Chuck Hagel (I-NE)

According to a Bloomberg News article today, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel said he would consider running for President as an Independent:

An independent bid “is possible,” Hagel, 60, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Political Capital with Al Hunt, scheduled to air today. “I don’t ever foreclose any options.”
(Hagel Says He Would Consider Presidential Run as an Independent – Bloomberg.com – 5/5/07.)

This is contrary to what Hagel said at his non-announcement announcement in March:

“I am a Republican. I believe I will continue to be a Republican.”

In fact, as noted here on Leavenworth Street, a Newsweek story back in February said that Hagel dismissed a scenario of running for the White House as an Independent as “ludicrous”.

Regarding the issue of his footsy-ish dinner at The Palm in Washington, D.C. with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the article said:

…they talked about their families, politics and Iraq, and there was no discussion about teaming up for a presidential campaign. “We have a lot of common interests,” he said. “But no, there was no talk of any ticket.”

Having a major fund-raiser for his re-election campaign.
Meeting for a high-profile dinner with another proposed Presidential candidate.
Changing his position on whether he’d run as an Independent.

Well, we guess he’s leaving his options open…

9 comments

  1. Street Sweeper says:

    “NE Voter” has forced me to go searching, instead of providing a link, so I had to to go find his above referenced comment — which he had under “Anonymous” instead of under his current nom de plume. Since I am a charitable person, and since it’s an interesting theory, I’ll reprint it here:

    Sweeper:

    My initial reaction was similar to most people who listened to the presser: Ego; ambition and hubris. Hagel jumps the shark; etc.

    However, now that I’ve had time to think this over, I am coming to a different conclusion. First, my observations:

    1. Hagel appeared shaken at the microphone and definitely did not have his “A game” going.

    2. I think the non-announcement was a last-minute decision based on the private conference call with the 100 top supporters. I believe that he probably had three announcements prepared (re-election; seek presidency; not seek presidency).

    Look, I’m a Nebraska Democrat, but I’m willing to admit that Hagel has national standing. So, the question becomes: Why would Hagel do this at the risk of looking foolish?

    Here’s my two cents. I think that Hagel is playing serious hardball with the national GOP. I visited the new website (thanks for the link) and was immediately struck by the fact that his biography makes no mention that Hagel is a member of the Republican Party.”Who cares?,” you might ask. Well, I think Hagel is laying the groundwork for a third-party run. 2008 is setting up perfectly for an insurgency on the part of the classical Chamber of Commerce/Live and Let Live wing of the Republica Party.

    The accelerated pace of the Republican primary battle will leave the ultimate winner in a weak and damaged state. The same may also be true of the Democratic nominee, but to a lesser extent since the Iraq war debacle is now acknowledged by an overwhelming majority of the public. This is a huge problem for the Repblicans and it is only going to get worse as the VA issues deepen.

    The weakened state of the parties’ de facto nominees will create a powerful vacuum. Remember, Ross Perot received 19% of the vote in 1992 against an incumbent President (who had actually won a war) and a southern newcomer who did not enter the race until September of 1991. In addition, although entertaining, Mr. Perot himself came across as half-crazy and STILL captured enough votes to swing the election to President Clinton.

    So, what’s the hardball game? I think that Hagel is telling the Republicans that he is willing to burn down the GOP’s 2008 hopes as an Independent. The message is that he’ll blow it up unless the Republicans get their act together vis a vis the Middle East.

    He’s too savvy a politician to risk looking as bad as he did yesterday for nothing.

    In conclusion, where are we at? First, by not ruling out a re-election campaign, he has iced both the Democrats and the Repblicans who might like to ramp up a campaig for a vacancy would have been created by a definitive announcement. Second, he has served notice to the national Republican Party that he is willing to press the detanator on their 2008 White House ambitions.

    Hagel is not lowering the stakes. He is raising them.

    Wake up, people!

    11:13 AM, March 13, 2007

    This was a comment from “NE Voter” following Hagel’s non-announcement announcement

  2. NE Voter says:

    Thanks for the cut-and-paste. By the way, I didn’t mean to post as “Anonymous” that time. I forgot to use my nom de plume.

    Nice to be back. I’ve enjoyed sitting back and watching the conservative correspondents on this board experiencing complete meltdown over the Hagel-Bruning dust-up. The exploding heads are more entertaining than freworks at Rosenblatt.

    At any rate, Sweeper, wouldn’t you agree that Jon Bruning is moving awfully close to Jon Christensen territory? I have my theories, which I will disclose over time, but needless to say the Nebraska GOP is in for a very rough time over the next few cycles.

    Wake up, people!

  3. Street Sweeper says:

    Christensen..when?
    When he ran for the House?
    When he ran for Governor?
    Or when he married Miss America?

  4. OmaSteak says:

    My gut is still telling me Hagel is hanging back awaiting the result of the new strategy being implemented in Iraq. Since all of the announced candidates are supporters of the Iraq effort…qualified as their support may be…Hagel is still betting his presidential ambitions on failure. Evidently he thinks that will propel him to frontrunner status if/when that happens. If the new strategy is still “too close to call” after Labor Day, Hagel’s only option at that point may be an independent bid. I have yet to hear any Hagel plans for the future sufficiently compelling to produce a result that would even come close to Perot’s campaign. Hagel doesn’t have Regan’s vision nor the ability to so expertly articulate one. The only way I can see him gaining any significant independent conservative minded voter support would be to embrace the Fair Tax Act and abandon his own “immigration reform/amnesty” past in favor of strict border/immigration enforcement. I doubt he can/will do so…and he’s just too damn negative/dour to carry the inspirational visionary leader image off.

  5. One Out In The Third says:

    The photo accompanying this piece does a nice portrayal of “Chuck, The Boogey-Man.”

    If he can’t make up his mind about his future…how can he make a decision for America? “Wait 6 months and we’ll get back to you with our plan” is not the type of leadership I look for in a President…or a Senator.

    I hate to say look at the polls…because I don’t like polls …but he hasn’t gained any momentum since he flopped on Iraq. If you look at all the polls…you will actually see that he has slipped.

  6. supersize says:

    Uh, Sweeper, have you ever had the opportunity to meet Bruning’s wife? She is everything Miss America is, and a bag of chips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.