The initial critique of Hagel, he said, was an attempt by neoconservatives “to create a spike of concern to kill the nomination.” But, he added, “They failed.”
The Hagel supporter predicted that, as the nominee, Hagel will be able to “solve the LGBT stuff really fast” by coming out and saying “he’s strongly supportive of LGBT rights, LGBT families and service.”
“The world’s evolved, he’s evolved,” he added.
As for the claims that Hagel is not sufficiently pro-Israel, the supporter said there is “too much of a track record where Hagel’s been supportive of Israel.”
“That’ll come out in the hearings,” he said.
Even Hagel backers acknowledge, however, that the confirmation process promises plenty of fireworks. Graham offered a taste of what’s to come on CNN, calling Obama’s pick of Hagel “an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel.”
Added Graham, “I think it’s an incredibly controversial choice, and it looks like the second term of President Obama is going to be an in-your-face term.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.