IN THE HOT SEAT

Senate: Not So Fast, Hagel

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Hagel testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Chuck Hagel must be pretty jealous of John Kerry right now. The Senate challenged Hagel, nominated to be the next secretary of Defense, highlighting his vote against the Iraq war surge and his support of Israel. Arizona Republican John McCain—once a close friend of Hagel’s—attacked Hagel over his 2006 vote against the Iraq surge, which Hagel insisted “history will judge” the war, despite McCain’s insistence that it won the war.  “I’m not certain, doesn’t mean I’m right,” Hagel said, noting that 1,200 Americans died in the surge, something he does not take lightly. Hagel tried to walk back his comments about the “Jewish lobby” “influencing” Washington, insisting he should have said “pro-Israel” and “influence.”