'Yay'gel and 'Nay'gel: Who Is For and Against Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense?

Moderate Republican Chuck Hagel must address Republican and Democrats' concerns before he wins the nomination for Secretary of Defense.

President Barack Obama speaks during a new conference in the East Room of the White House, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, in Washington, to announce his nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, center, as the new Defense Secretary as Current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, stands left.

President Barack Obama announces his nomination of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, center, as the new Defense Secretary on Jan. 7.

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But McConnell appeared to be part of the Hagel fan club in 2008 when the Nebraska senator announced his retirement.

"Chuck has earned the respect of his colleagues and risen to national prominence as a clear voice on foreign policy and national security," McConnell said in a farewell address. "Chuck's stature as a leading voice in foreign affairs has earned him a reputation, in just 12 years in the Senate, as one of Nebraska's great statesmen."

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer


The Jewish senator from New York has traditionally been a strong ally of the White House, but did not offer up his endorsement on NBC's Meet the Press when asked if he would support Hagel. Schumer is still on the fence. [ENJOY: Political Cartoons About Congress]

Independent Sen. Angus King

The freshman from Maine is keeping an open mind about Hagel, and said he won't make a decision on whether he will support Hagel's nomination until he has a chance to vet him.

"I start with the premise that the president should be able to appoint his own people," King said on NBC's Meet the Press. "I am going to want to ask some serious questions and hear from Senator Hagel on the issues. He is a guy with a distinguished record and I am going to listen to the answers."

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp

This freshman is also waiting to hear what Hagel has to say before she gets behind him, but she's certainly impressed by his credentials.

[READ: 'Goosebumps Kind Of Day' For New Members of Congress]

"Chuck Hagel is a tremendous patriot and statesman, served incredibly in Vietnam, served this country as a United States senator," Heitkamp, from North Dakota, said Sunday on ABC. "Let's hear what the senator has to say."

Team "Yay"gel


Former Rep. Barney Frank


The first voluntarily openly gay member of Congress and now aspiring Massachusetts interim-senator once bashed Hagel, calling him out for consistently voting against gay rights, and for Hagel's 1998 remarks he would not vote for an "openly aggressively gay man" for ambassador. Before he left office, Frank released a statement attacking Hagel as being "consistently against fairness for LBGT people." [ALSO: Retired Rep. Barney Frank Asks for Senate Appointment]

But now, Frank supports the nominee.

"With the attack coming out of the right, I hope he gets confirmed," Frank said Monday in an interview with the Boston Globe.

Frank admits he hoped Obama would give the position to someone else, however, he can look past Hagel's past comments and focus on his policy expertise.

"As much as I regret what Hagel said, and resent what he said, the question now is going to be Afghanistan and scaling back the military. In terms of the policy stuff, if he would be rejected, it would be a setback for those things," Frank said.

Democratic Sen. Jack Reed


Rhode Island's senior senator might be the Democrat to help shore up more party support for the controversial pick. Reed, a former Army Ranger, graduated from West Point and serves on the Armed Services Committee. He also voted against the war in Iraq. "Chuck Hagel will make an outstanding Secretary of Defense. He is highly qualified and his record of service to this country as a decorated combat veteran, successful CEO, senator, and statesman is extraordinary," Reed said in a statement. "Chuck is a man of uncommon independence and integrity." More News:

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