Sen. Deb Fischer says the politics of last year will play no role in her evaluation of Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense.
The nomination of Hagel by President Obama for Secretary of Defense sets up a bit of side drama for Nebraska and for no one more than the state’s new United States Senator.
Both Fischer and Hagel are Republicans.
Yet, Hagel made a very public endorsement of Democrat Bob Kerrey, Fischer’s opponent in the U.S. Senate race last year, late in the campaign.
Fischer says the endorsement will play no role in her decision.
“His endorsement of Mr. Kerrey has no impact at all on that decision,” Fischer tells Kevin Thomas, the host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Fischer will stand in judgment of Hagel as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She says she wants to hear more about Hagel’s views on different parts of the world and what he sees as the role of the United States in those regions.
“All of those are very important issues that need to come forward and as a member of the Armed Services Committee I’m going to have a number of questions ready to pose to Mr. Hagel,” Fischer says.
Prior to that, though, the two will have a private meeting.
“He’s going to be coming to my office. We’ll have a private conversation before the committee hearings,” Fischer says. “Like I said, it’s all part of the process. We’ll work through that. I know Mr. Hagel has a number of questions that he’ll be needing to address and after he goes through that very public confirmation hearing, then we’ll take a vote on that and see what happens.”
Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Sen. Deb Fischer discusses Chuck Hagel nomination as Sec. of Defense with Kevin Thomas. [4 min.]