50/50 odds that Hagel withdraws?

posted at 4:21 pm on February 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

I’m skeptical, but if a guy who’s been reporting on foreign affairs for 30 years (with a Pulitzer to his name) is willing to go out on a limb like this, he must have good reason.

I don’t think that a Hagel exit would hurt President Obama much. SecDef nominees have blown up on the launch pad before: Remember John Tower (picked by the first President Bush) and Bobby Inman (picked by President Clinton to replace Les Aspin)? Interestingly, both were succeeded as nominees by men who went on to be very successful stewards of the military establishment: Dick Cheney and William Perry. Calling Michèle Flournoy?

The prospect of a Hagel regime at DOD is a real problem now because the next SecDef will need to do two things: Work with Congress to reduce the defense budget thoughtfully, and work with the military to re-shape the military to make it relevant to future conflict. At the moment, Hagel appears to lack the political capital to do the former, as well as the intellectual appetite to do the latter.

Bottom line: Every business day that the Senate Armed Services Committee doesn’t vote to send the nomination to the full Senate, I think the likelihood of Hagel becoming defense secretary declines by about 2 percent.

Carl Levin, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, grumbled yesterday about the GOP’s demands for more info on Hagel’s speeches and foreign funders, which includes, allegedly, a group called “Friends of Hamas.” Levin promised to hold a vote on the nomination as soon as possible but, tellingly, hasn’t set a date yet, which gives Hagel more time to twist in the wind and maybe rethink things. (Then again, nominees have been confirmed before after enduring committee delays.) Withdrawal is the only semi-elegant way out for The One, assuming he wants out: Democrats will dutifully confirm him if Obama insists, and he’s not about to humiliate his pal Chuck by yanking the nomination. His best hope is for a GOP filibuster since that would tank the nomination and give Dems an opportunity to bloviate about Republicans’ unconscionable, unprecedented, irresponsible blocking of a presidential yadda yadda yadda. But so far the GOP’s been cagey about that, replete with McCain insisting that Hagel should be given an up or down vote. It’s a testament to how dismal a nominee Hagel is that lefty Michael Tomasky is all but begging McCain to change his mind and call for a filibuster so that we can move on to a qualified nominee like Michele Flournoy while laying this mess at Republicans’ feet.

One hitch about Hagel’s withdrawal, though. It’s true that O’s not above shoving prospective nominees towards the door while allowing them a face-saving withdrawal — see, e.g., Susan Rice, who “withdrew” from consideration a week after someone else had quietly been offered the job — but how does a guy who’s already been nominated save face? If he was prepared to serve and is only quitting now, after a disastrous hearing, then obviously he’s quitting out of embarrassment. Richly deserved embarrassment, to be sure, but still. There’s no easy way out.


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Dunce. Can I say that?

Paul-Cincy on February 8, 2013 at 4:23 PM

50/50 odds that Hagel withdraws?

Don’t be ridiculous Allahpundit, Hagel isn’t that bright…

SWalker on February 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

If it’s true as people have speculated that Obama wants Hagel in there as a Republican frontman for his gutting of the military, then I don’t see him withdrawing. At least not at Obama’s behest.

Doughboy on February 8, 2013 at 4:26 PM

If he does withdraw, he must really have something to hide in those financial disclosures he stonewalled on.

portlandon on February 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: don’t block Hagel. Let him through.

His nomination angers abortionists, gays, and AIPAC — all clasically left-wing groups. His past record gives the GOP talking points on social issues, and his clear ineptitude will allow him to be a punching bag when he screws up, which in turn hurts Obama.

If Hagel’s going to sink, let the Democrats do it.

Stoic Patriot on February 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

50/50 his IQ is less than 50.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

It would be terribly embarassing if he doesn’t withdraw…
If he can’t divulge the source and amount of his income, he is not qualified for the job…

d1carter on February 8, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Hagel appears to lack the political capital to do the former, as well as the intellectual appetite to do the latter.

LOLz! put some ice on that chuck!

ted c on February 8, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Stand up down, Chuck!

steebo77 on February 8, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Nope. Not a chance.

rrpjr on February 8, 2013 at 4:33 PM

please please please let it be true.

22044 on February 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Friends of Hamas? What the…seriously?

O_o

What next, Friends of Level 3 Predators?

