• With: Dan Henninger, Mary Anastasia O'Grady, Kim Strassel, Bret Stephens, Matt Kaminski

    GIGOT: Do you think he wants a fight?

    KAMINSKI: I think he's had a fight. I think it's probably a fight that he thinks he can win, because he's probably calling over to the Senate and counting votes.

    GIGOT: Sure.

    KAMINSKI: What is striking to me as well, Hagel doesn't have experience in the thing he's being tasked to do, which is to run the Pentagon. President Obama is the one who ultimately will decide, well, we're not going to get involved in Syria. We're not going to push too hard overseas.

    GIGOT: But the argument --

    KAMINSKI: Hagel's main job is to go and run the Pentagon.

    GIGOT: But the argument is he was an enlisted man in Vietnam, served with distinction, two Purple Hearts and, therefore, he knows what it's like to be an enlisted man, fighting on the ground and, therefore, will have those people foremost in mind.

    KAMINSKI: Well, no one is questioning his courage or his record. But it's not that relevant to the job of running a department of several million people and a $550 billion budget. And he has never served on the Armed Services Committee in the Senate. He has never run anything as big as the Pentagon. And I think he's presumably someone the White House thinks is going to do what the White House wants him to do. Leon Panetta and Bob Gates before were willing to push back at times against cuts that they wanted forced on the Pentagon.

    GIGOT: Yes. And I think -- but I do think he will be confirmed, lest we learn something new.

    We have to take one more break. When we come back, "Hits and Misses" of the week.


    GIGOT: Time now for "Hits and Misses" of the week.

    Kim, first to you.

    STRASSEL: Paul, a big miss to Vice President Joe Biden's announcement this week that President Obama may use an executive order to enforce gun control in this country. The only reason the president would be considering doing this is because he knows there is a big bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats representing their constituents who firmly oppose such measures. Congress has always been the place to regulate guns. And the public deserves at least that much oversight and debate on an issue that the Supreme Court has said is a constitutional right.

    GIGOT: OK, Kim.


    KAMINSKI: This is a hit to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who, in our pages today, has announced that he wants to lead the fight for comprehensive -- well, not comprehensive, but for immigration reform --

    GIGOT: Immigration reform.

    KAMINSKI: -- in the coming Congress.

    GIGOT: Among Republicans.

    KAMINSKI: Exactly. And he has been, of course, a very prominent Cuban-American politician. Came out two years ago. He's slowly moved into immigration. But now says he's willing to take up President Obama's challenge to do something about immigration by proposing a series of bills to overhaul the guest-worker program. And the most -- the hardest thing of all, something about the undocumented immigrants.

    GIGOT: All right. Thanks, Matt.


    STEPHENS: This is a big hit to journalists in China. We sometimes talk about courage in journalism. These guys are courageous. They responded to censorship by the Communist Party by going on strike and the Communist Party essentially relented. They're all going back to their jobs this week. Maybe there will be some progress for press freedom in China.

    GIGOT: And maybe they won't all end up in prison. We have to hope.

    OK, that's it for this week's show. Thanks to my panel and to all of you for watching. I'm Paul Gigot. And we hope to see you right here next week.

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