In this Jan. 7, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama and his choice for Defense Secretary, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, left, laugh as current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, where the president announced his nomination of Hagel. In 1989, former President Richard Nixon said unless a nominee is clearly unqualified, the Senate should respect the right of a president to fill his Cabinet. Nixon’s words came during the bitter fight over President George H.W. Bush’s choice of John Tower for the Pentagon post. The Democratic-led Senate rejected him. Now, Obama’s choice of Hagel to be defense secretary will be a test for Senate Republicans, including those who fought strenuously for Tower. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file)

Associated Press
In this Jan. 7, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama and his choice for Defense Secretary, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, left, laugh as current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, where the president announced his nomination of Hagel. In 1989, former President Richard Nixon said unless a nominee is clearly unqualified, the Senate should respect the right of a president to fill his Cabinet. Nixon’s words came during the bitter fight over President George H.W. Bush’s choice of John Tower for the Pentagon post. The Democratic-led Senate rejected him. Now, Obama’s choice of Hagel to be defense secretary will be a test for Senate Republicans, including those who fought strenuously for Tower. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file)
In this Jan. 7, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama and his choice for Defense Secretary, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, left, laugh as current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, where the president announced his nomination of Hagel. In 1989, former President Richard Nixon said unless a nominee is clearly unqualified, the Senate should respect the right of a president to fill his Cabinet. Nixon’s words came during the bitter fight over President George H.W. Bush’s choice of John Tower for the Pentagon post. The Democratic-led Senate rejected him. Now, Obama’s choice of Hagel to be defense secretary will be a test for Senate Republicans, including those who fought strenuously for Tower. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file)
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