President Barack Obama has settled on Chuck Hagel, a Republican and former U.S. senator from Nebraska, to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with an announcement expected Monday, Democratic officials tell POLITICO…

A Democratic aide described the White House’s logic for choosing Hagel, age 66: “Chuck Hagel is a decorated war hero who would be the first enlisted soldier and Vietnam veteran to go on to serve as Secretary of Defense. He had the courage to break with his party during the Iraq War, and would help bring the war in Afghanistan to an end while building the military we need for the future…

A Senate Democratic official said: “I don’t think Dems just fall in line. Ultimately, he may be confirmed. But at this stage, his fate is totally up in the air. He will really have to work hard to overcome some of his previous statements and positions.”