Jim Inhofe: Who is he?


Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) delivers opening remarks during former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of defense with Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) (L) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Capitol Hill January 31, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama nominated Hagel, a controversial choice as Hagel opposed former President George W. Bush and his own party on the Iraq War and upset liberals with his criticism of a gay ambassador, for which he later apologized.


Chip Somodevilla

Republican Senator James Inhofe's aggressive questioning of Obama's Pentagon chief nominee, Chuck Hagel, on Thursday has him in the limelight.

Name not ringing a bell for you? Here's a quick refresher on the outspoken Oklahoma lawmaker. 

Inhofe is an army veteran, an accomplished pilot, and all-star conservative with 20 kids and grandkids whose website says he stands "for what is right – even when he is the only one."

National Journal magazine recently ranked Inhofe the Senate's most radical on the right, lauding him as “the only senator with a perfect conservative score," according to his Senate page, a top grade likely supported by him calling climate change the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated against the American people."

Inhofe further demonstrated his conservative credentials by cross-examining Hagel on issues like Iran, Israel, and nuclear weapons during the would-be defense secretary's confirmation hearing in Washington, said The Washington Post

Defense is a hot-button issue for Inhofe. He serves as the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and was one of the first lawmakers to visit the controversial US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, a facility he wants to see stay open and operating, according to his website

As a legislator, his stated priorities include "improving how efficiently the Department of Defense uses taxpayer dollars to protect the nation, providing oversight to ensure our military strategies and assessments are best used to protect our nation, and ensuring that our forces have the tools and resources they need to defend America," according to his website.

A skilled pilot, Inhofe certainly has an advantage when it comes to checking up on US activities overseas, being the only member of Congress to have flown an airplane around the world, according to his Senate page

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Inhofe served in the army and went on to work in aviation, real estate, and insurance. He's been married 51 years to his wife Kay, said his website