Bishop on February 8, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Stoic Patriot on February 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Agreed! Give 0 what he wants for the DOD.

Let
It
Burn

iurockhead on February 8, 2013 at 4:37 PM

This is promising – unless the new guy is even worse. Not sure how that would be possible though.

In other news – Rand Paul is giving the Tea Party response to the SOTU. The plot thickens…

gophergirl on February 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

In other news – Rand Paul is giving the Tea Party response to the SOTU. The plot thickens…

gophergirl on February 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Now that is interesting??? Thanks GG

CoffeeLover on February 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

What next, Friends of Level 3 Predators?

Bishop on February 8, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Actually, the Church of Satan.

steebo77 on February 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM

50/50 odds that Hagel withdraws?

…oh oh!…did he get stuck in JugEars?

KOOLAID2 on February 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Maxine Waters to be next.

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2013 at 4:54 PM

In other news – Rand Paul is giving the Tea Party response to the SOTU. The plot thickens…

gophergirl on February 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I get that Paul and Rubio will likely be facing off in 3 years for the GOP nomination, but this sounds like overkill.

Doughboy on February 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

His dealings with the muzzies are not allowed to see the light.

Sunshine destroys mold.

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM

In other news – Rand Paul is giving the Tea Party response to the SOTU. The plot thickens…

gophergirl on February 8, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Exposes the faux tea-partier. Wasn’t Rubio the tea party wunderkind?

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Hagel has this essential problem with his recorded views/comments: He is not black, ergo no free pass.

trl on February 8, 2013 at 5:32 PM

If he withdraws the Media will compare it to Bork. If he does not pass with 75 yeas he will be the SecDef until the 114th congress is in via Recces appointment.

tjexcite on February 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM

I’m on record on twitter days ago saying Hagel won’t make it to the State of the Union speech. I stand by that statement.

HopeHeFails on February 8, 2013 at 5:51 PM

If he doesn’t get in he could lose some friends in Hamas.

BL@KBIRD on February 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Some further reasons to stop the Hagel nomination for SecDef in its tracks.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/340169/hagel-toast-andrew-c-mccarthy

onlineanalyst on February 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Can anyone explain to me the motive Obama has to appoint Hagel to SecDef? A reach across the isle? Conservatives hate him. I mean, why appoint a dirty RINO when you have your pick of full-tilt leftists? None of this has made any sense to me.

stefanite on February 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

@stefanite on February 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Obama’s reasons for nominating Hagel:

Hagel’s past positions on Israel, Iran, and the military exactly match Obama’s poorly hidden positions. Even though Hagel ran squealing from those positions readily enough, Obama knows where his heart is.

Hagel is a yes-man, and his loyalty is for sale to the highest bidder.*

Hagel is stupid, so there are no higher bidders than Obama.

Hagel is nominally a Republican, so Obama gets someone who a) doesn’t remove a Democrat from a seat anywhere, b) puts the shinola of ‘bipartisanship’ on the choice, and c) Allows Obama to say “See, I’m not so radical. Even some Republicans believe these things.”

Hagel would be the first enlisted military man to be SecDef, Obama likes cheap ‘Firsts!’. There’s reasons why enlisted men, although they are the backbone of our military service, are not usually the first choice to run the military, but Obama hasn’t a clue about them.

(*Some rich Republican Capitalist should offer Hagel a well paying do-nothing job. He’d back out in a flash.)

starboardhelm on February 8, 2013 at 6:52 PM

stefanite on February 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

starboardhelm on February 8, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Or even more simply;

“Bipartisan” cover for gutting the military and throwing Israel under the Jihadist bus.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 8, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Two words: “Jim Webb”

myiq2xu on February 8, 2013 at 8:56 PM

No filibuster, let Obama own this.

Daemonocracy on February 8, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Exposes the faux tea-partier. Wasn’t Rubio the tea party wunderkind?

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

And still is according to the “durr-hurr you luv Stormfront when are yew gonna set up a rebel command center” liberal troll JFKY.

That should tell you just about all you need to know about both Rube-io and his fanbase. I expect the difference between his and Rand’s speeches to be nothing short of striking.

MelonCollie on February 8, 2013 at 10:38 PM

It’s because he’s stupid that he will be confirmed.

Cindy Munford on February 9, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Heads up on John Brennan

Much, much more

Shy Guy on February 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM