Is AIPAC winning or losing in Hagel fight?

AIPAC has taken no formal position on the Chuck Hagel nomination — which is no surprise, since the lobbying group generally avoids getting publicly involved in confirmation battles.

But that’s not stopping the pundits from debating whether the Hagel fight is turning out to be a win or a loss for AIPAC.

With Hagel’s chances increasing by the day, AIPAC -basher M.J. Rosenberg says this is a big loss for the pro-Israel lobbying group:

Over at Buzzfeed, however, Ben Smith says not so fast — yes, Hagel will probably be confirmed, but only because he’s sounding more AIPAC than J Street:

The bad news for Hagel’s allies among "realist" foreign policy thinkers and on the foreign policy left is that the nominee appears to have gotten Schumer’s support by repudiating virtually everything they liked about him.

Schumer cites "several key assurances." I count about 12 points, most of them related to Israel and Iran, on which Hagel has reversed past positions or his perceived stances, points that now come across in Schumer’s voice, but which he will have to presumably reiterate in his own words in televised hearings. This was always a likely endpoint of the battle over Hagel, which has been a proxy war over Israel and over a broader foreign policy philosophy, but it has come with remarkable speed and comprehensiveness.

For more on what Ben’s talking about, check out Ron Kampeas’ story about Hagel lining up endorsements from several key Jewish Democrats.

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