Memo to strict constitutionalists: the Senate’s responsibility to offer “advise and consent” on presidential appointments should not be interpreted to mean “the president gets elected, so the Senate has to give him leeway to pick whomever he wants.” No way.

Sen. Hagel’s past views and statements place him far outside the bipartisan mainstream on key issues like Iran sanctions, European designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group and the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

Rand Paul was one of four Republican senators to vote to confirm Hagel as Secretary of Defense; Mark Kirk voted “no.” Read more from Lynn Sweet in the Sun Times.