A decorated Vietnam War veteran (including 2 Purple Hearts), Hagel enjoys the respect of key conservatives even though he has opposed his party's president on the Iraq War.
Click here for The Washington Times' write-up and here for Newsweek's.
Conservatives as prominent as former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan have praised Mr. Hagel's "guts" in opposing the latest U.S. troop surge and sharing the blame for Congress not debating the pros and cons of the war sufficiently before the invasion."
Chuck Hagel is bright, decent and conservative on almost all issues," Mr. Keene said. "Indeed, his lifetime ACU rating is over 85, and we consider anyone who scores 80 or above a fairly reliable conservative."