Chuck Hagel Sets Date to Announce Plans


I will be in Havana, Cuba at the time — with uncertain internet access — but Senator Chuck Hagel has just announced that he will hold a news conference Monday, 12 March 2007, at 10 a.m. CST (11 a.m. EST) on his “future plans.”
The meeting will be held in Bootstrapper Memorial Hall at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center.
I’m guessing Hagel is announcing the formation of his exploratory committee given the size font that his office used on the announcement. The headline came in 48 pt. font size.
Big. I suspect that if Hagel was announcing he was not running or not running for the Senate, the font would have been a more discreet, less bold size.
This is interesting news.
Just getting ready to fly to Vegas after a really enjoyable evening with Seattle’s Drinking Liberally crowd last night and a good cluster of TWN readers this morning at Starbucks.
More later.
— Steve Clemons


14 comments on “Chuck Hagel Sets Date to Announce Plans

  1. Carroll says:

    Good! I want to see Clark announce also.
    I want the public to see two men from two different parties who mostly agree on what America’s role in the world really is and what it’s going to cost us and the rest of the world if we don’t straighten up and fly right…
    That would confuse the hell out of all the partisan party voters.
    Also I am not a numbers person but looking at the polls on Bush I think it is pretty true that we have and will always have 30% of the public that is hopelessly retarded, but I am counting on the other 2/3’s of the voting public to be so sick of “it all” they will reject the usual spin and pander game and demand the bottom line this time.


  2. urbino says:

    Another thing it’d be good to see from Hagel before declaring him The Republican for the Rest of Us is an ability to persuade and bring people along with him. He’d have to be able to do that as president. Let’s see it in the Senate. Persuade some fellow Republicans to vote with him and against the WH on Iraq or the Patriot Act, etc.
    I just can’t get past the fact that, if Hagel means what he says, it seems irresponsible to leave the Senate to go on the campaign trail. He already *has* a position from which to influence policy. It’s sort of tautological to say, but Bush will be gone by the time Hagel could be president. He’ll have done his damage and left. Stay in the Senate, Sen. Hagel, and fight Bush’s policies NOW. Prevent further damage. You already have a position from which to do that. Use it. Please!


  3. Marky says:

    This whole Hagel love-in really gets my goat.
    I’ll bet that a lot of the same people who love Hagel now think that Bush sounded reasonable back in 1999-2000. If you look at Bushs’ foreign policy schtick from back then, it didn’t sound horrible. In fact, it appeared that his plan to end Social Security was the worst danger we faced from a Bush Presidency.
    With Hagel, we would also face a risk of Social Security being demolished—this is one of the most important goals of conservatives like Hagel—and we would have a voting record which shows an imperialist warmonger with no regard for the Constitution.
    I can only quote Patrick Fitzgerald here: “Madness, madness, madness”.
    Oh yeah, and you can look to El Salvador for a model of abortion/birth control rights if Hagel is elected.


  4. Marky says:

    Urbino, yes, I meant Huckabee.
    The Hagel-Feingold ticket is completely theoretical. Feingold is toxic to Republicans, and unfortunately not that popular with mainstream Dems.
    Look, if Hagel runs, then he to explain his ass-kissing vote record in the Senate, just like Hillary. Give him some tough love early—based on his record of kowtowing under pressure, I think he will falter badly. On the other hand, if he can explain his horrendous voting record, AND if he takes action in the Senate which shows he has really changed, then he’s worth considering.
    Personally I think the man-crushes that Hagel is causing are just as baffling as the earlier McCain infatuations.


  5. urbino says:

    I dunno, rich. I’d have to see Hagel actively fighting the Bush theory of the executive before I’ll consider him presidential timber. He can’t do that from the hustings. All he can do there is talk.


  6. urbino says:

    “I’ll take Obama over Hagel or any Republican, and he’s not even my first choice. I want to hear more about Richardson; also, I hope Clark enters the race. I would like to support Edwards, but I’d like to see a clear demonstration of strength and effectiveness on his part.”
    Me, too.
    As for Hagel, I still say giving up his Senate seat for what is almost certainly a futile presidential bid is a net loss for those of us who’d like to see more sensible policy from our government. In the Senate, he at least serves as something of a counterweight to Joe Lieberman (which, I’ll wager, Hagel’s replacement won’t do). As a minor presidential candidate, what good is he?
    “isn’t HUtchinson going to be an attractive candidate to the GOP?”
    You mean Huckabee? Probably, but there’s a lot of mud from his time as governor of Arkansas that the others will throw at him. I expect his candidacy will rise briefly, then decline and die.


