Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) appeared on “Hardball” to discuss Senator Hagel’s confirmation hearing performance Thursday evening on MSNBC. Shaheen struck a measured tone in critiquing Hagel, while Matthews was apoplectic over Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham’s line of questioning:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Sen. Shaheen, I don’t know what to make of that. It looked like badgering the witness. I mean, it was McCain with some vendetta against this guy. It looked personal. And I don’t know what it had to do with his qualifications, his abilities, to simply pound away trying to get him to agree on John McCain on something McCain believes in.
JEANE SHAHEEN: Well, this was the longest hearing for a nominee that I have ever attended in my years here. I think — I thought Senator Hagel answered as forthrightly as he could all the tough questions that were in front of him. And you know, I would hope we could all be respectful and be willing to give the witness an opportunity to answer when there are serious questions. I was pleased to hear Senator Hagel. I didn’t ask him about the surge in Iraq. I wasn’t there for that interchange, but I was pleased to have him recommit, as he did when we met privately, his support for maintaining the defense of Israel and point out that his voting record has consistently been to support Israel. I was pleased to hear him talk about Iran and his support for international sanctions and the president’s position on Iran. So I think he is — and this hearing is still going on. I think he’s been trying to be very forthright and responsive to all the questions that have been asked by the committee members.