. They made portrayed draft dodging as honorable when Bill Clinton did it because of his cowardice but smeared Cheney for taking the same exemption that anybody would have.

Yet, the same media did not extend that courtesy to John McCain who was a POW and they actually faked documents to try and attack GWB’s time in the National Guard.

My point is this. Hagel should be judged on his record since his time in military without benefit of a “get out of hating Israel free” card for having once done something honorable and brave even though he is a worthless liberal traitor unworthy of any high public office by his statements and actions not his war record.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Just as all interventionism isn’t good, all interventionism isn’t bad.

Whether we like it or not, America need allies and alliances. And trying to influence the conduct of other nations towards us and our interests is a must.

If that’s interventionism then so be it.

SteveMG on January 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

This was a pretty superficial interview. We have questions about our force structure, military spending in a time of big deficits, the use of drones, the rise of Asian powers especially China, et cetera.

Ms. O’Brien was incapable of discussing any of that.

SteveMG on January 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

If that’s interventionism then so be it.

SteveMG on January 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Dante keeps throwing the term interventionism around even though he doesn’t have a clue what it means. There is a huge difference between interventionism and engagement and, yet, the squirrel that powers the wheel in Dante’s skull cavity never makes such distinctions. If it were up to Dante, all Europe would be speaking German, all Asia would be speaking Japanese, and Neville Chamberlain or Vidkun Quisling would be considered international heros.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

This was a pretty superficial interview. We have questions about our force structure, military spending in a time of big deficits, the use of drones, the rise of Asian powers especially China, et cetera.

Ms. O’Brien was incapable of discussing any of that.

SteveMG on January 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Ben Cardin is as stupid as O’Brien. There is no point in a mediocre “journalist” asking such questions of a Baltimore street thug. We can only hope that Hagel will be grilled on such issues during his confirmation hearings. I’ve said it from the outset of this nomination being rumored. The DoD needs a professional whose career has been in the defense industry or national security. We do not need another political hack like Leon Panetta. Hard budgeting and strategic decisions are ahead during this next term and the rat-eared wonder nominated just another career politician.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Dante keeps throwing the term interventionism around even though he doesn’t have a clue what it means

Yes, he does seem to be a bit liberal with the phrase. Military intervention? Okay, we need to be more careful. But aid and alliances? That’s different.

But his point isn’t all bad. Our committments can’t exceed our resources and when we intervene – militarily or otherwise – we are favoring one side against another. And that engenders a backlash.

I’m as big of a defender of Israel as anyone. But some of its policies are wrong and some of its actions can’t be defended. That’s not why there’s no peace, of course. The abscence of peace in the Middle East is because the other nations simply don’t want Israel to exist. Period.

Realism has its limits. Sometimes we need to hold our noses when we venture in the world. But realism as a deliberate policy – and not one borne out of necessity – simply won’t work.

SteveMG on January 8, 2013 at 1:10 PM

This is the nobody then Lt. Gov. Michael Steele lost to simply because he had a (D) next to name. Didn’t help the Repubs were having a bad year too.

heretic on January 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Dante keeps throwing the term interventionism around even though he doesn’t have a clue what it means. There is a huge difference between interventionism and engagement and, yet, the squirrel that powers the wheel in Dante’s skull cavity never makes such distinctions. If it were up to Dante, all Europe would be speaking German, all Asia would be speaking Japanese, and Neville Chamberlain or Vidkun Quisling would be considered international heros.

Happy Nomad on January 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

WWII wouldn’t have happened if not for WWI (and America’s interventionism into both wouldn’t have been possible without the Federal Reserve and the income tax, which both came into being under Wilson and just before America inserted itself into war).. Both Wilson and FDR desired war. Regardless, this was exactly the foreign entanglements Washington cautioned against in his farewell address. Europe is not part of the United States, neither is China or Japan. The progressives – Wilson and FDR – sought war and got it, and here you are defending progressivism.

Dante on January 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Is there a dumber woman on TV than that one?

Sure, Mika

Schadenfreude on January 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM

(via Weekly Standard and Washington Free Beacon)

LOL. We should just call it Bill Kristol Inc. since he controls both publications.

Punchenko on January 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM

isn’t chuck hagel the senator that wanted to ban abortions in the case of rape?

is that the same guy that democrat president b. Hussein obama nominated to his cabinet?

how do you leftards square that?

tom daschle concerned on January 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Yesterday, we saw some movement within Obama’s party to close ranks, but nothing significant except Barney Frank’s forgiveness for Hagel’s remarks about James Hormel in 1998 being “aggressively gay.”

…Barney wants to do him!

KOOLAID2 on January 8, 2013 at 9:23 PM