Politico: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday launched a full-throated defense of former Sen. Sen. Chuck Hagel and his nomination to head the Pentagon. “He’s had a very, very distinguished public service record that he can stand on,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “There are a lot of comments about different things he’s said over the years, and I think he’ll have a chance to respond to all those comments at the his confirmation hearings.”
Powell said he believes Hagel will ultimately be approved by the Senate.”I think he gets confirmed,” Powell said. “I’ve read some of the responses that he’s already put together, and I think he will make a very, very spirited defense of his position. And I think he’ll be confirmed.”
Powell wasn’t without criticism for how the nominating process of Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who was floated as a potential secretary of state, was handled by President Barack Obama.
“I think it was not handled well,” Powell said, who endorsed Obama in both of his presidential campaigns. “One of the problems, both with Ambassador Rice and with Chuck Hagel, these sort of signals come out that, “This is who we are thinking about.” And you’re left out there to dangle for weeks. Well, if this is who you’re going to nominate, nominate them, and let’s get on with the process.” [Read More]