I’m not sold on Hagel, but this will make PBO’s life a little easier.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday he’d support Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary, removing a major obstacle to his nomination and greatly increasing the chances he’ll be confirmed, even as Hagel continues to face opposition from the right.
Schumer’s backing is a major sign that Democrats who have expressed squeamishness over his nomination are starting to come on board. And with Democrats now holding a 55-45 majority in the Senate, Hagel’s prospects greatly brightened with Schumer’s support for his nomination.
In a statement Tuesday, Schumer said Hagel addressed his concerns over Israel and Iran during a 90-minute Monday meeting at the White House, saying the former Nebraska senator had been “forthcoming and sincere.” Regarding Iran, Schumer said that Hagel rejected a containment strategy regarding the country and said that the U.S. would do “whatever it takes” to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.