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David Brooks: Hagel Did "A Very Poor Job," "Projected Weakness" At Hearing

JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: Well, speaking of secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, who, David, the president wants to be the secretary of defense, hearing yesterday, confirmation hearing before the Senate, pretty rough going.

What did you take away from that?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I thought it was terrible. I thought he did a very poor job.

And we have interviewed him. We have -- Mark and I have said nice things about him. I certainly have enjoyed the interviews I have had with him, but he really did a bad job. He projected weakness, which is not something you want in a secretary of defense. He could not even respond to freshman senators with any force or vigor.

He projected a guy who hadn't prepared. Some of these questions were obvious questions, about the surge, about some of the things he had said on Al-Jazeera. You have got to have an answer. It's like somebody who walks into a big moment of their life without having done their homework.

And so I still think he will be confirmed on more or less party-line votes. But if it was up to sort of a looking for a boost of -- a sign of competence, this wasn't it.

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