Santorum versus Hagel

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 10 2013 6:09 PM

Santorum versus Hagel

Juanna Summers, who covered Rick Santorum during his stint as the Non-Romney Candidate, gives a respectful listen to his plan to stop the Hagel nomination. It's amusing to hear Santorum plan to "contact senators, both directly and indirectly" and muse about coming "to Capitol Hill as part of his push" -- we're talking about a guy who left the Senate six years ago with a small number of friends, none of whom endorsed his run for president. But this is interesting:

Santorum declined to provide details on the ads he would buy or how much money was involved with the effort, but he said he's gotten "a lot of positive response" so far from his fundraising appeals.
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Will the anti-Hagel campaign turn out to basically be a litmus test/slush fund for 2016? (Bear with me. I hate 2016 stories more than someone in this industry should.) The loudest voices against the nomination are John Cornyn, Roger Wicker, and Lindsey Graham, all of whom are up in 2014, the last of whom worries a little about a primary challenge. That suggests that the Hagel nomination can become a dealbreaker vote for Republicans who want to run as friends of Israel -- all Republicans, basically.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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