So reports the Free Beacon:

Former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel may no longer be President Obama’s favored pick to run the Defense Department, sources told theFree Beacon.

Hagel immediately drew a frosty reception from observers who criticized him for advocating in favor of direct unconditional talks with Iran and for backing sizable cuts to the defense budget.

Those who have worked with Hagel and have an intimate knowledge of his managerial style also expressed concerns about his possible appointment.

The Free Beacon uses multiple unnamed Washington sources to “corroborate” the view that Chuck Hagel is a poor manager and a foreign policy lightweight. There are also accusations that Hagel is an anti-Semite being floated in the media, no doubt helped by an “endorsement” from Iran. Last week I explained a few positive points about a potential Defense Secretary Hagel; he opposed the war in Iraq, and has said as recently as last year that it was time for America to “start heading toward the exits”. Nevertheless I recommended cautious pessimism.

Meanwhile, Cato's Christopher Preble explained last week why a potential Hagel nomination ought to be welcome news to anyone tired of decades of U.S. foreign interventionism. Preble also said he didn’t “put much stock in the neoconservative echo chamber’s claim that Hagel will have a tough time being confirmed,” so maybe there’s hope to be held out after all.