Chuck Hagel Is Your New Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of defense on Capitol Hill January 31, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama nominated Hagel, a controversial choice as Hagel opposed former President George W. Bush and his own party on the Iraq War and upset liberals with his criticism of a gay ambassador, for which he later apologized. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Hagel’s thrilled face. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/2013 Getty Images

Hagel was confirmed by the Senate this afternoon on a 58–41 vote, with four Republicans (Thad Cochran, Mike Johanns, Richard Shelby, and Rand Paul) joining 54 Democrats. (New Jersey’s Frank Lautenberg was home sick.) Paul ultimately voted for Hagel despite twice supporting a filibuster against him — but he has his reasons. “I voted no [initially] because I wanted more information and I think that part of what the Senate does is try to get information about the nominees,” Paul told reporters. However, BuzzFeed reports that Paul never even got the information he had sought, so we’re not sure it was the most effective protest.