Within the Obama administration, there was a view that Hagel’s performance could have been better, but that officials had seen no indication that his chances had been diminished by the difficult confirmation hearing.
The White House was largely satisfied with how Hagel had done, a US official said.
At the Pentagon, where Hagel had spent many hours preparing for the hearing, some officials said privately that they did not see anything surprising in the attacks that echoed opponents’ statements against Hagel since Obama nominated him.
Hagel has been the subject of an intense lobbying effort seeing to label him as an enemy of Israel, soft on Iran and opponent of equal rights for gays and lesbians in the military.
So far, he has picked up scant Republican support. Republican Senator Thad Cochran has said he will back the nomination and others have not ruled it out.