The Campaign Spot

Report: Hagel Stepping Down; ‘He Wasn’t Up to the Job’

From the November 17 Morning Jolt:

Bing West thinks that someone in the Obama administration’s national-security inner circle will leave in the not-too-distant future, perhaps Chuck Hagel or Susan Rice.

To be honest, I thought that was unlikely. Why now? Obama’s foreign policy, defense policies, and national-security team performed badly throughout all of 2014. What changed? Then this morning we see . . . 

Always listen to Bing West!

UPDATE: Jim, back in February:

[With all the national security crises going on], maybe this isn’t the right time for a quiet, disregarded cipher to be running the Pentagon?

Politico’s Morning Defense newsletter, shortly thereafter:

FOUND — AN ANTHEM FOR HAGEL . . . AND IT’S NOT ‘NOWHERE MAN’: Your Morning D correspondent finally caught up on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon over the weekend. Particularly awesome was U2’s concert on the roof of Rockefeller Center, where they sang their new song, “Invisible.” Well, having just read the fourth op-ed/article about how Hagel is “invisible” as defense secretary, your correspondent thought this song (and this performance) could become Hagel’s anthem of sorts. “You don’t see me but you will. I am not invisible,” Bono sings. http://goo.gl/nyyqtB

— SOMEONE CALL JIM GERAGHTY: The fourth Hagel-is-invisible installment comes from The National Review’s Jim Geraghty http://goo.gl/8xMXT8. He ends his piece with a photo of Hagel and the line, “Have you seen this man? If so, call (202) 456-1111.” No, that’s not Geraghty’s cell phone number, but the White House comment line (thank you, Defense News’ John Bennet (@BennettJohnT) for calling). Anyway, after today’s press briefing, can someone give Geraghty a ring . . . let him know we’ve found Hagel. He’s at the Pentagon. Fancy that.

An unnamed administration official, today:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down amid criticism of the president’s national security team on a series of global issues, including the threat posed by the militant group known as ISIS.

Senior defense officials confirmed to NBC News Monday that Hagel was forced to resign.

The officials say the White House has lost confidence in Hagel to carry out his role at the Pentagon. According to one senior official, “He wasn’t up to the job.”

Remember which news sources are telling you the administration’s line that everything is hunky-dory!

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