“Are they really going to turn this guy down?” asked one administration official. “Seems pretty unlikely to me.”…

“It’s one thing to hold your fire or say something on a Sunday show — it’s another to look him in the eye, this guy who is a Vietnam veteran with two Purple Hearts,” said one senior administration official. “That would be a very difficult thing for Republicans to do.”…

One Senate GOP aide said the conference was “very surprised” that Obama ultimately chose Hagel.

“It’s not looking good. I don’t see strong support for him from either side of the aisle,” the aide said. “This is not a bipartisan nomination. The only thing bipartisan about this nomination is the opposition to it.”