Entering today's confirmation hearings, the conventional wisdom was that Sen. Chuck Hagel would face tough questions during his confirmation hearings but that he'd get confirmed. After the worst performance at a confirmation hearing in ages, Sen. Hagel's confirmation is in serious doubt.
In less than 5 minutes, Sen. Hagel went from saying he supported "President Obama's strong policy of containment" on Iran to reversing that statement. That forced Senate Armed Forces Commitee Chairman Levin to instruct Sen. Hagel that the US has a policy of containment towards Iran.
While that was Sen. Hagel's biggest mistake, it wasn't Sen. Hagel's only mistake. In fact, FreeBeacon.com published an article titled Hagel’s 7 Worst Moments in Round One.
Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-TX), questioned Sen. Hagel on why he'd do an interview on Al-Jazeera, then tell their audience that the US is "the world's bully."
Sen. Lindsey Graham grilled Sen. Hagel on why Sen. Hagel said that the Jewish lobby intimidates US senators. When asked to name a single US senator who'd been intimidated by "the Jewish lobby," Sen. Hagel said he couldn't name one. When Sen. Graham asked about Sen. Hagel's statement that "the Jewish lobby" made the US make foolish decisions, Sen. Hagel admitted that he couldn't think of a single foolish decision that the US has made as a result of the Jewish lobby.
The point of this isn't just that Sen. Hagel made foolish and provocative statements. It isn't just that he got major policies wrong.
The point is that he came across as an incompetent blowhard who made provocative statements while trying to attract attention to himself.
Those certainly aren't the qualifications for the next Secretary of Defense.