Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Insiders Split on Hagel Nomination Insiders Split on Hagel Nomination

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Insiders Split on Hagel Nomination

A majority of Democrats think President Obama's selection of Chuck Hagel to run the Department of Defense was -- politically speaking -- the right choice, according to the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll, but confidence in the nomination was nonetheless far from unanimous. 

Fifty-eight percent of Democratic insiders said the choice was the smart one politically, while 15 percent said it wasn't. Twenty-seven percent said it was too early to tell.

Republicans, meanwhile, regarded the nomination as a mistake. Fifty-two percent of Insiders said the nomination was the wrong one, while 32 percent said it was too early to tell. Only 16 percent said the nomination was the right one.

Politically speaking, was President Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to the post of Defense secretary the right one?

  Democrats
(109 votes)
Republicans
(102 votes)
Yes 58% 16%
No 15% 52%
Too early to tell 27% 32%

Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, alienated many in his party with his vocal criticism of the Iraq War and later endorsement of Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. His nomination has been a controversial one in D.C., with critics charging he's soft on Iran and insufficently supportive of Israel.

But some Democratic Insiders were bullish on the nomination, seeing Obama's pick as a savvy move toward bipartisanship

"Remarkable Republicans opposed to: (a) a Republican, (b) a former senator, and (c) someone who was right on the Iraq war," said one. "Haven't they learned anything in the past decade?"

Added another: "Defense issues will come into play as the budget talks heat up. Having a Republican who supports defense cuts as your Secretary of Defense cannot hurt."

A few Republicans, though in the minority, agreed.

"Obama puts a Republican in charge of gutting the Defense Department," said one GOP Insider.

Others were more blunt in their assessment, including some Democrats.

"Choosing a Republican, however liberal, sends a message that a Democrat's not capable of doing the job," said one Democratic Insider.

Don\'t Miss Today\'s

Chock full of usable information on today's issues."

Michael, Executive Director

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy , Director of Communications

Great way to keep up with Washington"

Ray, Professor of Economics

Sign up form for the newsletter

Asked another, "Why pick a fight on Israel?"

Republicans took delight in the Democratic disunity.

"Obama thinks he is confronting Republicans, but Democrats have a problem with Hagel as well," according to a Republican Insider.

"You've really got to work hard to antagonize members of BOTH parties with one nomination," another added.

Don\'t Miss Today\'s

Chock full of usable information on today's issues."

Michael, Executive Director

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy , Director of Communications

Great way to keep up with Washington"

Ray, Professor of Economics

Sign up form for the newsletter
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL