Sen. Rand Paul’s puzzling vote for Chuck Hagel: Smart politics?
http://theweek.com ^ | February 27, 2013 | Peter Weber |
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 9:32:16 AM by NKP_Vet
“And so the epic battle over Chuck Hagel’s nomination to become defense secretary ended with a whimper, not a bang. The Senate easily confirmed the former Republican senator from Nebraska on Tuesday, 58 to 41, with four Republicans joining all present Democrats.
That was still by far the least amount of support a successful defense secretary nominee has received since at least the Carter administration, and confirmation came only after one successful GOP filibuster and, on Tuesday, an unsuccessful follow-up. For anyone who’s been paying attention to the Hagel drama for the past few weeks, the outcome was no surprise.
Spectators may have noticed one unexpected wrinkle to the Hagel denouement, however: Sen. Rand Paul. Fifteen Republicans voted on Tuesday morning to end the filibuster against Hagel but then went on to oppose his confirmation.
Only one, the junior senator from Kentucky, voted the other way: Paul was one of the 27 Republicans who voted to continue the filibuster, but then he surprised just about everyone by joining the “aye” Republicans — Thad Cochran (Miss.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), and Richard Shelby (Ala.) — for the final vote.
(Excerpt) Read more at theweek.com …