At Hagel hearing, Sen. King’s questions break the mold

Just recently Sen. Angus King (I-ME) had his first experience questioning a nominee at a Senate hearing.

In the hot seat was former senator Chuck Hagel, who has been nominated for Secretary of Defense.

As shown in this word cloud from Buzzfeed, Hagel was asked quite a lot of questions about Israel and Iran.

In fact, there were 166 mentions of Israel and 144 of Iran, compared to only 20 mentions of Afghanistan and not a single word uttered about drones.

As for Senator King, his questions focused on other issues.

Much of what King asked about was very consistent with his past role as governor of Maine, an executive position overseeing a state with jobs in shipbuilding and submarines.  He asked about managing the Defense Department and about procurement for the Navy.

Maine has many veterans and Senator King asked about new approaches to help returning veterans find jobs.

King also asked about counter-terrorism, an important national issue.

Compared to many questioners, there was not only a paucity of purely political statements, and a wider range of topics explored, but Senator King also showed his sense of humor and his interest in political history.

See for yourself:


Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.