9:10 a.m. E.T.
My “Morning Joe” Take:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: What in the world is going on with this campaign to discredit Chuck Hagel, a Republican?
MARK HALPERIN: Well, his supporters are rallying, a little bit belated. You look at the Susan Rice experience, you just can’t, in this day and age, be out there as an unnominated person whose name is being speculated about if there are people opposed to you. And there’s a coalition of partisan Republicans and people who look at Senator Hagel’s past statements on the Middle East, in particular, and they don’t want him to be Secretary of Defense and they’ve launched a campaign much earlier and stronger than his supporters have done. His supporters are now coming back but it’s very difficult, again, as Susan Rice showed, if you’re not actually nominated, if you don’t have the full war room being run by the executive branch on your behalf and you’re reliant on casual exchanges of your supporters, inside and outside of government, it’s difficult to do. I don’t really know if the President fully intended or intends to nominate Senator Hagel but he’s in a tough position now because, like Susan Rice, the loud voices are coming from those who oppose him, particularly supporters of Israel who believe he’s not as strong there as they’d like to see.
Watch the video above.