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Give Hagel a chance

Let me finish tonight with this.

Let me finish tonight with this.

The big story tonight is the President's nomination of Chuck Hagel. I think the fair thing to do is to give this nomination a solid chance. Let's hear how he answers the tough questions. Let's see if he's the kind of person to give this enormous responsibility.

Personally, I think the attacks on him have been pushed hard by the right. The right wing doesn't like his approach to military action. They are raring to go. He is restrained, skeptical of what war can achieve.

I happen to like him for this reason. Like Dwight Eisenhower and Anwar Sadat and Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, Hagel knows the reality of war—not the from the top but from the "mud" level, where the "dog faces," "the grunts," the GIs have to do the fighting.

So when you watch the hearings, think of the Americans out there on post tonight, all alone, in a place far from home. Give some thought to the possibility they'd like to have a Pentagon chief who knows just what that's like.