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I have a confession: I’m a Republican and I like Chuck Hagel.
It seems that Chuck Hagel is many Republicans’ least favorite Republican. That said, I think that it is in the Republican Party’s interest to support former Senator Hagel’s (R-NE) confirmation as Secretary of Defense. Republicans have maintained the perception with the American people that we are better on issues of defense. President Obama nominating a Republican reinforces that image. In most of the stories citing a Secretary of Defense Hagel over the next four years will mention the fact that he is a Republican and will further this perception – one that will only help our party. If poor decisions are made on defense and foreign policy, it was the Democratic Obama administration that made the decisions that the defense department carried out, not the fault of any Republicans.
Also, George Will made a good point yesterday on ‘This Week’:
“I disagree with him [Hagel] on a lot of stuff, but I think he should be confirmed and will be because vast deference is owed to presidents in cabinet members, for two reasons. Their job is to carry out the president’s wishes and, B, they leave when the president leaves, which is why more deference is owed to that than, say, on Supreme Court nominees.”
I must admit, the image of a decorated former infantry Sergeant leading the DOD with a long history of supporting veterans is pretty cool.