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Disgruntled Hagel Staffers Coming Forward?

That’s what Senator Bob Corker hinted at on “This Week” yesterday. So far there haven’t been many articles on Chuck Hagel’s alleged mistreatment of staffers, but it sounds like this may turn into a bigger issue: 

This morning on “This Week,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee expressed concerns about the “temperament” of Chuck Hagel, the man President Obama nominated to be his next Secretary of Defense.

“Just his overall temperament and is he suited to run a department or a big agency or a big entity like the Pentagon,” Corker told me. “I think there are numbers of staffers who are coming forth now just talking about the way he has dealt with them. I have, certainly questions, about a lot of things.”

Corker went on to say he wouldn’t necessarily oppose Hagel’s nomination over this, but it adds another bullet point to the growing case against Hagel. As Elliott Abrams writes at NRO, policy objections alone tend to be a weak argument against confirmation. But questions about competence, temperament, management ability, personal character, etc.–combined, these could make a powerful case. If former staffers start speaking out to the media, or show up to testify at the hearings, that could prove very damaging.

It’s also not as if Obama is defending Hagel’s controversial policy positions. Quite the opposite; the argument for the defense secretary nominee is that he’s come around to Obama’s (professed) stance on Iranian sanctions and the use of military force. So while the president should be able to choose someone who shares his views–even if these views are controversial–there are real questions about whether Hagel actually does.



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