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INSIDE POLITICS

The Washington Times' political blog.

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Former Sen. Chuck Hagel arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on his confirmation to be the next secretary of defense. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

McCain: Hagel will be confirmed as defense secretary

Sen. John McCain, one of the leading opponents of President Obama's nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be the new defense secretary, said Sunday that it's likely Mr. Hagel will be confirmed, but that he still doesn't believe he's qualified for the post.

** File ** President Obama offers a toast at a State dinner on Jan. 19, 2011, at the White House. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obamas dine out for Valentine's Day

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama celebrated Valentine's Day Thursday with dinner out at MiniBar, a Jose Andres restaurant known as a tough place to get a reservation. The menu price is $225 per person, beverages not included.

**FILE** President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Feb. 5, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama renominates contentious labor board picks

In a provocative move, President Obama Wednesday re-nominated two controversial Democratic candidates to the National Labor Relations Board just weeks after a federal court invalided their recess appointments to the posts.