Toss in a few weekend talk shows and now let’s start to really wonder what in the world is going on with Chuck Hagel. A few of his statements from the telly:
I am not happy with the Republican Party today. It’s been hijacked by a group of single-minded almost isolationists, insulationists, power-projectors.
(Hagel-Bloomberg In ’08? You Never Know – Face the Nation – 5/13/07.)
And then Hagel continued with views about an Independent, Third-Party Presidential candidate route.
I think it shakes the system up. The system needs to be shaken up. What America will be looking at and wanting and demanding is honest, competent, accountable leadership. We need some new, fresh, independent ideas to lead this country forward.
It’s a great country to think about – a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation.
Hagel insiders say that Hagel would run on the bottom of the ticket, which would largely be financed by the man on the top of the ticket, Bloomberg.Bloomberg, according to New York insiders, has been meeting with both Republican and Democrat political consultants, pollsters and media advisers. They informed him that a run would most likely require $100 million. “And probably a bit more,” says one with knowledge of the discussion. “Bloomberg didn’t even blink when he heard the number. He’s ready to cut the check.”
(Financing Chuck – The American Spectator 5/14/07.)
So this latest foray by Hagel, which included a statement that Hagel will make his future-in-politics decision by late Summer, has inspired us to post what you see up at your right: The Chuck Hagel countdown clock! Because there are so many people who have said, they’re waiting to see what Chuck Hagel decides before they make their move.
Raimondo, Fahey and Kerrey have all said they wouldn’t run unless Hagel gets out. KMTV’s Joe Jordan said on his blog that that is essentially what Hal Daub will say tomorrow. We all heard Jon Bruning’s back and forth about Hagel. There’s Mike Johanns, the elephant in the room, who will undoubtedly have something to say if Hagel drops out of the Senate. And then there’s Michael Bloomberg, who is probably a little curious about what Chuck will do. So with all of them waiting, we’ve picked Labor Day as the go-to date for Hagel’s decision.
Though, it will be interesting to see whether other candidates (and voters, and contributors) have already made their moves by the time he decides. With all this Independent party talk going on, many Nebraska Republicans may abandon Hagel before he abandons them.
(And oh by the way, in Don Walton’s LJS column today, he states that, conspiracy theories aside, Ben Nelson didn’t know about Tony Raimondo’s decision until “a newspaper report was placed on his desk”. Uh huh. Riiiiight. Well, Ben Nelson also probably didn’t hear about his grandkids being born until he received a phone call, but we’re willing to bet he was aware that it was going to happen before that…)