I had a chance to ask Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal about his thoughts on the Hagel confirmation in front of hundreds of AIPAC attendees, and he did not disappoint.
He said the selection of Hagel by Obama was an “absolutely outrageous pick,” and that it is “hard to imagine a worse signal the administration could have sent about Iran.”
He also said, “If I were an Israeli decision-maker, I would be drawing some conclusions” about the pick, and that “[Hagel’s] idea of Iran is that it is a misunderstood country.”
He went on, saying “[Hagel] got defended in ways that are frightening,” surely referring to all the the Jewish Democrats in the Senate who came out and supported Hagel, and unanimously voted for his confirmation.
AIPAC prides itself as being a “bipartisan” organization, and they were noticeably silent during the entire Hagel fiasco, because they wouldn’t dare criticize Obama. So it was refreshing to have Stephens air out his well-known views in this AIPAC forum, where many democrats were surely listening.