Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hagel's GOP Nomination Officially Cooked

The Republican Presidential run for Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, is over.

Well, we’re not saying he won’t run for President (and he’s certainly not saying he won’t – but then he’s not saying he will…). But we are saying, if he wanted to win the GOP nomination two recent actions absolutely ended those hopes:

1) his suggestion that President Bush could be impeached, first in Esquire then to George Snuffleupagus, put an already way-outside chance at the GOP nod into critical condition;

2) his vote against the President and the GOP, calling for a date certain for a troop pull-out of Iraq hammered the door to the convention shut.

Now we here at Leavenworth Street have mentioned this before, but we think it bears repeating: We’re not questioning Hagel’s motives for his various votes.

Our friend Uncle Wiggly over at the Heartland Notebook gave his usual call-‘em-like-he-sees-‘em view of Hagel’s vote to have a date-certain to bring home the troops from Iraq.

U-Dub’s general view is that Hagel made his vote because of his desire to win the Presidency. We certainly respect UW’s opinion, and can see where he’s coming from. However, we think Hagel’s position is a bit more nuanced than simply a plan for grabbing power.

Hagel’s view on Iraq is based on his experiences in Vietnam, and his perception that the White House does not respect his view. This has galvanized his position and has left him seeking someplace to vent wherever and whenever he can. Hagel’s goal is not so much to try to win the White House by sending his view on Iraq, as it is using a White House run to trumpet his views on Iraq.

Many may see Hagel’s Iraq view as capitulating to the terrorists, or cut and run or however you may view it. But that only gets to the result of Hagel’s position. First you have to go to the WHY on it.

Hagel is deeply, deeply scared by Vietnam, both literally and figuratively. Those scars have shaped his view on Iraq. Couple that with his Christmas-time receipt of letters his father wrote to home during WWII where his dad wrote, “if I thought I would ever have a son who would have to go through this, I would never get married.” You can bet that closed the door on Hagel ever being open to the continuation of soldiers dying in Iraq, even if it were for a good cause.

And couple all of this with his locking horns with President Bush and his advisors. Hagel is bitter that while he has on-the-ground combat experience, those who have none (Bush, Cheney, Rove) won’t listen to him (or maybe just won’t agree with him). Hagel is a stubborn guy who has gotten to where he is because he thinks he’s right most (if not all) of the time. So he’s happy to enough to go ahead and give his views and damned the other guy.

Or even VERY happy that he’s liberated enough to give those views. And VERY happy to tell the guy who won’t listen to him to go to Hell. And if people come running over to listen to him now, all the better. (And again, show us a pol who DOESN’T like that.)

With that in mind, there’s nothing wrong with agreeing or disagreeing about his judgment on this. But we at Leavenworth Street aren’t going after his motives.

But golf-pencil-in that Chuck Hagel’s GOP Presidential ambitions are D-U-N.

Oh, and what do YOU think about Bruning, Daub or anyone else’s plans to challenge Hagel if he decides to run for re-elect? Could Hagel’s actions, and Nebraska GOP anger at him, be the tipping point?

We’d say maaayyyyyybeeee.


Anonymous said...

I wonder what Johanns feelings toward Hagel are...........Bush guy vs anti-Bush guy. That would be a matchup.....

mia said...

i don't think so, i think this is what the party needs a genunie conservative not a neocon...
inersting post

snowBLWR said...

Chuck Hagel made the right call on Iraq -- both in 2003, before the war began, and again this week. He has taken the conservative's position on Iraq from Day One.

As one prominent conservative columnist wrote recently, "America must now choose between what is vital and worth fighting for, and what may be 'idealistic,' but is not worth war."

The old infantryman, Army Sergeant Charles Timothy Hagel, recognized long ago that "liberating Iraq" was not worth the precious lives of America's finest or $500 billion.

Chuck Hagel was right. My party's leader was wrong. The Senator will be a stronger candidate in 2008 because he put principle before politics, regardless of which route he takes.

Street Sweeper said...

snowBLWR, candidate for WHAT? Prez or Senate? And strong, how? And how exactly does repeatedly talking about impeaching Bush make him a stronger candidate for any seat?

Anonymous said...



Mark Quandahl

Anonymous said...

Johanns would never run against Hagel. I see Bruning as a much more likely possibility.

Hagel really puzzles me, as a Democrat, with what he's doing here. Makes me wonder if he's running for anything at all.

OmaSteak said...

While I don't really care what Hagel's motives are (or Ben Nelson's) in voting for a funding bill with a date certain withdrawal timeline, what I don't understand is the thinking behind what will amount to handing the Iranian government the world's second largest proved oil reserves located in southern, Shia-controlled Iraq. Not to mention an even larger area of influence in the geography of the Persian Gulf. This is effectively handing a radical Shia theocracy the ability to cripple the economies of the West at a point in time where that government has sworn to bring the West (and in specific the US and the British) to ruin and to start what they see as an inevitable total all-out holy war. I have no doubts that at some point in the not too distant future, we will be back fighting on the ground in not only Iraq but also Iran. My only hope is that it is in response to an Iranian disruption of Persian Gulf oil flows rather than in response to a concerted campaign of large scale terrorist attacks conducted both here in the US and in England, directly by Iranian agents or more likely by their state sponsored terrorist allied groups. The upside I see on the horizon is in the actions Israel is likely to take against Iran when they see the US begin a forced pullout from Iraq. IMHO, they would be crazy to wait for a stike on Iran's nuclear facilities until after our ground forces are out of Iraq.

Luke K. said...

Dear Snowblwr: Loved the talking points and clichic themes! You really can't be must be a Hagel staffer in which case I can grant you some leniancy on your ridiculous post. The only people who now (or ever did) see Hagel as a credible candidate are members of the drive-by media. No matter how noble you find Hagel's "principles" he will never, ever, ever, ever win a GOP primary election because Republicans see him as a traitor to their party. Hagel is done.

Kalthalior said...

Chuck never really had a snowball's chance in hell of getting the nomination, and it's increasingly likely he'll get a primary challenge if he decides to run again for Senate. I certainly know I'll never vote for him again, and regret doing so the first time. I wish he'd do everyone a favor and go away.