In the end, Graham voted against Hagel for SecDef

Senators voted 58-41 to confirm Chuck Hagel. Not exactly a ringing consensus.

In the end, Lindsey Graham voted against Hagel:

Graham Opposes Hagel Nomination

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement on his opposition to Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense.

“I oppose the nomination of Chuck Hagel to serve as our next Secretary of Defense.  The position of Secretary of Defense is one of the most important jobs in our government.  There were other, more capable choices available and I regret President Obama did not choose one of them. 

“Having said this, I do believe it is the President’s prerogative to pick his Cabinet and I will work with Senator Hagel to ensure our defense at home and security around the globe is not diminished. 

“I’m disappointed not one Democrat stepped forward to express concerns about Senator Hagel’s views on Israel and Iran.  I believe from his past actions, he has shown antagonism toward the State of Israel.   In these dangerous times, his nomination sends the worst possible signal to our enemies in Iran. 

“I continue to have serious questions about whether Chuck Hagel is up to the job of being our Secretary of Defense.  I hope, for the sake of our own national security, he exceeds expectations.”


8 thoughts on “In the end, Graham voted against Hagel for SecDef

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    The WashPost notes that “the incoming secretary assumes office with the largest number of opposition votes of anyone to ever win confirmation to lead the Pentagon…”

  2. die deutsche Flußgabelung

    No one plays the warmonger quite like the duo of Graham and McCain. Thank God McCain lost in 2008 or we’d now be involved in five wars (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria) instead of just one.

      1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

        I guess, since the word has lost all meaning in the past few years, by “war” I mean long term ground offensives, not the use of drones and special ops. The administration is carrying out the “War on Terror” the way it should have been done in the first place, with counterintelligence and special ops instead of invading countries with tanks and ground troops. More cloak-in-dagger less Blitzkrieg.

        There was a piece at CNNexplaining how Obama’s national security policy is similar in approach to Eisenhower’s. McCain’s approach is more like W’s.

        I guess my biggest problem with McCain and Graham is how their views on foreign policy haven’t evolved at all since W left the White House. They believe you have to burn down the whole house in order to get rid of a termite infestation. Also they have a troubling penchant for handing out guns and rockets to shady people, case in point Syria. Look what happened the last time we did that back in 1980s.

  3. Phillip

    Fascinating and revealing statement from Graham. The first nation he mentions by name is not “United States” or “America”, but Israel. The “concern” Graham wishes would have been expressed by Democrats should be more properly turned on its head: we should all be expressing concern over a Senator who equates disagreement with Israel with “antagonism towards Israel” and who, by his very statement of opposition, practically admits that he feels loyalty to Israel trumps loyalty to the United States. The concern is whether Lindsay Graham is placing the interests of a foreign nation on a higher priority than our own national interests. And while there’s no question that Iran is a problematic case, Graham seems by using the phrase “our enemies in Iran” to have already gone to war with Iran in his mind. Even in the height of the Cold War, we tended to use words like “adversary” (which implies the possibility of diplomacy to scale down or resolve disputes or tension) to describe the Soviet Union rather than outright “enemy” (which pretty much describes two nations already in a state of armed conflict). At a moment when there are at least talks in progress between the two sides (better than not talking at all), it’s interesting language to say the least, and makes one wonder how disappointed Graham would be if there actually were some kind of agreement reached between the two nations short of war.

    As for the narrowness of the confirmation vote, as Mark says above, that says less about Hagel than it does about the Senate and the GOP specifically. Kudos to the 4 Republicans who voted for the nomination for overcoming the petty and vindictive partisanship of the small-minded McCains of the Senate.

  4. bud

    Phillip I agree with every word you wrote. However, Hagel was pretty lame in the confirmation hearings. I hope he’s more assertive as Sec of Defense.

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