Republicans are holding their cards close to the vest on both nominations, and there may be more opposition to their confirmation as the hearings begin. Still, GOP leaders are signaling that this will not be a slam dunk for Mr. Obama.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Mr. Obama’s decision to name Mr. Hagel was “an in-your-face nomination.”
Newly elected Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, among other GOP senators, had already made up his mind before Mr. Hagel was officially chosen, saying it’s “very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which I could support his nomination.”
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who has been one of the president’s most relentless national security critics, has problems with both nominations, saying he has “many questions and concerns.”
Mr. Obama is dramatically reshaping the direction and tone of our nation’s national security team. In choosing Mr. Hagel and Mr. Brennan, and earlier Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry to become secretary of state, the president is shifting America’s defense and foreign policy sharply further to the left.
This team would probably “look long and hard, adopt a ‘look before you leap’ approach, before committing U.S. forces and prestige to foreign lands,” said former State Department official Karl Inderfurth, who worked in the Clinton administration.
With al Qaeda affiliates and cells sprouting across North Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, is that the signal we want to send to our enemies?
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.
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