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Chuck Hagel: why Obama is using political capital on Pentagon pick (+video)

President Obama just made it by one 'fiscal cliff,' with more to come. But he has shown he won't shy away from a fight in nominating former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon.

Obama nominates Hagel for Secretary of Defense
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At first blush, former Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska seems an odd pick for secretary of Defense.

He is a Republican, a point that frustrates Democrats who would rather see one of their own in this key Cabinet slot. But, to many Republicans, he’s a RINO – a Republican in Name Only – owing in part to his opposition to the Iraq war and to his general wariness toward foreign entanglements.

Mr. Hagel has also irritated Democrats with past anti-gay comments (for which he has since apologized). And he has riled members of both parties with his criticism of pro-Israel groups and his stance toward Iran, including opposition to some sanctions.


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