November 21, 2004


Hagel poised for presidential bid in 2008 (DON WALTON, 11/21/04, Lincoln Journal Star)

Sen. Chuck Hagel appears ready to venture onto that perilous path toward a possible 2008 presidential bid. [...]

For Hagel, the first step will be more like three.

* Look for him to sharply widen and deepen his fund-raising efforts. His Sandhills political action committee, which funneled campaign funds to three dozen Republican congressional incumbents or candidates this year, already is one of the most prolific PACs established by a member of the Senate.

* Expect him to travel the country, speaking at Republican events in other states, including New Hampshire and Iowa. He's already building contacts in both presidential launching-pad states.

* Look for him to notch up his visibility on the national stage.

Hagel will be front and center when key domestic issues come before the Congress next year.

He will sponsor a comprehensive Social Security reform package that includes a personal investment component for younger Americans.

He plans to offer a new proposal to address global climate change and will travel to London to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss their common interest in working on that issue during a conversation covering a range of topics. The plan would serve as a means of addressing global warming concerns distinct from the 1997 Kyoto accord the United States rejected and Hagel vigorously opposed because of its impact on the U.S. economy.

Already on his plate: a landmark proposal for major immigration reform.

Mr. Hagel is a notorious lightweight, but if he were to get major Social Security and immigration reform enacted he'd have to be taken seriously.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 21, 2004 12:32 PM

A lightweight? Name a senator who knows more about military operations.

So Orrin, when are you going to post your opinion that tax returns should be public information?

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at November 21, 2004 1:36 PM

It'll be a lot more impressive if he's able to get some things passed that haven't been put on the table by the President (or does his immigration plan differ?).

Posted by: jsmith at November 21, 2004 1:49 PM

I myself would've been more impressed by Hagel if every time I saw him on TV, he didn't keep calling pro-war civilians "chickhawks." As citizens, regardless of whether we've ever served in the military, we all have the right to speak on matters of our country's involvement in war and peace. Maybe Hagel has a deep understanding of military affairs. But his utter lack of respect for what is a fundamental American right means he'd never get my vote.

Posted by: X at November 21, 2004 3:21 PM


Presumably all Rick meant is that Hagel served in Vietnam. There's no empirical evidence that he understands anything about military operations.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2004 3:57 PM

Bush is a heavyweight who is consistently misunderestimated. Hagel is a featherweight who is misoverestimated--when thought of at all.

And he's late; McCain already declared last week:

"...with CIA leaks intended to harm the re-election campaign of the president of the United States, it is not only dysfunctional but a rogue organization."

Posted by: Noel at November 21, 2004 4:16 PM

Hagel calls to mind Pete McCloskey. He will go about as far as McCloskey did.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2004 4:20 PM

Hagel's got a way to go before he measures up to Pete. First, he'd have to challenge the incumbent President of his own party in the primary. Second, he'd have to lead an impeachment of that President.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at November 21, 2004 6:16 PM

Yes, but the impeachment trial was after the election, wasn't it?

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2004 6:24 PM

Sounds like the DU this evening.

How did a pompous Nebraska veteran wind up on the Saudi payroll?

Posted by: ratbert at November 21, 2004 7:08 PM

jim hamlen:

Yes, the consideration of impeachment (there was no trial - Nixon's resignation mooted both impeachment in the House and trial in the Senate) occurred after Nixon's re-election. I like Pete a lot, though I've never forgiven him for defeating Shirley Temple Black (a real conservative) in the Republican primary for his Congressional seat. My point was that Pete was a true maverick, Hagel a maverick manque.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at November 21, 2004 10:19 PM

Read much that Pete's written lately Fred? He still is a "maverick." So is Hagel ... and Jim's initial contention is probably correct.

Posted by: genecis at November 21, 2004 11:35 PM

This native Nebraskan says "Just say no" to Hagel.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 22, 2004 1:45 AM