Barney Frank, No Longer Anti-Hagel

Last year, as he was doing his retirement interviews, Barney Frank said that Chuck Hagel “voted consistently against fairness for LGBT people” and that his attack on ambassadorial nominee James Hormel meant that he “strongly objected to Hormel’s reasoned, civil advocacy for LGBT people.”

Among the headlines inspired by Frank’s epistle:

Barney Frank Opposes Hagel for Secretary of Defense

Barney Frank ‘Strongly Opposes’ Chuck Hagel As Defense Secretary

Barney Frank joins bipartisan chorus opposing Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary


Today, Frank is a possible candidate – a really, really, eager candidate – to temporarily take over John Kerry’s Senate seat. And he’s flipped on Hagel.

“As much as I regret what Hagel said, and resent what he said, the question now is going to be Afghanistan and scaling back the military,” Frank said. “In terms of the policy stuff, if he would be rejected [by the Senate], it would be a setback for those things… With the attack coming out of the right, I hope he gets confirmed.”


To effectively oppose Hagel, hawks need to prove that there’s a bipartisan chorus of voices who don’t like the nomination. They pay attention to the Democrats who may be gettable. At 8:22 a.m. this morning, Daniel Halper reported that Sen. Ben Cardin had “questions” about Hagel on Israel and Iran (the hed referred to these as “serious questions”), and one hour later, Dan Senor was on MSNBC noting that Ben Cardin had “serious questions” about Hagel.

But 24 hours ago, Barney Frank was a leading gay voice possible Democratic senator who opposed Hagel, full stop. Now he’s for Hagel.