  7. rich says:

    Hagel/Feingold 2008.
    Why? My worry about Chuck Hagel has been his slow-to-action response to Bush’s abuseive foreign (& domestic) policy. The concern is that he buys into Presidential Imperial Power, and into the set of legal precedents and executive orders/kingly decrees that enable, but do not justify, just about anything.
    Example: John Bolton. I’d hoped there was enough on the record for Hagel to come through. No luck.
    But I’d like to think the scales finally fell from Chuck Hagel’s eyes. For a guy clearly not prone to rash statements, he really laid it on the line recently.
    But if Hagel & Feingold come to agree on Executive War Powers consistent with Article 1 Section 8–coherent w/history and functionally protecting our troops by ensuring America enters only wars that are necessary and/or just causes–then that shared common ground has deeper and more powerful implications.
    It’d be good for American national security to get that right, and end this ill-advised pretension to Kingly unearned privilege.
    It’d safeguard our soldiers’s lives and honor to fight armies, not populations, to fight FOR sovereignty, and enter wars based on the NATION’s security rather than provincial recklessness or corporate corruption. Rather than the imperial inversion of American democracy–at home AND abroad.
    Just maybe legally specifying that reality–that core fact–will allow ‘conservative’ libertarians and ‘liberal’ libertarians to remember that the lesson of their TRUE CENTRISM entails a LIMITED government that cannot take away our guns, cannot establish free speech ‘zones,’ cannot ‘suspend’ our Creator-endowed, biologically intrinsic INALIENABLE rights, and that has no role in matters of religion, sex, or people’s bodies.
    Isn’t THAT what this country’s all about? Isn’t that what unites us?
    Hagel/Feingold 2008. EXCept–both will be more effective working together w/Hagel as Preznit and Feingold pushing on the Intelligence Committee. I don’t care how Hagel prays or whether he’s opposed to abortion on moral grounds. My folks are pro-choice liberals whose politics is driven by faith, too–but they would never get an abortion either. As limited-government liberals, they’re more conservative than many centrists & Repubs. So if Hagel gets the Constitution right, and Obama can’t, I’ll vote for him.


  8. Homer says:

    If America is firmly nestled within the heart and head of Hagel, he will be help members in Congress draft the articles of impeachment against Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney.
    Otherwise, Hagel is an all-talk-no-action short man with a Napoleanic complex.


  9. JohnH says:

    But will Hagel tell us in no uncertain terms why we went to war in Iraq and why the administration is determined to repeat its fiasco in Iran? No more condemnations of discredited reasons, just the plain unvarnished truth. Such a declaration would get my attention, respect, and maybe even my vote. Anything short of that is just more mindless political chatter.


  10. Chris Mitchell says:

    Thanks for coming out last night to Dinking Liberally – Seattle. Awesome chat!


  11. Marky says:

    Giuliani and McCain have no chance. Hillary’s chances are probably highly overrated. I’ll take Obama over Hagel or any Republican, and he’s not even my first choice. I want to hear more about Richardson; also, I hope Clark enters the race. I would like to support Edwards, but I’d like to see a clear demonstration of strength and effectiveness on his part. He has said some excellent things about foreign policy recently, but since his record in the Senate doesn’t match his current rhetoric, I want something more tangible from him.
    I don’t know the Republican field very well, but isn’t HUtchinson going to be an attractive candidate to the GOP? He doesnt’ have much baggage, and he doesn’t sound crazy, and he’s not too old.


  12. Matthew says:

    Here’s how I read between the lines of Steve’s post: Thank God an adult is getting ready (hopefully) to make a run for the Republican nomination. And just what is the alternative? Hillary vs. Guiliani? That is a zero-sum game for America and the World.


  13. Media Glutton says:

    I hope someone asks Hagel what he’s doing behind the scenes to match the anti-Iraq war rhetoric he routinely employs on talk shows. I like the guy, but I’d also like to see him actually do something to stop the war he professes to believe is a disaster.


  14. gq says:

    Oh goodie. Yet more Hagel love-ins I’ll have to stomach. Ah well, small price to pay for otherwise insightful commentary.


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