What The Opinion Leaders Are Saying

The Washington Post: Mr. Hagel’s stated positions on critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his first term — and place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him.

The Wall Street JournalMr. Obama can do better than Mr. Hagel—for example, by choosing former Defense Under Secretary Michele Flournoy, or perhaps Colin Powell. If he does nominate Mr. Hagel, the Senate will have to prevent the Administration’s senior security ranks from being dominated by a flock of doves who think the world is better off with a militarily weaker America.

WSJ Columnist Bret StephensPrejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When ChuckHagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here,” the odor is especially ripe.

Bill Kristol: “An awful lot of Democrats I am told are quietly telling the White House, what are you doing to us?”

ADL President Abe Foxman“Chuck Hagel would not be the first, second, or third choice for the American Jewish community’s friends of Israel.  His record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship is, at best, disturbing, and at worst, very troubling.   The sentiments he’s expressed about the Jewish lobby border on anti-Semitism in the genre of professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and former president Jimmy Carter.”

AJC Executive Director David Harris: “The first AJC encounter with Sen. Hagel I recall was when we sought his support, in 1999, for a Senate letter to then Russian President Boris Yeltsin urging action against rising anti-Semitism. We were unsuccessful. On June 20, 1999, we published the letter as a full-page ad in The New York Times with 99 Senate signatories. Only Sen. Hagel’s name was absent.  Our concern then has only grown since, as we have witnessed his stance on a range of core U.S. national security priorities.”

White House Project Founder Marie Wilson: “There is no doubt that the woman knows her business.  It’s Defense — the area where we have the slowest movement of women into top positions.  It would be a breakthrough.”

National Review’s Rich Lowry“At the core of his foreign policy is disdain for Israel and unquenchable desire to talk to terrorists. His realism is a pastiche of attitudes fashionable at Council on Foreign Relations meetings or the World Economic Forum in Davos, crystalized into an idée fixe lacking all nuance or true thoughtfulness.”