The Norman Transcript

Headlines

January 19, 2013

Hagel nomination faces opposition

WASHINGTON — In the middle of a bitter fight over a Republican president’s nominee for defense secretary, a former White House occupant pleaded with senators to give the president his choice for the Pentagon job.

“Unless there is conclusive evidence against the nominee, the Senate should respect the right of a new president to choose the men and women he believes are best qualified to serve in his Cabinet,” former President Richard Nixon said in March 1989.

Nixon’s request fell upon deaf ears. The Democratic-controlled Senate, on a largely party-line vote, defeated the nomination of John Tower amid allegations that he was an excessive drinker, womanizer and held close ties to defense contractors — all charges that he denied.

It was an ignominious outcome for the former four-term Texas senator as it marked the first time the Senate had rejected one of its own for a Cabinet post. Republican President George H.W. Bush, on the job barely two months, absorbed the political blow.

More than two decades later, President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, two-term former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel, faces stiff opposition from fellow Republicans who are willing to ignore Nixon’s plea — and perhaps even toss aside their own words from 24 years ago — and vote against Hagel.

While not even Hagel’s critics have tried to liken the nominee to such lightning-bolt names as Tower and one-time Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, they do argue that the principle of protecting a president’s prerogatives on Cabinet choices comes into play nevertheless.

The two politically charged confirmation fights over Tower and Hagel offer obvious parallels and notable differences, especially in a Senate short on traditional comity.

The Defense Department took issue with the comparison.

“This confirmation process is about one nominee and one nominee alone: Chuck Hagel and his strong record on the issues and his proven ability to lead. People should resist the temptation to draw historical comparisons that don’t add up,” the Pentagon press secretary, George Little, said Friday in London, where he was traveling with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Human Rights Artist, activist-in-residence uses art to enlighten society

    La Puerta del Mileno, the Millennium Door, attempts to beckon travelers into the city walls of Ciudad Juarez, but the steel beams are abruptly interrupted as they reach for the sky by the eye of a child who sees the underlying message: the ...

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s superintendent attracts opponents

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi....

    April 17, 2014

  • Women leaders announced

    The Norman Chamber announced the nominees for the 2014 Women’s Leadership Award, which honors female leaders who actively inspire other women to achieve their full potential.  Past recipients of this honor, formerly known as the ATHENA ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Organizers confident of safe race

    BOSTON — The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week....

    April 17, 2014

  • Ducks Unlimited night set

    Cleveland County’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual “Sportsman Night” at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Optimist Club Gym in Norman....

    April 17, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Fed says no to business help

    LEXINGTON — The federal government has turned down the state’s request for an economic injury declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration following the Jan. 31 closure of the Lexington-Purcell bridge over the Canadian River....

    April 17, 2014

  • History group to host local book signing event

    Mae Davenport Cox will sign copies of “Red Dirt, River and Rails: Early-Day Settlers to Southern Cleveland County” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center during ‘89er Day festivities....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU Staff Week to include daily activities

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Staff Week, set April 21-25, will feature many activities. The theme is “OU Staff: The Real Superheroes.” Donations of canned food for Food and Shelter may be brought to all activities except the ...

    April 17, 2014