Hagel to Face Huge Budget Cuts, Strategic Shift at Post-War Pentagon

If confirmed, the former soldier, CEO, and senator will have to draw on all of his varied work experience, experts say.

Chuck Hagel enjoys a laugh with former President Bill Clinton as Hagel presents Clinton with the Atlantic Council's Distinguished International Leadership Award, April 28, 2010.

Former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel enjoys a laugh with former President Bill Clinton, April 28, 2010.

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The challenge for the budget is going to be a political one, adds Leed.

"That math is the easy part. The hard part is selling it to Congress, to the American people, and to some extent, to industry," she says. "It's arguable how much influence he'll have in Congress, but he has a huge amount of credibility with the American people."

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