Hagel and Panetta dish about Pentagon
January 8th, 2013
03:29 PM ET
1 year ago

Hagel and Panetta dish about Pentagon

(CNN) - Just hours after President Barack Obama's formal nomination of Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of defense, Hagel joined current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon for dinner.

In Tuesday afternoon's briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little reaffirmed Panetta's support for the former senator from Nebraska. When asked for details on the dinner between Panetta and Hagel, Little tried side stepping with a listing of the dinner's menu that included "corn chowder, filet mignon, and chocolate cake."

He did not comment on the content of the discussion between the two leaders.

"It was more Midwestern themed with a little more steak and corn than Italian this go around," Little quipped - perhaps a sly reference to Panetta's recent remarks in an Esquire magazine interview that should he dine with North Korea's new leader, he'd wow him with some Italian.

"The one thing I make pretty good is gnocchi," Panetta told Esquire. "If I were inviting Kim Jong Un over for dinner, I'd make him a plate of gnocchi. We'd have a glass of wine. And basically I'd try to understand: What's his thinking?"

The one-on-one meeting with Hagel was a chance for Panetta to express his support prior to the Senate's confirmation process. In the coming weeks, Hagel will receive numerous briefings on all things Pentagon, from the budgetary process to current force structure and capabilities, Little said.

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. PaulCat

    Did they verify the dinner menu with Graham & McCain first?

    January 8, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. tom

    keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer – michael corleone on why we talk and negotiate with enemies.

    January 8, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Leaders of Israel have said "we don't see what the problem is with Hagel's nomination, he's just one man" and they are correct. So why are we allowing people like Graham, McCain and a few others to make an embarrassing spectacle of us in the eyes of Israel and other countries, are we just brain dead.

    January 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. freedom

    I thought this administration was claiming there's a war on women? Where are the women in the new cabinet? – not puppets like Rice, but qualified ones? It was all manufactured manipulation – like everything he said on the campaign trail. Those of you who voted for him will see it all play out now, while we all suffer because of it.

    January 8, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Lilli

    Lindsey Graham is CRAZY!!!!

    January 8, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "The only democrat that can run against him on even terms is Joe Biden. Anyone else would be painted as an elitist. Democrats be warned and win as many Senate and Congressional seat in 2014 as you can."

    Haha...no. If Clinton runs, she'll destroy Christie and he'll be forced to destroy himself by running with the GOP's typical "southern strategy" all over again, pandering to the right wing fringe etc. The GOP/Teatrolls are never...understand this...NEVER...winning another WH bid with just the white vote. NEVER. Those days are gone FOREVER. No future GOPer will ever be able to run as a moderate and thereby gain sufficient minority votes to win unless and until the party excises the Teatrolls...and at this point, no future GOPer can win without those same Teatrolls. They've paited themselves into a very very tight corner and have pretty much decided that the only way out is to knock down the walls, i.e., wreck the federal gov't and try to hand as much power back to the states and to oligarchs as possible. I won't be suprised to find us dealing with "serious" attemts at 10th and 17th Amendment repeals by the House GOP/Teatrolls over the next 4 years....maybe the 14th as well.

    January 8, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "So why are we allowing people like Graham, McCain and a few others to make an embarrassing spectacle of us in the eyes of Israel and other countries(?)"

    Advertising revenue.

    January 8, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. 2012liberal

    @freedom u want cheese w that whine?

    January 8, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |