President Obama’s Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel finally gets his turn in the hot seat on Capitol Hill today. The former Nebraska Senator has been facing criticism from fellow republicans and lukewarm endorsement from democrats, long before he was officially tapped by the President. The controversy stems from a number of Hagel’s past remarks and policy positions, including his stance on the Iraq war, Israel and Iran, and the gay community. Hagel was selected despite the threat of a difficult nomination fight because of his military service and because he has the President’s ear . There are already signs the pendulum is swinging in Hagel’s favor. Some key democrats finally came out in favor of the former Senator, and Wednesday a republican senator crossed party lines to endorse Hagel. But before Thursday’s hearing even gets underway, at least one GOP member is threatening to put the nomination on hold. Will we see obstruction and theatrics? And will the former Senator be able to make his case on the Capitol Hill stage? We’ll explore those questions and more when we see you at noon ET on msnbc.
Kurt Andersen, WNBC host, “Studio 360″/ Author “True Believers” (@kbandersen)
Chris Smith, Contributing Editor, New York Magazine (@chrissmithnymag)
Richard Wolffe, Executive Editor, msnbc.com/msnbc Political Analyst (@richardwolffedc)
Jamie Rubin, Fmr. Asst. Secretary of State/Fmr. State Dept. Spokesman
Dave Barry, Author, “Insane City” (@rayadverb)