Below is what Rich Galen had to say. You may know him from his appearances on Fox News and other news channels. He is a conservative Jew whom we would have expected to support Hagel and he did, at least until today. Galen writes a three-times-a-week blog known as Mullings.
Here is what he had to say:
"shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint � Officers of the United States."
I may not agree with Hagel on the 3 I's - Iran, Iraq, and Israel - but we don't generally allow Secretaries of Defense to make foreign policy. Nor, for that matter, do Secretaries of State make foreign policy.
Among other things, Hagel once said that Members of Congress were "intimidated" by what he called the "Jewish Lobby." Hagel opposed the concept of the surge in Iraq that, no matter what you think about the totality of the adventure, certainly stabilized that country enough for the U.S. to get out.
"co-authored [a study] last year that called for an 80 percent cut in U.S. nuclear weapons, and elimination of all nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles."
Even with all that, my thinking, though shaken, remained on the side of giving the President the Cabinet Secretaries he wants.
Yesterday Chuck Hagel spent eight hours in a Senate Office building essentially denying everything he has written and/or said since before he campaigned with Barack Obama in 2008.
The Twitterverse was bubbling with hallway comments of Republican and Democratic Senators who were "shocked" at how badly he was performing.
"One senator who is undecided but was not at the Armed Services Committee hearing says it is 'all the talk - I mean all the talk.' Fellow senators are 'shocked' by how ill prepared Hagel seemed for basic questions about controversial comments he has made, this senator said.
But that wasn't enough. Hagel didn't have very good answers to what appear to be reversals in position on issue after issue.
At one point he said he supports the Administration's concept of "containment" when it comes to Iran getting nuclear weapons.
That is most assuredly not the Administration's position on Iran's nukes. The position is denying Iran nuclear weapons, not containing them once Iran has them.
"I misspoke and said I supported the president's position on containment. If I said that, I meant to say we don't have a position on containment."
"We do have a position on containment, and that is we do not favor containment. I just wanted to clarify the clarify."
The current Senate split is 55 Ds and 45 Rs so Hagel will probably be approved on a straight up-or-down vote.
Sara Murray and Julian E. Barnes wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
An outright filibuster of a cabinet nominee would be unprecedented. Senate records reflect no instance of a filibuster being used to block a cabinet nominee, although nine have been defeated outright, without filibusters, and another 12 were withdrawn, sometimes in the face of a filibuster threat.