Party-line vote sends Pentagon pick Hagel to Senate floor

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And recently elected Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, said she could not vote for her fellow Cornhusker because his “views are so far afield.”

But Democrats took a far more forgiving and estimable view of the former senator, arguing his merits far outweigh his past mistakes.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, said Mr. Hagel showed leadership by opting to face combat while many young men of his generation sought deferments.

“This is a man who stood up and said, ‘Let me go,’” she said. “And not only did he go, he served with courage on the battlefield.”

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