I am really dumbfounded by the utter cluelessness of this WH communications team in the whole nominations saga. If they are going to float names of candidates, and these candidates are getting a pushback; why is there not a plan to use talking points and surrogates to effectively push back? This leaves the candidate to try to do damage control on their own. This is difficult as the candidate does not want to come out looking presumptuous and seen to be trying to force the President's hand. That is why it is imperative that the WH communications team has a staff devoted to push back. They should have surrogates on the ready to counter any stories or smears. The surrogates of course should be from outside the WH; but the WH communications team should coordinate.
It was bad enough that the Susan Rice nomination went down in flames as she was allowed to twist in the wind. But on top of that; the way this WH has allowed Chuck Hagel to be smeared? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE WH IDIOTS? Have a team ready, get surrogates, fight back! Do not allow the purported candidate to do his own fighting. The candidate is ALWAYS the weakest to do this. It is because they do not want to come out as looking presumptuous. How difficult is this? You do this for Supreme Court nominees; now do it for all the people that you think are important. The Security team is important. ACT LIKE IT!