Chuck Hagel’s confirmation as President Obama’s defense secretary appears to be only a matter of time. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) both went on the Sunday morning talk shows and appeared to pave the way for a filibuster of the nominee to end.
If true, this would be the end to the only time a cabinet appointment had ever been filibustered. The former Republican Senator from Nebraska has seen votes on his confirmation postponed several times, both in the committee and then when the nomination came to the floor.
Chuck Hagel’s confirmation for new post on the cabinet has been on unsure footing right from the beginning. Once a friend of Senator Hagel’s, McCain grilled the nominee at his confirmation hearing on subjects ranging from the surge in Iraq to comments Hagel made about Israel while he was still in the Senate.
According to The Guardian both McCain and Graham had gone on talk shows this morning and both said that it was time to stop blocking the nomination. Graham said that Hagel has “disavowed” the comments about Israel that troubled Graham so much.
According to the New York Daily News, the confirmation might be unblocked but neither McCain nor Graham are likely to vote for Hagel. On Meet the Press, McCain made it quite clear he didn’t believe that former Senator Hagel was the right choice for Defense Secretary
“No, I don’t believe he’s qualified,” McCain said, “But I don’t believe that we should hold up his nomination any further, because I think it’s (been) a reasonable amount to time to have questions answered.”
Is the Chuck Hagel confirmation all but a certainly now? Or will Republicans find enough Democrats that aren’t sold on the nominee to finally vote the man down? Will Hagel be a poison pill to the Obama administration no matter whether he’s confirmed?