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Matt Vasilogambros

Matt Vasiligambros Matt Vasilogambros is a policy writer for National Journal, covering foreign affairs, the White House and Congress. He previously covered the 2012 presidential election and other federal elections for the National Journal and The Hotline. Before joining the company, Matt covered politics for PoliticsDaily.com, the Iowa Independent and the Huffington Post. Matt is a graduate of Drake University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper. He is a native of Arlington Heights, Ill.
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At Defense, Hagel Would Face a Tough Task on Day 1: Handling Massive Spending Cuts

February 25, 2013 Chuck Hagel will likely get confirmed as secretary of Defense on Tuesday, with deep cuts to the Pentagon’s budget set to hit three days later. After months of Defense Department officials forecasting armageddon and with Congress unable and unwilling to prevent the steep spending cuts, Hagel would be entering his...

If Sequestration Happens, What's Getting the Ax?

February 21, 2013 President Obama has been warning that deep cuts triggered by sequestration could be devastating for the military and other government programs. But many Republicans, determined to see a reduction in federal spending, show no sign of wanting to cut a deal with the president to avoid the sequester. Since the...

John Kerry Differs in Style, Not Substance, From Hillary Clinton

February 20, 2013 The idea of John Kerry living it up in Cartagena, drinking and dancing with his State Department colleagues and locals as his predecessor Hillary Rodham Clinton once famously did, is hard to imagine. But their policies might not be as different as their individual styles. On Wednesday, just weeks into...

Fewer Afghan Civilians Are Being Killed, But Drone Deaths Are On The Rise

February 19, 2013 In the early morning of Sept. 16, a group of women and children in Afghanistan’s Laghman Province were walking to a nearby mountain to collect pine nuts and wood when they were hit by a NATO coalition airstrike. No insurgents or militants were harmed in the strike, but four women,...

Chuck Hagel's independent streak backfires

February 1, 2013 It was Sen. Lindsey Graham’s turn. Republican senator after Republican senator had grilled Chuck Hagel over his comments in 2008 that “the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people” to do “dumb things.” The South Carolina Republican jumped right in. “Name one person, in your opinion, who is intimidated by...

The History John Kerry Doesn't Want to Repeat as Secretary of State

January 29, 2013 This story was updated after John Kerry's confirmation. Now that the Senate has confirmed nomination, John Kerry will be the first chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become the secretary of State in more than 100 years. But if he has any ambition at all, he'd better hope...

Could John Kerry broker a Mideast peace deal?

January 28, 2013 John Kerry says he’s hopeful that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved during his tenure as secretary of State. But that hope, shared by President Obama, might be a pipe dream. During his confirmation hearing last week, Kerry made headlines for his optimistic view that a peace deal between the...

Chuck Hagel goes door to door seeking Senate support

January 28, 2013 Chuck Hagel, President Obama's controversial pick for Defense secretary, is going door to door in Congress to make the case for his confirmation, banking on the personal touch to secure support. Over the last few weeks, the former Nebraska senator has visited members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the...

John Kerry's Senate scene from 'The Godfather: Part II'

January 24, 2013 Get More: Spike.com,Watch Full Episodes,Video Clips John Kerry's Senate hearing on Thursday was a much friendlier affair than the fictional appearance of mob leader Michael Corleone before a Senate panel that was depicted in the movie The Godfather: Part II. But that didn't stop Kerry, President Obama's nominee for secretary...

Analysis: John Kerry, Obama's diplomat

January 24, 2013 Over nearly three decades in the Senate and especially during the past four years of the Obama administration, John Kerry has often played the role of the calm diplomat and the closer in negotiations. Now, Kerry is hoping to use that experience as the next secretary of State. The Massachusetts...