The looming confirmation fight over Chuck Hagel: A guide

President Obama is reportedly nominating the Nebraska Republican to lead the Defense Department. And the GOP is up in arms

President Obama may have great trust in Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), but Republicans sure don't.
(Image credit: Eric Francis/Getty Images)

President Obama is reportedly ignoring Republican filibuster threats and nominating former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) on Monday to be his third Defense Secretary, replacing the outgoing Leon Panetta. On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Senate will give Hagel a "fair hearing like any other nominee." Other Republicans are being somewhat less charitable. "Quite frankly, Chuck Hagel is out of the mainstream of thinking on most issues regarding foreign policy," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on CNN. He "has long severed his ties with the Republican Party," and "this is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel." Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) similarly said it was "very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which I could support (Hagel's) confirmation," given his "very, very troubling" record regarding Israel. Democrats aren't exactly thrilled about the Hagel nod, either. He is, after all, a Republican. Here's a look at why Obama is going to fight for Hagel, why he needs to fight, and whether the Nebraskan will pass muster among his former Senate peers.

Who is Hagel, and what are his qualifications?

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.