Corker: Say, that Hagel’s got quite a temper, eh?

posted at 5:01 pm on January 13, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

We’ve spent plenty of time covering the litany of complaints being raised against Chuck Hagel’s nomination for SecDef based on various policy positions he’s taken or past comments he’s made. But now a different and less discussed – though already well known – aspect of his past is bubbling back to the surface. During the round of Sunday morning shows, Senator Bob Corker weighed in, asking whether Hagel has the proper temperament for an upper level management position.

Raising concerns about former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary, Sen. Bob Corker said Sunday the former Nebraska senator’s temperament should be explored in his confirmation hearings.

“There are number of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about how he dealt with them,” Corker said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, said the Senate hearings should consider Hagel’s management skills and determine whether he’d be capable of running the Pentagon.

Corker wasn’t the only one, though. A report from Commentary Magazine takes a very similar tone.

This isn’t a surprise, considering Hagel’s reputation as a difficult boss who often castigated his staffers in public (in Adam Kredo’s story on this, Michael Rubin dubbed Hagel “the Cornhusker wears Prada”). Apparently he didn’t treat his fellow senators much better.

But on the Hill, where being a team player matters, Hagel’s abrasive personality wasn’t his only problem. Eli Lake reports that his mercurial temperament has also irritated the GOP

When anyone in any line of work spends long enough in a senior leadership position – even running a Senate office – there are bound to be a couple of staffers over the years who run into trouble and wind up leaving with some sour grapes to sell. But if it turns out to be a repeating pattern, this is certainly a valid cause for concern when selecting somebody as a cabinet member. Like it or not, personnel management and general “people skills” are an important aspect of the position.

Whether this turns out to be a truly crippling factor will depend on what comes out during the confirmation process. If it’s one or two people, this will probably be disregarded. But if opponents can line up a long enough parade of witnesses to this “mercurial temper” then it could turn into an excuse for some wavering yes votes to swing the other way.


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Al-Jezeera loves him.

Schadenfreude on January 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Poster child for repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment.

RedPepper on January 13, 2013 at 5:26 PM

and why should we care what one beltway tool has to say about another?

back to football.

renalin on January 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I have a lot of political differences with Hagel but I tend to agree with Pat Buchanan to some extent with regard to his foreign policy. Here’s an excerpt, click on the link for the rest.

Is Hagel Out of the Mainstream?

“Chuck Hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking … on most issues regarding foreign policy,” says GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. Neocon William Kristol concurs: Hagel is “out on the fringes.”

But where, exactly, is the mainstream on foreign policy in 2013?

Since the Bush II years, “the three amigos” – Sens. Graham, John McCain, and Joe Lieberman – have clamored for new wars.

“We are all Georgians now!” thundered McCain when Vladimir Putin was thrashing the Georgians for attacking South Ossetia.

“Bomb, bomb, bomb – bomb, bomb Iran,” trilled McCain in 2008 in parody of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”

Ten days ago, McCain, Graham and Lieberman urged the U.S. to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, provide weapons to the rebels and send Patriot missile batteries to protect northern Syria. And what has been the response to their calls for air strikes and new wars? The sound of silence.

George W. Bush ignored McCain on Georgia, and in 2008 McCain was crushed by a dovish Democrat who had opposed the Iraq War.

Like Hagel, who voted for the Iraq War, a majority of Americans have come to believe that 8-year war was a mistake. Even some neocons have expressed second thoughts.

Obama pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq and is pulling them out of Afghanistan, and he won easy re-election over the more hawkish Mitt Romney. And has anyone heard any echo of the amigos’ call to plunge into Syria’s civil war, outside the editorial pages of The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and the little magazines of the neocons?

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Hagel’s a perfect fit for you.

thebrokenrattle on January 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Remember John Bolton? Issues of temperment sunk his cofirmation to the UN Ambassador job, thanks to RINOs like George Voinovich treating D accusations as credible. Just saying, it’s a convenient refuge for those who disagree with his policy and don’t want to say so.

osogrande on January 13, 2013 at 5:55 PM

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM

…he could have a dog on the roof…his wife could own just to eat horses…and you would like ANYBODY JugEars would pick!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

He’s inept , incompetent and an …….o kiss butt .
End of story .

Lucano on January 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
The only reason I care is because this Tool has an R behind his name, so any f**k ups attributed to said Tool will come back to the party, which is laying on the bottom of the ocean of Boner’s tears and just needs an explosion to finish the job.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

RovesChins on January 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Hagel is an inept, unqualified dolt with absolutely no qualifications to be secretary of defense. I see they drug out Powell to speak on his behalf and trash the Republican Party. Powell has long since lost any credibility as a conservative or a Republican and is nothing more than another left wing shill. They had better stop Hagel and not allow him to subject our great military to his incompetence and distorted view of the world.

rplat on January 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

thebrokenrattle on January 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Neocons have been trying to stir a rebellion against Hagel for a few weeks without success. If you’d like to know why they have failed then read Pat Buchannan’s piece linked to above, the evidence seems to be on his side.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Hagel is an inept, unqualified dolt with absolutely no qualifications to be secretary of defense

So you think he shouldn’t be confirmed?

Remember, we’re talking about a Barack Obama nominee here. Room for improvement is slim. Remember, this guy brought Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, and Van Jones into his cabinet.

