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January 30th, 2013
03:01 PM ET

Chuck Hagel's other war

By Libby Lewis, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - There are the anti-Chuck Hagels – and the pro-Chuck Hagels.

The conservative anti-Hagels are having fun with the former Nebraska Senator’s record with classic attack ads. All aimed at the ears of Senators who will vote on his nomination to replace Leon Panetta as Defense Secretary.

From Hagel's passionate criticism of the war in Iraq to his friendship with President Obama – before he became president. His past statements and stances on Iran and Israel and defense spending.

Not to mention, Hagel was affiliated with the anti-nuke groups, Plowshares Fund and Ground Zero. You can bet Hagel will get quite a grilling about all these things at his confirmation hearing Thursday.

He’s been visiting with Senators, trying to convince them he’s not the dove the "antis" are making him out to be.

Mike McCarthy is a good friend and former business partner of Hagel’s. He thinks he knows the real reason Hagel makes some people so uncomfortable:

[2:26] "I'd say this with a smile on my face but he’s unmanageable, you know? He will literally make his own decisions based on an in-depth analysis of the facts and then a consideration of all the human and political and other circumstances that surround it. And he’ll decide for himself. And that does makes people nervous."

If Hagel is confirmed, the Vietnam combat vet would be the first former enlisted soldier – the first Army grunt – to lead the Pentagon.

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Filed under: Politics • Soundwaves • Stories
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Sidewinder

    Wow! The first enlisted person to run the DoD? Well it's about freakin time I'd say. Perhaps a new level of pragmatism will emerge that will be of great benefit to us all.

    January 31, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
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