Certainly support for Chuck Hagel isn’t intensifying, not after the weak defense offered for the Defense nominee over the weekend. Republicans had mostly decided to oppose Chuck Hagel’s confirmation even before Thursday’s confirmation hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee, so “opposition” isn’t exactly news. But will Republicans filibuster Hagel? Mitch McConnell isn’t quite ready to say (via TWS’ Daniel Halper):
“Senator Hagel did not do a very good job before the Armed Services Committee this week,” said McConnell to reporters. “I think the opposition to him is intensifying. Whether that means he will end up having to achieve 60 votes or 51 is not clear yet.”
Jen Rubin notes that Hagel only got weak-tea support on other Sunday talk shows, too:
There was this embarrassing exchange on CNN’s “State of the Union”:
CANDY CROWLEY: So you all thought he seemed well prepared?
LEON PANETTA: I think — I know Chuck Hagel. And I think he’s got good experience with regards to public service. He understands the issues of the Defense Department. I think he’ll be a great secretary of defense.
Jen also points to this exchange with General Martin Dempsey:
DEMPSEY: Well, I’m not going to grade his homework. But I will say that in my conversations with him, he was well prepared, articulate, concise …
TODD: And you’re confident that he can do the job?
DEMPSEY: I’m not going to speak about confidence. He’s – he could be my boss. And then when is the last time you saw a subordinate discuss their confidence in their potential boss? But I think he’s got great credentials. My personal contacts with him have been very positive. And if he’s confirmed, I look forward to working with him.
And those are the people sent out by the administration to defend Hagel.
Will Republicans pull the trigger on a filibuster? I’m not yet convinced, but they have a pretty good case to make for one after that confirmation hearing.