The Shark Tank

Possible Fireworks During Chuck Hagel’s Senate Confirmation Hearings

By Javier Manjarres


U.S. Senator Mike Lee(Shark Tank Media)

U.S. Senator Mike Lee
(Shark Tank Media)

The Senate Armed Services Committee will be thrust onto the political center-stage shortly after President Obama’s inauguration, when it hosts the hearings to confirm former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as the next Defense Secretary of the United States.

While prominent Republican Senators like Marco Rubio have said that Hagel’s foreign policy toward Cuba is “outdated” and “unrealistic, others are voicing their concerns or opposition to Hagel’s nomination.

But while Democrats hold an 14-12 edge over Republicans on the committee, if Hagel were to be  confirmed, it would be  by the narrowest of margins, as pressure from his opposition continues to mount.

 Senator Ted Cruz has already come out against Hagel stating that, “he is not a good fit for secretary of Defense.” Cruz continued,“I expect to oppose his nomination for several reasons.”

Republican Senators Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Kelly Ayotte are almost certain to vote against a Hagel nomination, with most, if not all of the other Republican senators to join  their colleagues and also oppose Hagel. One of the most conservative members of the Republican caucus in the Senate, Mike Lee, has been close-lipped about how he would vote but did state that he was looking forward to the “opportunity to discuss not only his qualifications for the position and his approach to defending the United States and her allies.” This is code for ‘fat chance I will vote for you, Chuck.’

Senator Lee, like  Rubio, is a strong supporter of the state of Israel. Regardless of how Hagel tries to spin the controversial statements he’s made in the past about Israel, the offended Jewish community who wields a very powerful fundraising fist that many of these Senators rely on during campaign season will undoubtedly lean on members and their staff to vote against Obama’s pick for Secretary of Defense.

I expect Lee to come out swinging at Hagel, questioning his past statements on Israel, and to subsequently vote against his nomination.

The problem that President Obama and Chuck Hagel have is that there are Democratic Senators quietly sitting on the fence who are rumored to be leaning against the nomination. The ‘Jewish Lobby’ is that influential, don’t discount it.

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About author

Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor

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  1. S. Klein January 11, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Obama is a politician who can carry a grudge and ‘get even’. AIPAC, like most Jewish organizations, has indicated it is staying out of this fight. My guess is, most AIPAC members voted for and support Barack Obama. If AIPAC were to engage in the contest, you don’t think Obama would hear about it and act accordingly? I happen to agree with anti-Israel politicians like Dr. Paul who would like to gradually end foreign aid to Israel. It would be good for both the U.S. and Israel. But that is not what Hagel is about. Hagel has deep sympathies for America’s enemies – Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran’s Revolutionary guard, etc. – as does Barack Obama truth be known. Both believe a nuclear Iran can be “contained.” Both would like to see American power in the world greatly diminished. Obama’s disdain for Israel mirrors his twenty year mentor, Jeremiah Wright. He detests moderate Likud leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. Can you image Obama’s disposition in the unlikely event (rising star) Naftali Bennett should become prime minister of Israel? This is not about the so-called Jewish lobby. This is about what direction the Obama administration and America will take visa vis global jihad and Israel which is on the front lines fighting it.

  2. FLgeezer January 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    >He detests moderate Likud leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

    LOL! I would argue that the majority of patriotic Americans detest Uncle Nettie and his partisans. They have been screeching for war with Iran since 9/12/2001. And of course, it would be up to we beleaguered Yanks to do the warring, bomb-dropping, and killing on Likud’s behalf. Americans are sick to death of taking foreign policy prescriptions from Israel. They are your wars, you fight them ok?

    >visa vis global jihad and Israel which is on the front lines fighting it.
    You caused the “global jihad” (ROTFL) by turning the entire Islamic world against our once great republic. You did so by corrupting our political process such that our pols are petrified of crossing AIPAC, JINSA, ADL, or the ACLU. You, not us, are obligated to fight the wars that your Israel-First special interest groups precipitate.


  3. Jean January 12, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Hagel believes that the policy of President Obama “all options are on the table” should be eliminated and no military option should be considered towards Iran even if it achieves it’s nuclear bombs and even if it builds ICBM’s pointed at America.

    A nuclear Iran has sworn to eliminate Israel and every mosque in Iran has a poster “Death To Israel.”

    After Iran drops an atomic bomb over Tel Aviv, the issue of whether Hagel is anti-Israel or pro-Israel becomes mute.

    Iran has a high tolerance for the deaths of huge numbers of people. The war between Iran and Iraq ostensibly over a territorial dispute concerning 0.1% of Iran’s land mass had a million casualties.
    Iran has spread it’s terror all over the globe and has murdered more than a thousand Americans.
    It’s ideology is identical to Al Quaeda, and certainly has America, the Great Satan in it’s cross hairs. There is no question that Iran is a much greater enemy of the US than Al Quaeda.

    A Hagel confirmation kills any chance of Iran agreeing to stop it’s nuclear weapons program through negotiations. why would they take the tremendous political risk of telling their people that years of sanctions privations was for nothing when they know their is no risk of an American military action?

    I believe President Obama’s primary motivation in nominating Hagel is that he thinks he would help to deeply cut the Pentagon budget, and not to poke a finger in the eye of the pro-Israel constituency.

    But it is a very serious miscalculation of unintended consequences.

    The Senate should not confirm Hagel. Senators Blumenthal, Gildebrand, Schumer. Lautenberg, Menendez, Boxer, Cardin and many more that take seriously the Iranian threat and have made promises to their constituents on this issue should vote no just for this reason.

    Senator Rubio, who has said he would consider a hold on Hagel, would become a hero to millions of Americans if he would filabuster this greatest internal threat to the security of the United States.

    • FLgeezer January 13, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      > Senators Blumenthal, Gildebrand, Schumer. Lautenberg, Menendez, Boxer, Cardin and many more that take seriously the Iranian threat and have made promises to their constituents on this issue should vote no just for this reason.

      And don’t forget these despicable Israel-firsters Jean:

      And you and your ilk who try to depict Iran (no nukes or the ability to deliver any) as a threat to America add your off-key voices to the chorus.

      >What part of Israel is the only democracy in that part of the world that you do not understand…????

      Well Duhlta, if Israel is a democracy, rational people would have none of it:

  4. DeltaDawn January 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Hey geezer, wake up and learn how to separate your nasty anti semitism rhetoric against the Jewish people here in the U.S. from the Nation of Israel who is surrounded on one side by the Mediterranean, and the other side by hordes who live for the day when they can wipe out Israel. What part of Israel is the only democracy in that part of the world that you do not understand…????

  5. Jacqueline January 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Hagel (and others of his ilk) appear to have done what I have been with great sarcasm been advocating, in reverse!
    Register as Democrats so they must allow us to vote for thier weakest candidates in primaries. Register as Dems so we can have a voice in THIER platforms. Weaken them from within so they cannot identify the enemy.
    Hagel is a Republican as cheese whiz is to real cheese. He is a patriot as Benedict Arnold was a patriot.

  6. Rich January 12, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I thought that Mr. Obama nominated Sen Hagel to be Secretary of Defense for the United States, not Israel!!