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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chuck Schumer’s Hagel problem

Chuck Hagel (left) with then-senator Barack Obama in 2007

There probably is no more important senator on the Chuck Hagel nomination than Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Hagel could still lose even if Schumer supports him (either because of a GOP filibuster or near-unanimous disapproval from Republicans and a few breakaway Democrats up for reelection in 2014). However, there is no way, given Schumer’s prominence on Israel issues and the pressure his decision would generate on Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and other pro-Israel Democrats, that Hagel could survive if Schumer opposed him. 
So far Schumer has been entirely, eerily noncommittal, suggesting that he was either not consulted or that his consultation was ignored by the White House. The most disturbing headline Tuesday for the pro-Hagel team (aside from praise for Hagel from the Chinese government and the mullahs in Iran) was this: “Schumer Won’t Predict if Hagel Will Be Confirmed.” 

More at The Washington Post 

h/t Werner Cohn

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