Finally. former senator Chuck Hagel has been confirmed as the next Secretary of Defense in a simple majority vote, 58 to 41.
Earlier Tuesday, members of the Senate voted to dispense with a filibuster that their Republican colleagues--all except four--had, two weeks earlier, defiantly upheld.
The Vietnam War veteran faced more than two months of intense opposition that strained partisan tensions even further. Some of the criticism hurled at Hagel included objections to his views on Middle East security, and controversial past comments.
Highlights of some of the key moments of the contentious confirmation process are below: