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Washington sources say Former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel appears to have the inside track to replace Leon Panetta as defense secretary.
According to those sources, Hagel has met with both President Obama and Vice President Biden.
One Democrat with knowledge of the process calls Hagel's nomination "almost a done deal."
But administration officials say no decisions have been made.
Hagel, who serves as the co-chair of the president's Intelligence Advisory Board, is well-known to the president.
He crossed party lines to endorse Obama in 2008, and traveled with him to Afghanistan and Iraq.
If nominated and confirmed, Hagel would be Obama's second Republican defense secretary.
Bob Gates stayed on when Obama took office after having served in the role under President Bush.
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