"... Democrats have an independent responsibility to the country not to rubber stamp a nominee as lame as this one, especially when they would merely be facilitating the president’s temper tantrum."
.... Democrats close to the White House say the typically cool-headed Obama has expressed flashes of real anger at what he sees as a politically motivated GOP fishing expedition that already netted his first choice for secretary of state — U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice.
Obama — ticked off by Rice’s treatment and still emboldened by his convincing victory over Mitt Romney — courted confrontation when he tapped Hagel.
If true, this is outlandish. The president would imperil national security out of spite? The lions may be lying down with lambs today, but on this Jonathan Chait is dead on: “I would argue that, if you’re really upset at the unfair attacks on Susan Rice, then nominate Susan Rice. Picking a fight on some other candidate is a pretty strange way of defending Susan Rice’s reputation.” It is also a darn irresponsible move considering the national security challenges we face.
UPDATE: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) have written to Chuck Hagel asking if he made the comment at Rutgers University in 2008 (or anywhere else) reported yesterday that our State Department is an “adjunct” of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and, if so, what that means and whether it reflects his views. It is remarkable that Hagel has not yet denied the report.