Monday, January 22, 2007

The Odds for Chuck Hagel

The rumor du jour regarding Chuck Hagel is that he’ll consider running for President as an Independent (we're partial to TR’s old Bull Moose party), after sort of a non-response to such a question over the weekend (Hagel: Indie Candidacy Buzz? – Nat. Journal Hotline – 1/21/07). We find this scenario fairly unlikely, though Hagel has expressed frustration with his GOP brethren.

With that in mind, we here at Leavenworth Street proffer our…

(in reverse order of likelihood)

Run for reelection to the Senate
Odds 20:1

The signs for this point to no: he hasn’t been raising money and word is that he’s tired of the Senate and tired of his job. With Sen. Dick Lugar still there and Dems probably still in majority, he can’t be Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, which would be one compelling reason for him to stay in. But if Ag Sec. Mike Johanns won’t run for Hagel’s seat, does Hagel disdain Attorney General Jon Bruning enough to run for re-elect (to keep Bruning out)?

Run for Prez
Odds 10:1

Again, the signs – pretty much any poll you look at – point to no. Unless Hagel simply wants to be the alternative to pro-Iraq GOPers – he DOES have a strong conservative record, as opposed to a Giuliani or a Romney. But at this point Hagel has no money and no support in the general GOP populace where he comes off as someone who is anti-GOP and anti-President Bush.

Leave politics all together and go back to business
Odds 8:1

He could go back to the business world, work on boards, some international business issues, maybe a think-tank. This is the most likely unless he gets what is his most likely desire…

Try to stay relevant on the national scene in order to land a spot in the next GOP Admin.
Odds 3:1

If he got a job as Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, an Ambassadorship or maybe heading up the IMF or the World Bank, he would still get to work on major issues, live in D.C. (well, unless he’s an ambassador), but wouldn’t have to deal with the day-to-day grind of Senate politics. Given that President is unlikely, we think this is where Chuck Hagel would like to be.

And what do YOU think?...


One Out In The Third said...

Hagel will win hands down if he runs for a narcissistic blow-hard position. The guy has more faces than Mt. Rushmore. He sings one tune to the Nebraska media and another to national crowd. Hagel's arrogance is world class.

Any more I don't know who is worse...Flip Nelson or Flop Hagel.

Kalthalior said...

I thought previously that his hope was to triangulate himself for a cabinet or VP position with the McCain Express. Not so sure anymore, he's cut himself off at the knees with the rank and file R's that I know, and distanced himself to some extent from JM. I think you may be on to something here, he might be angling to get out of politics entirely while still trying to stay relevant, unless he's trying to look attractive as a Sec Def for a Dem adminstration.

Eric said...

Your odds seem to imply that there is roughly 1:1 odds that he'll do something else entirely. Care to elaborate on what that might be? Maybe just retire right out and relax the rest of his days in his $2 million McLean, Va home? Go into lobbying? Try to represent Elkhorn in the Omaha City Council?

Sometimes Dems like to put a Republican or two in their cabinets, so maybe he's gunning for that possibility as well.

Street Sweeper said...

Well, I'd say that our list is probably not exhaustive (and we never considered that Elkhorn City Council position...), though I doubt you'd find him lobbying. But I don't think you'd get even odds that he'll do something else -- even if it is sitting around.

Anonymous said...

one out in the third . . . the game is more in the 9th and your in the field . . . down by. . . how many seats is it???

concerning Hagel, I guess you would rather see our soldiers placed in unnecessary danger than admit when you are wrong . . . and do something positive.

Though seeing him on the Elkhorn school board vis-a-vis the the Senate would be optimal . . . Hagel is babe ruth compared to Lee "Neifi Perez" Terry