So Just How Wounded is Hagel?

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PBS NewsHour

So did Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s lengthy and painful confirmation ordeal mortally wound him, even before as he takes the oath of office Wednesday morning to become the nation’s 24th defense secretary?

Of course not.

As Battleland told Judy Woodruff Tuesday night on the PBS NewsHour:

It will affect it in a big way if he acts as he did at his confirmation hearing, which by all accounts he didn’t do well. Conversely, I talked to people in the Pentagon. And the lower in ranks you go, the more they like this guy, the more they like the sense that an enlisted man is going to run the building. And if he can use that as a springboard — he’s facing immense challenges from sequestration to Afghanistan to a nuclear Iran — but it’s an opportunity for him to seize the moment. And if he does, people will forget this pretty quickly, I think.

Hang on. Could be an interesting ride.


The Pentagon is more than a political job, it is a huge management challenge with many technical aspects. Can Hagel be more than a political hack handling both the numbers and the people, at a time of shrinking assets? is the question.

I think you left the correct impression, of uncertainty.

(Let's talk about "the immense challenge of a nuclear Iran" another time. Set it up? I'm ready.)


How wounded is Chuck Hagel?  Not very.  There is a world of difference between a grandstanding confirmation hearing or a hearing where no tough questions are asked to begin with to actually doing the job.  Seems to me the media is trying its best to create another myth.  


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