Up | February 03, 2013
>> it is!
>>> all right. so the affirmative case for chuck hagel , you've worked with him and you're an admirer of his. why should i care? nothing i saw in that long thing made me feel particularly strong for him --
>> mccain's hatred for him.
>> the only case for him is who his enemies are. what is the case for this guy to run what is the largest part of the government?
>> as i said before, he's somebody who listens. he's somebody who thinks about things before he opens his mouth and gives advice. it was incredible, they were trying to paint him as some sort of leftist. he's pragmatic. he's a decent human being . and, you know, he's somebody who does things not because he gets some personal payback, but because it's the decent thing to do. i'll give another example. let me just say, i don't know if being a decent human being is necessary to be the head of the department of defense .
>> no. it's a flop.
>> he was a get at a gala for something called an international student prop. it gives support to 90 foreign graduate students every year. he teaches at georgetown. he mentors young people . this is a really decent human being . and it was very, very painful to watch him being whipsawed with this kind of questioning.
>> i will say a interact with a student that he thought at georgetown who had a lot to say about him because he was pushing students to not just accept conventional wisdom, which is the thing that i think he's gotten in trouble for.
>> one of the clippings that you sent me, knock mccain's.
>> my question we have to watch in this, how does an individual who got rolled like that in public project his force of will over the bureaucracy over million people? and there's going on to be so much resistance. this is an institution that he has spent the last part of the decade criticizing what their day-to-day activities have been. hagel has been a severe critic of the wars in afghanistan and iran .
>> mike, my boss peter bim in art reported that he talked to sources close to hagel and the administration and the administration sources played it down, but those closer to the hagel side of the administration told him basically to lay down. you don't want to pick a fight. the guy got rolled.
>> it was strategically allowing himself to be rolled.
>> he pulled an obama.
>> my arm chair of psychology on it was he did it with absolutely no grace because here is a guy who is used to whatever he thinks, he spouts out and it's got him in trouble and it's really, really poor, like i'm going to ask these guys give me tough questions.
>> he doesn't like talking points .
>> and it looked like there was a gun off screen aimed to his head. he couldn't muster any kind of performative investment in his recantation.
>> he couldn't believe in it.
>> it's 15 degrees to the left, the right or the center. if you've expressed any views outside of that, which hagel has done, they try to magicalize it as much as they can.
>> but, in fact, i think that he will actually be able to -- i don't know what his bureaucratic skills are like, his old talking points said he was a ceo which makes for good executive skills. i don't know if that's all true for him to work in a government bureaucracy like that. but the guy, he really is in the right place owes these big challenges coming up, despite what he said about iran , he's really great on iran . and, frankly, he is even a little bit to the right of me, like talking up the -- all options on the table thing. like i don't -- i think that at some point you have to cut out all the threat making with iran if you want to make a deal. but at least he wants thov the conversation about how terrible that war would be. you know, he's on the record as having said that. i wish he had said it in this confirmation hearing. i understand why he didn't. getting out of afghanistan , on cutting the pentagon budget, and i do think ta he was out of place not being able to say what he thought. but if he gets into the pentagon bureaucracy, he's going to have some enemies there, but he's got the respect of a lot 06 brass there.
>> these are going to be fights. even on the withdrawal of afghanistan --
>> this is not a foregone conclusion. i remember someone in the white house once telling me about iraq. when iraq was done and everyone kind of forgot about it, someone in the who you say white house saying that was a harder plane to land than it looked. actually ending war is --
>> because john mccain doesn't want to get out of any of them.
>> i actually think there is a case that we should talk about in terms of making chuck hagel the secretary of defense. and it's not just is he a good man and it's good to hear that you have -- you understand the kind of human side of him. but the fact that we're going to make cuts in defense, no matter what happens, someone who comes from the ranks of the military and has credibility there, having been a decorated vietnam vet is important. and he will have credibility on that score some some others might not. the fact that he will have the ear of the president and this is the republican that the president reached out to is going to be important. we want a strong secretary of defense to be a player at the table of this administration. we know secretary kerr rewill be a formidable secretary of state because of his relationship to the president, his long record, and his performance in the senate. so i think he brings that background. also, if you just looked at the visual of the hearings, who was seated on either side of him? senator warner, senator nunn. how many people can command that kind of support? it's going to be necessary to get the hard work done in the future.
>> yeah. and the battles that are coming up on both policy and bureaucracy are challenging. michael hastings , oali gharib, karon,