Chuck Quixote

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Nominally anti-war Sen. Chuck Hagel has a plan for meshing his presidential ambitions with his unpopularity among Republicans: Not running as a Republican.

Hagel has not only emerged as a leading critic of the administration's foreign policy, he's also flirting with running for president next year — possibly on a hybrid ticket that would include a Democrat.

"If I decide to get into this, I would run not just to make a statement," Hagel, 60, said in an interview last week.

He said that if he ran he would seek the Republican nomination. Yet he's also talking up Unity08. That's a plan by a bipartisan group of political operatives to draft a bipartisan presidential ticket on the Internet and offer voters an alternative to the Democratic and Republican candidates next year."

I think it's a very intriguing enterprise," Hagel said. He said most Americans are disenchanted with the major political parties.

I want to like Hagel, but this is just egoism. Unity08 is clearly a stalking horse for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the 5'7" effeminate billionaire who thinks he can be elected president because of that "billionaire" part. While the Kucinich-Gravel and Tancredo-Gilmore tickets grovel to raise $500 million, Bloomberg could write himself a check for that much, or more.

NEXT: First Rule of Politics: Follow the Money Message

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  1. An out for Republicans who don’t support the war, but can’t bring themselves to vote for a Democrat.

  2. You say “can’t bring themselves” like it’s irrational. I can think of plenty of reasons an anti-war Republican would rather not vote for a Democrat. 😉

  3. No judgement meant or implied. Just an observation that there are some people who would rather vote for a Republican, knowing he would lead us on to even greater defeat, than pull the level for an anti-American traitor like (fill in name of Democratic nominee here).

    Oh, if only the Democrats hadn’t nominated (fill in name of Democratic nominee here)! Anyone but (fill in name of Democratic nominee here)!

    Even if they had nominated (fill in name of fourth place Democratic primary candidate here) or (fill in name of second place Democratic primary candidate here), I would have voted Democrat, but they had to go and nominate (fill in name of Democratic nominee here)!

  4. the 5’7” effeminate billionaire

    Classy. But I thought “limp-wristed” rather than “effeminate” was the approved slur?

  5. ajay,

    That’s a slur? Seems to me it’s an adjective, and an accurately used one at that. If that’s a slur, than so is billionaire.

  6. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the 5’7” effeminate billionaire who thinks he can be elected president because of that “billionaire” part.

    There are plenty of substantive reasons to hate Mike Bloomberg but the fact that he doesn’t strike you as virile/butch/whatever isn’t grounds for criticism.

    Seriously, Dave, you’re better than that.

  7. “I want to like Hagel, but this is just egoism.”

    And this sort of “egoism” differentiates Hagel in some way from any other politician?

  8. joe,

    I will admit to bearing some resemblance to that remark, but I voted libertarian rather than pulling for W.

    And there are currently two candidates that the Democrats could nominate that would ensure that I vote either L or R in ’08. Edwards and H. Rhodam are both non-starters for me.

    Then again, since I live in Texas, I could vote for Pol Pot with a clear conscience, for all the more doubt there is about which column Texas will go for. Even in the congressional races, which might be more competitive if it weren’t for the rampant gerrymandering.

  9. I think it’s a very intriguing enterprise,” Hagel said. He said most Americans are disenchanted with the major political parties.

    Unity08 seeks to reenchant voters by bringing the parties together to make progress.

    “Progress” is what we’re afraid of. IMO most voters would much rather have Disunity08.

  10. It’s all right to be 5’7″ when you can stand on a stack of cash.

    – Josh

  11. As a 5’7″ guy, I just want to say that at least 3/4 of the male population is above average height.

  12. There is a very good reason for libertarians to consider voting Republican for president in 2008. It is the same reason why many libertarians voted Democratic in the 2006 mid-terms.

    Divided Government.

    These are the assumptions I am making that will inform my 2008 voting decision.

    Assumption 1) The Divided Government hypothesis holds true to form.

    We will have divided government for the next two years. Minimally, we expect to see restraint in the growth of spending and some evidence for more fiscal discipline on the part of the federal government. If that does not happen, the foundation for advocating divided government will collapse, and I will refocus on abalone diving on the Mendocino coast and wait for the end of western civilization.

    Assumption 2) Democrats will retain their majority in the House of Representatives in 2008.

    The margin may or may not shrink, but from here it looks like the Democrats will have the edge going into 2008. Incumbents have a significant advantage, and the Democrats have a sizeable majority. The Democrats would have to screw up on a scale of how the Republicans screwed up in 2006. They would have to pile up a record of corruption in two years comparable to what the Republicans did in six. I would not put either past them, but it does seem unlikely. Also, the Democrats made significant gains in state legislatures and governorships across the country, so they will be in a postion to redistrict to increase their incumbent advantage in 08. We have to assume they will keep the majority in the house.

    Assumption 3) Democrats have an advantage retaining a majority in the Senate.

    The Democratic majority in the Senate cannot get any thinner. There is certainly an opportunity and a possibility for the Republicans to retake the Senate in ’08, but structural factors argue against the Republicans. There are 33 Senate seats contested in 2008. Of these, 21 are held by Republicans and 12 by Democrats. Simple numbers – the Republicans have a lot more at risk, and will be playing defense. The Democrats have many more opportunities to take seats than Republicans. Advantage Democrats.

    Ergo, the key to being a happy voter in November 2008, is to get an acceptable Republican nominated. Hagel fits the bill. Paul fits the bill.

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