Susan Rice may not be President Barack Obama's only potential confirmation headache. Reports that Obama is considering former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as a second-term defense secretary are raising alarms.
The two-term Nebraska senator's "realist" foreign policy outlook is at the heart of the matter. "He's a vocal opponent of Israel and soft on Iran," writes Commentary's Alana Goodman. "If he's nominated, it would basically mean the administration has come to terms with Iran getting the bomb."
Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon senior writer, reports that pro-Israel groups are concerned. Hagel "has long raised red flags on Capitol Hill for his controversial foreign policy views, which include sharp criticism of Israel, supporting the elimination of America's nuclear arsenal, and pushing for direct unconditional talks with Iran."
And it's not clear Hagel could even make it through Senate confirmation, despite lawmakers' usual soft spot for former colleagues. Hagel "embodies the 'blame America first' approach to foreign policy," according to a senior GOP Senate aide quoted by Kredo.
Hagel began his Senate career as a conventional conservative but soon veered left. A decade ago, in the run-up to the Iraq war, National Review labeled him as "Sen. Skeptic (R., France)" and described him as "Bush's #1 war critic in Congress."
Via Commentary and Washington Free Beacon.