Hagel to Abandon Lucrative Cobbling Career?

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Word is that Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska will start vying for the GOP presidential nomination:

Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who has been one of the fiercest Republican critics of the Iraq war, intends to make clear on Monday whether he will seek his party's 2008 presidential nomination, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Mr. Hagel, whose second term in the Senate ends next year, could also announce his intention to seek re-election or to leave politics. His spokesman, Mike Buttry, declined to elaborate on the announcement, which is scheduled for Monday morning at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

If Mr. Hagel seeks the presidency, his candidacy would inject into the Republican contest the strongest conservative voice of criticism over the Iraq war. Whether such views would win support in a Republican primary remains an open question.

It's worth pointing out that Hagel has no support among GOP primary voters. He shows up at between 0 and 1 percent support in polls, despite a growing national reputation (evidenced by this glowing Esquire profile, which provides this post's title). Upwards of 70 percent support the war. Hagel doesn't. So it's just as likely Hagel could be retiring from politics, as the Hotline speculates.

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  1. Seems a bit strange. A guy that has actually experienced the horrors of war and opposes it gets a 1 % favorable rating. 70 % have not been to war (in all likelihood) and do support it. As someone who did a little time in VN I invite those 70 % to take a visit to Walter Reed, the San Antonio Burn Center or any VA hospital and come away feeling like Bush’s Fiasco is a noble cause.

  2. Given Hagel’s popularity, I see no reason he couldn’t run for president and end his political career at the same time.

  3. A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Cobbling.

  4. If Mr. Hagel seeks the presidency, his candidacy would inject into the Republican contest the strongest conservative voice of criticism over the Iraq war.

    In what sense can Sen. Hagel be deemed “conservative”? I guess from the editorial perspective of the NY Times…

    Hagel has approximately zero chance of becoming president, not that he’s necessarily any worse than any of the other R’s or D’s running (with the exception of Ron Paul, of course).

  5. How is he not a conservative, Chris O.? See http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Chuck_Hagel.htm.

  6. To clarify my last post, Hagel has been consistently pro tax cut, pro gun rights, free trade, anti-union, anti-public health, anti-McCain Feingold.

    I don’t favor his abortion policies or drug policies, but these policies probably make him more “conservative” as far as most people are concerned.

  7. jimmy, any war -noble or not- is going to present horribly mangled and disfigured bodies for the public to contemplate. For example, the Antietam photos shocked and horrified the
    Northern public, but most continued to support the “noble” cause of suppressing Southern independence.

  8. Maybe Hagel is the athiest/secularist who will be announcing his beliefs on monday. The he REALLY can’t run for president.

  9. Atheism could be the ticket this time around if that’s Hagl’s stance.

    After having a Godly, christian, single minded, unwavering stay the course moron get us into the shitstorm that is Iraq, (and Iran to follow soon), the country might be ready for a different type of politician.

    Hagl could promise that his executive decisions would be based upon rational thought, clearly an improvement over the current elmer fudd. I really believe there is enough anti church sentement for an athiest to have a realistic shot. Stranger things have happened.

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