Barney Frank Opposes Hagel for SecDef

Barney Frank / AP
December 31, 2012

Rep. Barney Frank will oppose the potential nomination of former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense if he is nominated, the retiring Massachusetts Democrat announced Monday, reports the Washington Blade:

"Then-Senator Hagel’s aggressively bigoted opposition to President Clinton’s naming the first openly gay Ambassador in U.S. history was not, as Sen. Hagel now claims, an aberration," Frank said. "He voted consistently against fairness for LGBT people and there does not seem to be any evidence prior to his effort to become Secretary of Defense of any apology or retraction of his attack on James Hormel."

Frank added, "And to those of us who admire and respect Mr. Hormel, Sen. Hagel’s description of him as aggressive can only mean that the Senator strongly objected to Hormel’s reasoned, civil advocacy for LGBT people. I cannot think of any other minority group in the U.S. today where such a negative statement and action made in 1998 would not be an obstacle to a major Presidential appointment." [...]

But Hagel also has an anti-gay record while serving in Congress. From 2001 to 2006, Hagel consistently scored a "0″ on the Human Rights Campaign’s scorecards between 2001 and 2006. Hagel voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004, but didn’t cast a vote on the measure in 2006.

Since Hagel was reported as President Obama's likely choice to succeed Sec. Leon Panetta, his would-be nomination has hit major obstacles--primarily scrutiny over his record on Israel, abortion, guns, and LGBT issues, as well as his lack of bureaucratic management experience and his management style.