At least, that's how I think a real columnist (like George Will or Charles Krauthammer) would describe him.
Time Magazine has posted its '10 Questions.' Here are two favorites:
How do you respond to people who say passing a nonbinding resolution like the one you introduced in the Senate opposing the troop surge doesn't matter?
Of course it matters. We don't want to get into a position where the American people in six to eight months are so frustrated they demand an immediate cutoff of funds. That's not the way we want to have to leave Iraq, so you have these debates now.
You described Arizona Senator John McCain's support of a resolution backing the surge but calling for benchmarks to evaluate Iraqi performance "disingenuous" after he criticized your resolution. Has this affected your friendship?
This has nothing to do with our friendship. There is no one I admire or respect more than John. I thought [his resolution] was duplicitous. It lays out benchmarks for the Iraqis, but doesn't attach any consequences.
So it 'matters' to debate things in the Senate, but it's 'duplicitous' to offer rhetoric without consequences?
Clearly, Hagel is as nuanced as John Kerry. Let's see if it gets him as far.