Friday, May 16, 2008

Hagel Veep talk

David Ignatius, Op-Ed writer for the Washington Post, today gave a shout-out for Senator Chuck Hagel to be the Vice Presidential choice... of Barrrrrack Obama.

Ignatius isn't the first to make such a suggestion, but his is one of the highest profile voices to date. Iggy says:

By reaching outside the Democratic Party for his vice presidential nominee -- tapping Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, say, or independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg from New York -- Obama would in an instant demonstrate that he truly means to change the divisive, lose-lose politics of Washington. It would offer a unity government for a country that seems to want one.


Hagel would be an especially interesting choice for Obama. As a decorated Vietnam veteran, he would add some national-security heft to the ticket. And he was also an early and courageous GOP critic of the Iraq War, which would reinforce one of the most powerful themes of Obama's campaign. At the same time, although Hagel agrees with Obama on the need for withdrawal from Iraq, his military credentials would reassure U.S. allies that it would not be a pell-mell retreat.

A final advantage is that Hagel and Obama actually seem to like each other. Hagel is said to view Obama as a politician with a special gift who might actually be able to bring the country together. Whether Democrats could accept Hagel's pro-life views and other aspects of his Republican identity is a complicated question, but here again, bipartisanship is about bridging hard issues.

Hagel said recently that he would not be endorsing the Democrat Presidential nominee. So would accepting an offer be endorsing? That would be an interesting work-around.

We still find all of this highly unlikely. The domestic-policy conservative Hagel would be viewed as the Great Satan at the Dem Convention. Hard-core Dems would feel betrayed by Obama. But would they then vote for McCain? Unlikely.

In any case, the Veep has traditionally not been the deciding factor for any Presidential candidate. So why add someone who you disagree with on so many issues?

This has already been an unusual campaign season. Hagel as Veep would tip it into bizarro world.


OmaSteak said...

John Edwards might be a good pick for Obama and they looked pretty good together the other day when Edwards delivered his endorsement.

Street Sweeper said...

Which America did Edwards deliver his endorsement from?

Street Sweeper said...


Today, when asked if he was interested in the Veep job, John Edwards replied:

"No. Won't happen.…It's just not something I am interested in."

So there ya go.

Chuck Haaaagel said...

David Ignatius is one of those inside-the-beltway over thinkers who likes to impress the masses with his Nowledge.

A Hagel pick would be disastrous for Obama. Hagel isn't anyone's number two. He doesn't take orders and he can't stop talking.

Obama will pick Republicans for his cabinet but it's unlikely to be someone who courted two different parties to run against Obama and who has the exact same voting record on Iraq as the woman he beat the hell out of for the last few months.

Hagel's so-called courage usually peaks around 11 AM ET on Sunday but when the roll is called on Monday he's back to being a GOP rubber stamp.

curbfeeler said...

In 2000, Hagel was a VP probable for McCain. He was then on Bush's short list before Cheney took it. More recently he was mentioned as a possible Bloomberg VP and now for Obama. The only one who hasn't been mentioned with regard to Hagel as their VP is Clinton and she is dead meat.

For a guy who always seems to be on the outside, Hagel is more in play today than 99% of pols. That is no small feat in this weirdly volital election year that has left heaps of rotting political corpses.

Anonymous said...

If Obama needs a Republican he can pick Brad Ashford. Seems like a good fit to me.

bob said...

Haaaay, big mouth. You speak of courage the same way Obama does. Go bleed for America and than use that word.

Jean said...

DUDE!! Hitting the sauce a little early are we? Did you take Friday afternoon off, or the whole day? If you are gonna post, then use your name and stick to one name only...not three!

Anonymous said...

One blogger argues pros and cons using fake names. Uh huh.

Anonymous said...

Obama is going to pick Richardson as the VP.

Anonymous said...

Dude. 1 "r" in Barack.

It's not like he hasn't been in the news lately.

You're better than this.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons why I doubt Obama, or any Presidential candidate, will reach across the aisles to pick a Veep of another party is a simple one: the Veep is the heir apparent for the nomination for President. Why would Obama put his party in a position to set Hagel up for president in eight years? Never happen.

Anonymous said...

being a war veteran adds valuable experience, but that hardly amounts to "foreign policy heft." also how does Hagel's service record assure anyone that with him in charge we would not retreat pell-mell?