Panetta tuning in to C-SPAN to await Hagel vote

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Associated Press

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 1:04 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has apparently had all the Pentagon farewells he can take.

The defense chief is working from his California home, awaiting the expected Senate vote on the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel to take over the Pentagon job.

Pentagon spokesman George Little says Panetta will be tuning in to the C-SPAN Senate channel in the next few days, hoping that Hagel is confirmed. Panetta has been eager to retire to his walnut farm in Carmel for weeks, and already was feted at two farewell ceremonies. But his plans have been repeatedly blocked by delays as senators battle over Hagel's nomination.

The Senate dispute meant Panetta had to attend a NATO meeting in Brussels last week that he expected Hagel would take.

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