It’s so odd to hear Senators Inhofe, Cornyn, Cruz and a small passel of other GOP Senators state that Chuck Hagel doesn’t enjoy Republican support. That’s simply not true. Senators Shelby, Johanns, Cochran, and probably others will vote for Hagel next Tuesday. I think end of the day Senator Lisa Murkowski may do so as well.
But the zinger is that decorated World War II veteran, former Senate Majority Leader, former GOP candidate for United States President Bob Dole has endorsed Chuck Hagel:
Chuck Hagel has spent his entire life in service to his country. He volunteered to fight in Vietnam and did so bravely, side-by-side with his brother and earning two Purple Hearts. He served as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration for President Ronald Reagan and was President & Chief Executive Officer of the World USO.
He represented the people of Nebraska in the Senate with honor for twelve years and was a coauthor of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Hagel’s wisdom and courage make him uniquely qualified to be Secretary of Defense and lead the men and women of our armed forces. Chuck Hagel will be an exceptional leader at an important time.
John McCain is a national hero and hard core Republican. Bob Dole is a national hero and hard core Republican. Chuck Hagel is a national hero who fought for this country and was seriously wounded in Vietnam — and is also a hard core Republican. The lines for what being a Republican is are moving back and forth across lines, and the struggle matters.
Senator Joe McCarthy tried to move his political fortunes forward through smears and witch-hunts. That tradition is being revitalized in some corners of the Senate today — and a big spot light needs to be directed on these nasty campaigns and the people behind them.
Some of the Senators opposing Hagel are doing so because of principled concerns about his views or competency. That is the way this process is supposed to work. However, a handful are in the fight to beat him at any cost — even through slander and character assassination — and that is when the system needs to expose the indecency and lack of moral character they are demonstrating.
So, hats off to Senator, former US presidential candidate and war hero Bob Dole for saying what is right and true about Senator and soon be US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
— Steve Clemons