9:00 a.m. E.T.
From “Morning Joe”:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So, Mark Halperin, back to the Democrats and their, sort of, lukewarm response to this and to his comments in his hometown newspaper, what do you make of it? Is he correct in what he’s saying about his record?
MARK HALPERIN: Well, some Democrats are already supportive. Jack Reed, another veteran, senator from Rhode Island, is supportive and a few others are. Some are holding their fire and keeping their powder dry, if I can cram some clichés in there. It’s unusual to do an interview when you’re awaiting confirmation. You’re supposed to kind of go in a media blackout. He chose his hometown paper to do it. I think that, why do we care about this as a political story? The question is will he be confirmed or not. Everybody thinks, in the end, he almost certainly will be. But Senator Schumer is pretty key here. To beat someone, a presidential nominee who doesn’t have a scandal — no one is alleging any impropriety or scandal or personal problem; it’s all about policy. Very rare to beat somebody on just policy, particularly if it stays an inside game. Are there people in Washington and in elite circles who want to stop Hagel? Absolutely. Is the public engaged on this? No way, not now. And the challenge for people who oppose is to do one of two things. Either to get the public engaged and say we want to stop Chuck Hagel. Unlikely. Or to pick off a prominent Democratic senator, who, in the end, says, “I can’t vote for this person.” Schumer is the key. If Schumer supports Hagel, it’s almost impossible to imagine them stopping him from being confirmed.
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