Video: Blumenthal won’t commit to voting for Hagel

posted at 9:01 am on January 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Another Democrat refused to offer a vote of confidence in Defense nominee Chuck Hagel yesterday.  Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that he wants to “reserve judgment” on Hagel, and expressed disappointment with colleagues who have immediately and irrevocably decided on their positions without first hearing from Hagel.  However, Blumenthal has significant concerns about Hagel’s record and wants answers to a number of questions arising from them (via The Corner):

Blumenthal predicted Hagel would get his confirmation, although not from Hagel’s answers or record but based on the history of nominations and confirmations.  That history does show that Presidents normally get the benefit of the doubt, but it’s not a slam dunk, either.  John Tower once sat in Hagel’s seat, nominated by George H. W. Bush, and ended up on the wrong end of a 47-53 vote on confirmation. Tower was also known for antagonizing members of the upper chamber when he served in his four terms in the Senate, and the “club” didn’t come to his rescue in the end. Dick Cheney ended up with the job.

At any rate, Blumenthal doesn’t sound like he’ll oppose Hagel in the end, but this was hardly a vote of confidence in Obama’s choice to lead Defense.  If Chuck Schumer ends up opposing Hagel, Blumenthal could end up following his lead, too.  It again raises the question of just how much groundwork the White House did with its fellow Democrats before making this decision, because whatever was done certainly looks pretty ineffective now.  The most robust defense of Hagel in the past two weeks came from Colin Powell, who won’t get a vote.

Update, 1/15/13: I originally wrote that Caspar Weinberger was the second choice for Bush 41′s SecDef, but Weinberger was Reagan’s final SecDef.  It was Dick Cheney who ended up with the job.  Thanks to reader David G for the correction.


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Being a Viet Nam veteran, he understands the importance of having a good SECDEF. Why, when he was in the bush, the leadership in Washington almost got him and him men killed.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM

him and his men …

More coffee

Bishop

Should leave now

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM

The ol…”I have to appear objective, but will vote the way the party tells me”, line…

right2bright on January 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Why, when he was in the bush, the leadership in Washington almost got him and him men killed.

hawkdriver on January 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM

See, it’s always Bush’s fault…

right2bright on January 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Total shallow comment

He is just so creepy.

gophergirl on January 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Blumenthal and other Democrats like Schumer will fold like a lawn-chair in a hurricane.

My prediction; all these folks making noise now will later say they are “satisfied” with Hagel’s answers and “private assurances”.

Liberalism clearly trumps a commitment to stamp out antisemitism.

Two-thirds of the Jewish vote went to Mr. Obama. In many states that made a critical difference to his reelection.

So why the big surprise? Ben Stein said it best;

1.) Most American Jews clearly supported Mr. Obama in his bid for President against a GOP that has been an incomparably stronger supporter of Israel than the modern-day Democrat party. If one is to judge from the stony faces at the DNC whenever Israel was mentioned, and the fervent support of Iran on those same faces, one can clearly see who was Israel’s friend and who was not. Never mind, Barack Obama got two thirds of the Jewish vote. That was decisive in Florida, Virginia, and Ohio. Barack Obama’s most productive fund-raisers, especially at the “millionaires and billionaires” level that Mr. Obama supposedly hates so much, were almost unanimously Jews. How they are going to square this with Senator Hagel’s nomination to a post that is of life or death importance to Israel is anyone’s guess.

Marcus Traianus on January 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Caspar Weinberger ended up with the job.

Weinberger was SecDef in the Reagan administration. The person whom Bush 41 appointed SecDef in place of Tower was Dick Cheney.

J.S.K. on January 14, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Let me just make a wild guess that we’ll see the dog roll over on his back again and Mister Secretary will be in Chuck’s resume’. The mutt seems to just want to eat and poop in the yard.

Limerick on January 14, 2013 at 9:25 AM

My prediction; all these folks making noise now will later say they are “satisfied” with Hagel’s answers and “private assurances”.

Marcus Traianus on January 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM

I think a lot will depend on just what those answers are. Keep in mind this is as much as sending a message to Israel that they can go to Hell and to Iran and Hamas that help is on the way. Hagel is going have to do some serious tap dancing to get the job but the real question is how much political capital the rat-eared wonder wants to expend on this nomination.

American Jews may be Obama lovers but I think some of them might finally be waking up to the reality of having a Muslim-named Jew hater in the White House.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Grandpappy Bishop once said to me: “Listen here you little piece of crap, never trust a man whose face looks as if it were stretched over a cantaloupe.

I’ve heeded those words my entire life.

Bishop on January 14, 2013 at 9:29 AM

If Chuck Schumer ends up opposing Hagel, Blumenthal could end up following his lead, too.

…does he wear a leash?…does he baaaaah like a sheep too?
How come he is so much taller than his nanny brother?

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM

I think a lot will depend on just what those answers are.

What do you think he will say? Hagel wants the job. He will simply say he was “misunderstood”.

American Jews may be Obama lovers but I think some of them might finally be waking up to the reality of having a Muslim-named Jew hater in the White House.

Nonsense.

American Jews have separated themselves from Israel and her existential priorities. They’ve swapped them for Liberalism and parochial priorities which are diametrically opposed to this countries fundamental principles.

In the process, American Jews have lost both my support and sympathy. You reap what you sow. Enjoy the harvest, without my helping hands.

Marcus Traianus on January 14, 2013 at 10:15 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI7Hu6LcuWI

diogenes on January 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM

If reptilian aliens landed on earth with the goal of infiltrating human society to take it over, but weren’t quite able to get the look down – they would look like this guy. He makes my skin crawl.

Kungfoochimp on January 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

I wish that those truly concerned about America’s security take a close look at the inspiration behind this nomination: To make Obama appear “bi-partsan”. As with everything Emperor Øligula touches, it is strictly OPTICS.
“Vietnam Vet” doesn’t mean squat to me. So are AlGore and Jean Kerée.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM