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by
Bridget Johnson

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February 26, 2013 - 2:14 pm

The symbolic show of opposition to moving forward with a vote on the nomination of Chuck Hagel pre-recess wavered enough today to see the former Nebraska senator confirmed as the next secretary of Defense.

The Senate voted on cloture, or an end to debate, around noon. It was the same procedural hurdle Hagel couldn’t clear before the Senate left for Presidents Day week.

Today Hagel’s nod made it through the 60-vote-threshold cloture vote 71-27, with 18 Republicans in favor. Hours later, the Senate confirmed Hagel 58-41.

“What has their filibuster gained my Republican colleagues? Twelve days later, nothing has changed,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said earlier on the floor. “Twelve days later, Senator Hagel’s exemplary record of service to his country remains untarnished. Twelve days later, President Obama’s support for this qualified nominee is still strong. Twelve days later, the majority of Senators still support his confirmation.”

One of the surprising votes for Hagel was Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Richard C. Shelby (Ala.) also crossed party lines to vote yes.

Paul, who supported the block of Hagel’s nomination before Presidents Day, told reporters after today’s confirmation “there are very few things I agree with the president on, but the president gets to choose political appointees.”

One of the expected “no” votes was from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

“I oppose the nomination of Chuck Hagel to serve as our next Secretary of Defense.  The position of Secretary of Defense is one of the most important jobs in our government.  There were other, more capable choices available and I regret President Obama did not choose one of them,” Graham said.

“I’m disappointed not one Democrat stepped forward to express concerns about Senator Hagel’s views on Israel and Iran.  I believe from his past actions, he has shown antagonism toward the State of Israel.   In these dangerous times, his nomination sends the worst possible signal to our enemies in Iran,” he continued. “I continue to have serious questions about whether Chuck Hagel is up to the job of being our Secretary of Defense.  I hope, for the sake of our own national security, he exceeds expectations.”

“There is simply no way to sugarcoat it: Senator Hagel’s performance before the Senate Armed Services Committee was remarkably inept, and we should not be installing a Defense Secretary who is obviously not qualified for the job, and who holds dangerously misguided views on some of the most important issues facing national security policy for our country,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in a floor speech opposing cloture.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (24)
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Remember When The Left Said A Republican, Who Attended 5 Colleges And Had A C-Average, Was Only Qualified To Be A Stripper Or A Yoga Instructor?

http://tinyurl.com/bf6l5bm
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wonder if by now, Israel might be working on a "Manhattan Project" of their own. By that I do not mean a nuclear weapon which they already posses but a special weapon that may involve cyber-type technology that is unknown to anyone else at this time. Israel is now on the cutting edge of computer technology and probaly understands that in reality, they are alone.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Israel would not be wise to share military intelligence with Hagel's DOD.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
For the life of me, I can't figure out why Rand Paul caved on this. The President has the right to make appointments but the Senate must consent. Paul's comment that it is the President's prerogative is an insipid statement. How about if Obama decided to appoint a Communist? I guess thats not so far fetched. Paul was abdicating his responsibility. Hagel is clearly unqualified. Anyone who watched his grossly inept testemony before the committee could see that. Aside from his anti-Semitic point of view, he is cozy with those who wish us ill and aid and abet others who seek to destroy our country. This appointment is a recipe for disaster. Obama gives lip service to wanting peace in the Middle East and then he appoints an individual who will almost guarantee continued conflict there. God help us!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And now the information that we get from the satellites is in the hands of an enemy of Israel.
It will be pretty difficult for Israel to move against Iran.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Some republican Senator who declared himself a "yes" vote for Hagel said that...

"This is about as good as we're going to get."

Wonderful.



1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
THE SICK, DEPRESSING, MISERABLE

Chuck Hagel is the right Secretary of Defense at the right time in history serving the right administration for completely destroying the Pax Americana and replacing it with a New World Disorder. That the weak-on-terror, Israel-hating, unfit to head Defense Hagel was confirmed by the Senate on the 20th anniversary of the first jihadist bombing of the World Trade Center (killing 6 and wounding 1000) is a dire warning of things to come for the safety, security and defense of our nation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If a president has a right to not only Nominate a candidate but to assume he will be nominated why have a confirmation process.? The slate of republicans we have in Washington is an embarrassment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Obama goes against our traditional stance regarding our ally and good friend Israel; if he continues to allow people to rail against Israel and continues to support the Philistines against Israel ... then we will suffer the consequences and so will Obama. Hagel is all Obama's now ... so when Obama goes to Israel in March; I hope he goes with a contrite heart and decides not to act like a jerk towards Israel. We're seeing boldness from our enemies now; hell even Keith Ellison ripped Hannity a new one the other night ... a good indication that the MB (Islam) is emboldened by the fact that they think they have a friend in the WH. I pray that they are wrong about Obama and that Obama will support Israel ... in spite of how it all looks at the moment. Or ... we're royally screwed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I vote for "we're royally screwed." We've devolved since 2006 into a de facto one-party corporatist state, one that sees resurgent Islam as the wave of the future.
G-d, I miss Andrew Breitbart.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These so-called Republicans voting for cloture are complicit in whatever happens next. For one thing, the demise of the Republican party.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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