WASHINGTON (AP) — The fierce Republican opposition to President Barack Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary is personal and business.
The nasty fight long has been seen as a proxy for the never-ending scuffles between Obama and congressional Republicans.
Barring any surprises, the drawn-out battle over Hagel's nomination probably will end this coming week with his Senate confirmation. Still, his fellow Republicans have roughed him up.
A vote is expected on Tuesday.
Senate Republicans also see Hagel as a political heretic for countering President George W. Bush on Iraq and backing a Democrat in last year's Nebraska Senate race.
The business is getting Republicans incumbents re-elected next year. Challenging Obama's nominees and policies has improved senators' standing with the conservative base as they fear tea party challenges.