The latest on Hagel

Article Highlights

  • Seems impossible that Obama will go with Hagel in the face of opposition from #Frank, #Engel, & others

    Tweet This

  • Is Hagel nomination worth the paltry political capital now in the president’s hands?

    Tweet This

  • There are many other than Hagel who would serve with distinction at the helm of an Obama Pentagon.

    Tweet This

I am hearing around town that Chuck Hagel could get the nod for the SecDef nomination as early as Monday. (I’m also hearing he’s about to get dumped.) Seems almost impossible that Obama will go with him in the face of opposition from outgoing Dem icon Barney Frank, incoming House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Eliot Engel, and Senators too numerous to list… But this is Barack Obama. But perhaps he’s more swayed by the accolades of 9/11 truthers, Iranian state owned Press TV, and that well-known Democrat Pat Buchanan.

Is this a wise choice for the president? For some, as David Greenberg so elegantly wrote in yesterday’s Daily Beast, it is enough that the likes of Bill Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz oppose Hagel. For others, Hagel’s antipathy toward Israel is a sufficient credential for any cabinet posting. And for reflexive new-isolationists and libertarians, it is surely endearing that Hagel opposes all military action, everywhere, anytime. But Barack Obama has other problems to solve. He has a debt limit to negotiate; he has sequestration to fuss over in just under 60 days. He has an economy on the ropes. Is this the fight he wishes to have? Is it worth the paltry political capital now in the president’s hands? Because it will take capital. The GOP is unlikely to go for the apostate from their ranks. Liberal Democrats will rightly ask why someone willing to jettison his first party won’t be just as quick to screw his new one. And then there’s Israel, Iran, and Hagel’s shaky management credentials.

There are many who would serve with distinction at the helm of an Obama Pentagon. As Bill Kristol writes in today’s Standard, there’s “Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, and former Undersecretary for Policy Michèle Flournoy […]Richard Danzig, John Hamre, and Joseph Nye[,] Olympia Snowe, Sam Nunn, Dick Gephardt, and Bill Bradley.” We could probably add a few. Is Hagel truly better than these men and women? Um, no.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

What's new on AEI

Defeating ISIS: AEI experts weigh-in before the president’s address on Wednesday
image Degrading, defeating, and destroying the Islamic State
image Wealth Building Home Loan: Building wealth through homeownership and retirement savings
image The $3 iPhone
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 15
    MON
  • 16
    TUE
  • 17
    WED
  • 18
    THU
  • 19
    FRI
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.