National Journal Suggests Hagel Confirmation Rests on Sen. Schumer

NJ Wrties Re the Pending Hagel Confirmation: None will be on the spot more than New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, one of the leading Democratic advocates of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. Schumer passed up the opportunity to endorse Hagel’s qualifications in an appearance on Meet the Press last month. It’s notable that Schumer, usually a fierce, partisan advocate for the president’s agenda, pulled his punches. If Schumer doesn’t offer quick unequivocal backing of Hagel after he’s nominated, it’s a clear sign the nomination could be in trouble.

Schumer isn’t the only Democrat to watch as the confirmation battle begins. New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the expected chair of the Foreign Relations Committee in the next Congress, is a leading Democratic hawk on Iran whose views on the subject are at odds with Hagel’s. Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, representing a swing state where Jewish voters are a key constituency, is another stalwart ally of Israel who is likely to be under pressure to oppose Hagel. And the minyan of Jewish Democratic senators, particularly Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, will be worth watching closely.

  1. “Mr. Schumer has told aides and other senators that he could be persuaded to support Mr. Hagel depending on the meeting’s outcome.”

    So let’s just be clear about this – Schumer meets with Hagel on Wednesday and then essentially catches a plane for Tel Aviv to spend the next several days parsing every nuance of the entire meeting over with Netanyahu, Shin Bet, and Mossad. They all come up with a plan and Schumer flies back to the US by Sunday to be ready for Meet The Press and David Gregory on Sunday’.

    Of course Gregory will once again try to force-multiply Netanyahu’s wishes and demands conveyed by Schumer – we all remember Gregory’s clueless lack of embarrassment when he apparently recognized Netayahu as his own personal leader when he recognized Netanyahu ‘as leader of the Jewish people’

    My only question is – why do we need the Schumer in the picture at all, except for appearances sake?

    Why doesn’t Hagel just let Netanyahu vet him directly and ditch the middleman?

    I love the way select neocon-mouthpieces at Politico and the NYTimes have now conferred upon Last Chance Chuck all the powers to give Hagel the dispositive thumbs up or down – he being the guardian of Israel and all. This is of course desperate neocon-spin – regardless of what Schumer does or doesn’t do Hagel will be confirmed

    Schumer is just another ‘Netanyahu-Democrat’, like Hillary Clinton, and this is just another neocon bite at the Hagel-apple

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