Chuck Hagel is standing down, something this blog highlighted a few days ago.
I think that as things look at the moment, the next president is likely to be a Democrat — but the country still will be deeply divided. Building reasonable, pragmatic Republicans into the next leadership team is going to be important, and John Edwards has hinted that he’s already making such plans.
The next President should consider Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Alternatively — and only secondly — he would be a capable and credible roving emissary in the Middle East or envoy to the United Nations. His “no false choices in the Middle East” speech still stands out as one of the very best I have heard.
But Defense is what he should be asked to do.
I had occasion to chat one on one with former Senator and New School President Bob Kerrey yesterday, and he gave me no indication one way or another that he was going to run for Hagel’s Nebraska senate seat — but he did tell me to stay tuned next Saturday.
— Steve Clemons