February 1st, 2013
Inspired by Before confirmation hearing, Hagel has waged charm offensive (Ernesto Londono, Washington Post 1/31/13 page A5) and Hagel sharply attacked at Senate hearing (Ernesto Londono, Washington Post 2/01/13 page A3).
“Please answer the question: Were you correct or incorrect when you said that ‘the surge would be the most dangerous blunder in this country since Vietnam.’ Were you correct or incorrect, yes or no?” — John McCain“We don’t know yet whether the surge worked, but my charm offensive sure didn’t.” — Chuck Hagel (paraphrased)
Hagel waged his charm offensive,
And the Republican response? Offensive.
The alluring onslaught didn’t work:
John McCain was even more of a jerk.
If anything, his anger seems to have increased,
And his erstwhile fond feelings seem deceased.
Why did the charm surge so fail,
And how Hagel’s hard work to no avail?
As anyone who was part of that other surge knows,
That’s what happens when you’re dealing with extremist foes.
Here’s the video of John McCain’s lost love for Chuck Hagel. While I agree with my fellow commentators on the left that Hagel was treated rudely and that the Senators who did so should be ashamed, I also think he could have been better coached. For example, the correct answer to Sen. McCain’s question was: “Yes, Senator, I was wrong to answer in such a hyperbolic, exaggerated way. While the surge’s ultimate success remains to be determined, it did achieve some positive results. Believe me: that’s one thing I’m happy to have been wrong about.” Or, maybe Hagel was so coached, but was just so surprised by his old friend’s vehemence that he was unable to remember his prepared responses.