President Obama is set to nominate Chuck Hagel for the defense secretary post just after 1 PM.
Some folks on both sdes have already weighed in.
The National Jewish Democratic Council says its concerns, expressed in 2007 and 2009, are no longer relevant, because it is Obama who calls the shots.
President Barack Obama’s unprecedented pro-Israel credentials are unquestionable, and setting policy starts and stops with the President. While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, former Senator Chuck Hagel will follow the President’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel—on strategic cooperation, missile defense programs, and leading the world against Iran’s nuclear program.
The Emergency Committee for Israel has up a pretty snazzy looking website. They snagged "chuckhagel.com" as a domain, suggesting there are bucks behind this (as if the graphics didn’t suggest it enough.)
ECI quotes Braney Frank as a skeptical Democrat, but Frank — who is now angling to be the interim Massachusetts senator should John Kerry ascend to secretary of state — is walking back his opposition, according to the Boston Globe.
The Anti-Defamation League is still not happy with the selection, but says that in this case at least, it will defer to the presidential prerogative. Quoth Abe Foxman:
Senator Hagel would not have been my first choice, but I respect the President’s prerogative.
I trust that the confirmation process will provide an opportunity for Senator Hagel to address concerns about his positions, which seem so out of sync with President Obama’s clear commitment on issues like Iran sanctions, isolating Hamas and Hezbollah and the president’s strong support for a deepening of U.S. Israel strategic cooperation.
I particularly hope Senator Hagel will clarify and explain his comments about the “Jewish Lobby” that were hurtful to many in the Jewish Community.