I know some will question whether Senator Hagel’s assurances are merely attempts to quiet critics as he seeks confirmation to this critical post. But I don’t think so. Senator Hagel realizes the situation in the Middle East has changed, with Israel in a dramatically more endangered position than it was even five years ago. His views are genuine, and reflect this new reality.Schumer's support for Hagel was in question largely because Republicans have made a fuss over Hagel because they'd make a fuss about any Obama nominee, even, in this case, a member of their own party. Schumer was never not going to support Hagel, but he had to make a show of concern since Israel was one of the issues Republicans were throwing against the wall to see what stuck. Similarly, Republicans were never likely to seriously filibuster Hagel, but they have to show how outraged they are at every single thing President Barack Obama says or does, so they did, along the way reinforcing the need for filibuster reform.
On issues related to female and LGBT service members, Senator Hagel provided key assurances as well. He said he is committed to implementing the Shaheen amendment to improve the reproductive health of military women. He also supports the full repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
In general, I believe any President deserves latitude in selecting his own advisors. While the Senate confirmation process must be allowed to run its course, it is my hope that Senator Hagel’s thorough explanations will remove any lingering controversy regarding his nomination.
Gotta love the Senate.