The rumor du jour regarding Chuck Hagel is that he’ll consider running for President as an Independent (we’re partial to TR’s old Bull Moose party), after sort of a non-response to such a question over the weekend (Hagel: Indie Candidacy Buzz? – Nat. Journal Hotline – 1/21/07). We find this scenario fairly unlikely, though Hagel has expressed frustration with his GOP brethren.
ODDS OF WHAT CHUCK HAGEL WILL DO IN 2008
(in reverse order of likelihood)
Run for reelection to the Senate
The signs for this point to no: he hasn’t been raising money and word is that he’s tired of the Senate and tired of his job. With Sen. Dick Lugar still there and Dems probably still in majority, he can’t be Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, which would be one compelling reason for him to stay in. But if Ag Sec. Mike Johanns won’t run for Hagel’s seat, does Hagel disdain Attorney General Jon Bruning enough to run for re-elect (to keep Bruning out)?
Run for Prez
Again, the signs – pretty much any poll you look at – point to no. Unless Hagel simply wants to be the alternative to pro-Iraq GOPers – he DOES have a strong conservative record, as opposed to a Giuliani or a Romney. But at this point Hagel has no money and no support in the general GOP populace where he comes off as someone who is anti-GOP and anti-President Bush.
Leave politics all together and go back to business
He could go back to the business world, work on boards, some international business issues, maybe a think-tank. This is the most likely unless he gets what is his most likely desire…
Try to stay relevant on the national scene in order to land a spot in the next GOP Admin.
If he got a job as Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, an Ambassadorship or maybe heading up the IMF or the World Bank, he would still get to work on major issues, live in D.C. (well, unless he’s an ambassador), but wouldn’t have to deal with the day-to-day grind of Senate politics. Given that President is unlikely, we think this is where Chuck Hagel would like to be.
And what do YOU think?…