Personally, the more I read about Hagel, the more I support his candidacy. Mere bad policy isn’t enough to get the attention of the low information voter, as we’ve seen. A explosive clownfraud like Hagel fits the bill.

HitNRun on January 13, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Obama pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq and is pulling them out of Afghanistan

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I mostly agree with your comment, but it sould be noted that Obama withdrew troops from Iraq on the Bush/Maliki status of forces schedule, not the 16 months that he had repeatedly promised in 2008 when campaigning. As to Afcrapistan, Barack “LBJ” Obama escalated American troop levels from Bush’s 43,000 all the way up to 100,000 and is still above the Bush levels. And he has gotten more than twice as many American troops killed in Afcrapistan as Bush did … … and in half the time.

VorDaj on January 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

thebrokenrattle on January 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Neocons have been trying to stir a rebellion against Hagel for a few weeks without success. If you’d like to know why they have failed then read Pat Buchannan’s piece linked to above, the evidence seems to be on his side.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Hey, been meaning to ask. How’d that Barry Johnson thing work out for you?

RovesChins on January 13, 2013 at 6:43 PM

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Pat Buchanan at lewrockwell.com? You make me giggle, sir.

thebrokenrattle on January 13, 2013 at 6:55 PM

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

I’m reading a book about old Pat by William F. Buckley right now. You should check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/In-Search-Anti-Semitism-William-Buckley/dp/0826405835

thebrokenrattle on January 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

I mostly agree with your comment

VorDaj on January 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

That’s cool, but just for the record the part you quoted was from Pat Buchanan’s article.

You’re right, Obama did withdraw troops from Iraq according to Bush’s time table. Obama can’t claim credit for anything good that comes from it, but what good did come from it? What did we gain by the war in Iraq? Iraq didn’t attack us on 9/11, if anything it was Pakistan, and after wasting so much blood and treasure in Iraq all we’ve done is bankrupt ourselves and hand it over to Iran, leaving Pakistan unscathed—while they harbored Bin Laden for all these years— and now the neocons are allied with Al Qaeda in Libya and Syria and denigrate conservative defense hawks who oppose our alliance with terrorists and Islamists.

Nobody cares what neocons thinks anymore, they have discredited themselves, and that’s why nobody cares what they think about Hagel. I think most Republicans count themselves luck that Obama didn’t pick somebody a lot worse, like a neocon.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

I’m not a Hagel fan but better him than McCain, Lindsey Grahamnesty, Rubio or Lieberman.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I have a bigger problem with the Lew for Treasury nomination and the Brennan CIA nomination.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

I’m not a Hagel fan but better him than McCain, Lindsey Grahamnesty, Rubio or Lieberman.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM

…could have fooled me!…for all these months…I thought you were just a FloatingRock fan!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

If you’ve been in Washington DC a while and haven’t yelled at someone, you’re a sluggish bureaucrat or a sycophant. True, bosses who are continually abrasive do have something wrong with their psyche, but given that trying to get things done in DC is like pushing jello, I don’t see it as a fatal flaw unless excessive.

strongerthandirt on January 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I have a bigger problem with the Lew for Treasury nomination and the Brennan CIA nomination.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

…ditto!

KOOLAID2 on January 13, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Yeah,he can anger the troops in line.

jake49 on January 13, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Hagels outbursts are well known in DC. Off the record, most of the people(staffers, lobbyists,etc) I came into contact with, called him senator SOB. What is not being said, is many who worked with him, see something”off” about him. My wife calls him “a strange bird”. If this line of questions starts to dominate, then Hagel is in for a very rough time.

flackcatcher on January 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Another dimwitted Senator who has been posing as thoughtful.Like most dimwits with power (think Obama), he hides his stupidity and ignorance behind a wall of anger. Truly this man is as intellectual as that Akin fool.

pat on January 13, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Whatever weakens Amerikka.

Obama’s credo.

Hagel is one more tool in that box.

profitsbeard on January 13, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Short-tempered, stupid, untrustworthy, and inconsistent. Somebody cancel his concealed-carry permit. He sounds like someone who is destined to end up on the news for the wrong reasons.

Jaibones on January 13, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Hagel? He is certainly of the same class of anti-semites, tax-cheats, criminals, liars, morons, race-hustlers, and misogynists that big “O” surrounds himself with as to appear competent.

trl on January 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM

I think most Republicans count themselves luck that Obama didn’t pick somebody a lot worse, like a neocon.

FloatingRock on January 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Like McCain or Graham? Yes, that would probably be worse in most ways.

VorDaj on January 14, 2013 at 1:08 AM

Hagels outbursts are well known in DC. Off the record, most of the people(staffers, lobbyists,etc) I came into contact with, called him senator SOB. What is not being said, is many who worked with him, see something”off” about him. My wife calls him “a strange bird”. If this line of questions starts to dominate, then Hagel is in for a very rough time.

flackcatcher on January 13, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Hagel sounds a lot like McCain in personality then.

VorDaj on January 14, 2013 at 1:10 AM

““F##K YOU!!! I know more about this than anyone else in the room!!! – John McCain (to fellow Republican Senators on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”)

VorDaj on January 14, 2013 at 1:13 AM