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Political notebook

Bob Kerrey gets Republican’s Senate backing

OMAHA — Democrat Bob Kerrey got an atta-boy Thursday from former Republican senator Chuck Hagel, who said the former senator would break the partisan ‘‘nonsense that’s literally strangling our country.’’ Republicans supporting GOP hopeful Deb Fischer in Nebraska’s tight Senate race scoffed and suggested Hagel was sniffing around for a Cabinet seat under President Obama.

‘‘I think at the end of the day, people are going to look at this endorsement and see it for what it is,’’ said Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican and friend of Hagel’s who pointed out that the former senator angered the GOP with criticism of former President George W. Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq. ‘‘It’s a step in his path to try to build those bone fides that he is truly an Obama person and deserves a place in his Cabinet.’’

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