The Hagel thing is getting stupid from all sides. His hearing made him seem weak. Not something appealing for someone going for his position. I also agree Obama spent too much political clout on his cabinet nominations. Then again, look at Susan Rice. The Republicans are going to fight any nomination tooth and nail regardless of qualifications. Kerry got by because he's formed a good relationship with many politicians.
If the Republicans blocking, and filibustering Hagel were doing so because they honestly thought he was a bad choice, and not just Obama obstructionism, I'd have more sympathy. Just listen to McCain for the real reasons.
“There’s a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly, at one point said he was the worst president since Herbert Hoover, said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which was nonsense,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said on Fox News yesterday.
“[He] was anti-his own party and people. People don’t forget that. You can disagree, but if you’re disagreeable, then people don’t forget that.”
It's not because they think he's bad for the job, but because he dared not tow the party lines, and Obama picked him. I do agree though that it's baffling how Democratic presidents always choose Republicans for defense. It doespush the perception that only Republicans can handle defense. However I think someone being right for the job is more important than petty politics.
As much as I do wish Obama would have not picked the fights he has, the Hagel ordeal strikes me as more of a petty problem the Republicans are creating. I think it looks worse on them than Obama. Especially considering most voters are not happy with the current Republican party, and this sends the message that if you're not 100% with the party on everything they'll block you from political advancement.