The fierce Republican opposition to President Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary is personal and business.
The nasty fight long has been seen as a proxy for the never-ending scuffles between Obama and congressional Republicans. Barring any surprises, the drawn-out battle over the former Nebraska senator's nomination probably will end this coming week with his Senate confirmation. Still, his fellow Republicans have roughed him up. A vote is expected on Tuesday.
Senate Republicans also see Hagel as a political heretic for countering President George W. Bush on Iraq and backing a Democrat in last year's Nebraska Senate race.
The business is getting Republicans incumbents re-elected next year. Challenging Obama's nominees and policies has improved senators' standing with the conservative base as they fear tea party challenges.
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