DC Roundup, Part 2: Rothkopf, Walt, Glickman, Boaz, Pillar, Fingar, Laurenti on Chuck Hagel

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Reuters As part of the roundup of perspectives on Senator Chuck Hagel’s potential nomination as Secretary of Defense, I have received the responses noted below. Here at The Atlantic is an earlier installment of views that included David Frum, Bing West, Ari Melber, Robert Dreyfuss, Hattie Babbitt, Ambassador James Hormel, Adam Garfinkle, and Leslie Gelb. This installment includes questions I posed to Foreign Policy CEO David Rothkopf, Bipartisan Policy Center Senior Fellow Dan Glickman, Century Foundation Senior Fellow Jeffrey Laurenti, Harvard…

The Night Before Christmas 107 Years Ago

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My colleague at The Atlantic Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg has posted a wonderful 107-year old film created by Edison Studios of “The Night Before Christmas.” Here is her framing of what you can watch above. Merry Christmas! — Steve Clemons

Merry Christmas White House Style

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Garance Franke-Ruta, Senior Editor and Chief of the Politics Channel at The Atlantic, and I were privileged to have this picture taken with President and Michelle Obama. It was a great evening — and the President said some great things about The Atlantic for which he has actually been a contributor. Here is his piece, titled “Perfecting our Union” in which he reflected on the lessons of Lincoln for our time. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! — Steve…

DC Roundup: Arguments for and Against Chuck Hagel’s Nomination

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I have gathered some more views on Chuck Hagel’s potential — and challenged — nomination to serve as President Obama’s Secretary of Defense. Politico‘s Mike Allen is calling the nomination “toast” after Senator Chuck Schumer refused to say he would vote in favor of him. Remember that Senator Schumer — who has many views of which I’m supportive — nonetheless said in a Senate Democratic Caucus on one occasion, “a vote against John Bolton is a vote against Israel.” Bolton…

Tom Ricks Calls for More Diversity in SecDef Choice

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I’ve reached out to a wide range of policy experts, pundits, and government officials (current and former) to share their thoughts on Senator Chuck Hagel’s potential nomination as Secretary of Defense. I should note that my Atlantic Media colleague Michael Hirsh has published a powerful piece at National Journal indicating that the White House is considering a number of candidates, and not just Hagel.  I think that the discussion about Hagel is important and a learning moment about national security…

Jeff Bingaman: Great US Senator Leaves Void

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Senator Jeff Bingaman is retiring after thirty years of shunning the spotlight and just getting great policy work done. I think he was a combination of Jimmy Stewart ala Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. — one of the nation’s wisest legal minds….ever. I think he is one of the greatest legislators I’ve ever known — particularly his tendency to forfeit credit and let others more media-needy have the accolades in order to get things accomplished. …

Holiday Pic from Anderson & Low

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Anderson & Low Just received this wonderful holiday pic from London-based, turbo-talented photographers Jonathan Anderson & Edwin Low, called just “Anderson & Low” by their friends. I love stopping in at the National Portrait Gallery in London — and discovering photos there that they took. Kate Middleton enjoys their work also.  Check out their great, often provocative and edgy material. Happy holidays to all from Claremont, California — where the Starbucks in the Village is buzzing with happy people at…

Best Books Read by Atlantic Editors in 2012

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Editors at The Atlantic shared notes about the best books they read during the past year. These books did not need to be published in 2012 — but read during the last twelve months. My selection was Adam Goodheart’s 1861: The Civil War Awakening. Terrific book — and a great holiday gift that goes well with a slice of Spielberg’s and Daniel Day Lewis’ Lincoln. The clips from The Atlantic editors runs here — and my bit is slide 24….

The Chuck Hagel I Know: A Staunch Defender of Gay Rights

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Senator Chuck Hagel hasn’t  spent much time at Human Rights Campaign dinners. I wish he had gone — or better yet, had been invited by the organization to speak and share his views on gays in American life. But the HRC has not invited him to speak and to my knowledge has made little effort to inquire about what his views about LGBT rights are, either of him or of gays who know him (like yours truly). Hagel is a…

Chuck Hagel Voted in Favor of AIPAC-Supported John Bolton

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Chuck Hagel voted in favor of John Bolton’s nomination before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations.  This is important history as many attempting to sabotage Hagel’s potential nomination as Secretary of Defense are hyping his reticence about unilateral sanctions against rogue nations and his refusal to jump on a couple of hug-Israel resolutions.  The Bolton nomination was important because it was a high priority “get” by the hawkish wing of the hug-Israel-tightly…