And the Winner, With 1551 Delegates, Is… Chuck Hagel!

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Just saw Sen. Chuck Hagel speak at a Cato-sponsored event in the Hart Senate office. Hagel sounded like most senators probably feel today—bone-tired and pessimistic. He took around 50 minutes to make mostly familiar points about the failure of Washington to engage the rest of the world. There was one question about Hagel's 2008 plans and the most interesting wrinkle was how much Hagel knew about the primary calendar and about convention rules. Without being prompted he sketched out a scenario where the four frontrunning candidates get deadlocked and… well, uh, who knows?

I actually think Joe Lieberman has a better shot at winning a deadlocked Twin Cities convention than Hagel.

Speaking of which: There was only time for four questions from the room and I asked Hagel why, if he was concerned with the tenor of the Iran debate and wanted to talk with Iran to reform the Middle East, he voted for Sen. Lieberman's amendment to study and call out Iranian influence in Iraq. "I don't see how the two positions are contradictory," he said. "Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, we know that. That doesn't mean we can't talk to them." I'm unconvinced—knowing as we do that Lieberman favors an attack on Iran, you have to consider whether amendments that ask for study of Iran's meddling in Iraq are an attempt at a casus belli. Anyway, my rambling question and his answer are here.

NEXT: Loose Brains: Former Reaganite Edition

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  1. Without being prompted he sketched out a scenario where the four frontrunning candidates get deadlocked and… well, uh, who knows?

    He flies his airplane to the convention and is nominated by acclaimation?

  2. On the merits of the amendment, I can see his point. I can also see your point, that the hand of Joe creates the implication of an unstated (and incompatible) motive that should also be obvious to Hagel.

  3. Dave Weigel,

    By your logic, the people who supported weapons inspections in Iraq in 2002 were necessarily supporting the Iraq war, since the presence of WMDs would be used as the main casus belli in that instance.

  4. By your logic, the people who supported weapons inspections in Iraq in 2002 were necessarily supporting the Iraq war

    That would be true if those people were on the record supporting an attack on Iraq, as Lieberman is with an attack on Iran.

  5. He flies his airplane to the convention…?

    Ha. Maybe if he flies his airplane into the convention. Then he’d get all the delegates.

  6. He flies his airplane to the convention and is nominated by acclaimation?

    a roth fan! there’s some hope for you, joe.

  7. It would be so friggin’ great to see him on the stage taking apart the empty suits in the Republican debates.

    My take here: Can Chuck Hagel save the GOP from the Loyal Bushies?

    For the love of God Chuck! Get in the race!

  8. David,

    Some of those people were on record supporting “regime change” in Iraq, as per the 1998 Congressional resolution advocating such.

    My larger point is that just because some people support this action because they want war with Iran, does not mean that all people who support the action want that. To say otherwise is, frankly, flaccid.

  9. I’m so happy someone got my reference.

    I haven’t read a lot of Roth, edna, but that book was amazing. He takes an idea that big and fascinating, and yet the book is about people, and their internal lives. You look at Tom Clancy, and his characters were just props to move his plot. But in The Plot Against America, it seemed like, as big and important and fascinating as that idea was, it was a book about people.

  10. crimethink,

    Let’s not forget, supporting regime change is not supporting an invasion, either.

    Was our policy towards the Warsaw Pact nations not regime change?

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