Josh Gerstein & Glenn Thrush are surprisingly neutral about the filibuster, given POLITCO's strong tilt to the left side of the political spectrum.
...an irked Obama is dead set on installing his pick at the Pentagon — even though the bitter battle over his confirmation is likely to leave lasting scars on his nominee at a time of looming military cuts and dangerous new developments in Iran and North Korea.The NYT blamed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for the debate and filibuster:
“We’ve never had a secretary of defense filibustered before … there are only a handful of instances in which there’s been any kind of filibuster of anybody,” the president said during a Google+ chat after the Senate vote.
“My expectation and hope is that Chuck Hagel … will be confirmed as our defense secretary,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when I’m presiding over [a war in Afghanistan].
Mr. Hagel, a former senator from Mr. Cruz’s own party, was about to be the victim of the first filibuster of a nominee to lead the Pentagon. The blockade was due in no small part to the very junior senator’s relentless pursuit of speeches, financial records or any other documents with Mr. Hagel’s name on them going back at least five years. Some Republicans praised the work of the brash newcomer, but others joined Democrats in saying that Mr. Cruz had gone too far.Bobo Boxer even obliquely accused Ted Cruz of "McCarthyism," a sign that the NYT is going to launch a full-bore smear campaign against Cruz, whom they consider a mini-Palin.
As long as the attention given to Cruz keeps Marco Rubio away from the left's slash-and-burn character assassinations undertaken by the MSM, this might be a good thing. Dave Weigel in Slate even caps Cruz, but blames Hagel for his own travails:
There is one sucker tonight: Chuck Hagel. He botched up his confirmation hearing, giving Republicans all kinds of reasons to oppose him. (In his "no" statement, Sen. Mark Kirk, who was never undecided on Hagel, continues to pretend that Hagel's "elected" government of Iran gaffe was a window into his real thinking, as opposed to lazy verbiage.) He has to wait 12 days for the Senate to take up his nomination again. In that time, he has to endure more reports and rumors about his past speeches (nothing since the "Jewish lobby" comment has damaged his chances so far), and he probably has to shut up, which seems difficult for him.So another vote may take place in 12 days or so. Hagel will have to sweat the Senate recess and Obama will see another national security Cabinet favorite [remember Susan Rice?] in the sauna over unjudicious remarks made many years past.
But for the first ever filibuster of a national security nominee—the first ever of one of the original Cabinet positions inaugurated in 1789—this thing really split the baby. Everybody seems to win something.
The only reason Boy Wonder THE WON ever achieved the White House is the brevity and barren quality of his previous record as a State Senator [whose campaign finance records were never found for the MSM beavers to gnaw away on].
Which says volumes about American politics.