Monday, July 31, 2006

"Hagel Floor Statement on the Current Situation in the Middle East"

You can read the statement that Senator Hagel gave from the Senate floor today at his Senate website: "Hagel Floor Statement on the Current Situation in the Middle East."

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Why do you want Chuck Hagel to be our next President?

Today I have a question for you, particularly for our returning visitors. Why do you want Chuck Hagel to be our next President? If you have a couple of minutes write out why you think Chuck Hagel should be elected in 2008 and email it to me.

I'll post the best answers (or all of them) over the next couple of weeks (assuming anyone is up to the challenge). My goal is to allow for more guest contributions and this seems like a perfect place to start.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

More on-line 2008 polls

Here are two more sites that have on-line 2008 polls. Go and vote Hagel.
The Moderate Movement at Myspace
2008 Political Perspective

More Hagel 2008 Merchandise on the Web

There are a number of sites selling Chuck Hagel for President merchandise, and here is one more and here is another source. A previous post detailed a number of places where such gear can be purchased.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Senator Hagel's Speech at the Brookings Institution

Today Chuck Hagel gave a speech titled “A Defining Time for 21st Century American Leadership” at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington D.C. My appologies for the length of the post, but the whole speech was worth sharing.


“A Defining Time for 21st Century American Leadership”

U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery at the Brookings Institution

July 28, 2006

I am honored to be invited to speak here today as a part of the Brookings Institution’s 90th Anniversary Leadership Forum. Brookings has been at the center of every important policy debate in this country for 90 years. Thank you to Strobe Talbot, Carlos Pascual and all the men and women of Brookings for your continued contributions to our national debate. I see Martin Indyk and Ken Pollack in the audience. Thank you for the fine work you do with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

As we recognize the 90th Anniversary of the Brookings Institution, it is instructive to reflect back on the world of 1916 when Brookings was born...then known as the Institute for Government Research. In 1916, the world was in a period of wrenching and bloody transition. War raged in Europe. It was a war triggered by a series of tragic misjudgements stemming from decades-old resentments and shifting European alliances. It was a war fueled by the Industrial Revolution...the most deadly war the world had ever known. Within one year, the United States would shake-off its historic isolationism and engage in its first global conflict.

The Treaty of Versailles brought an end to the fighting, but it did not bring resolution. The United States retreated from a position of world leadership and back into its shell of irresponsible isolationism...the world economy collapsed, and lingering global resentments continued to heighten. Roughly twenty years later, harsh post-war reparations and arrogant nationalism gave rise to an even deadlier period of global transition: World War II.

America’s leaders following World War II learned from the failed and dangerous polices of the first half of the 20th century. After World War II, the United States became the indispensable global leader. Along with our allies, we created organizations of global interests and common purpose like the United Nations, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization), NATO, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and dozens of other multilateral institutions. Leaders like Truman, Marshall, Acheson, Hull, Vandenberg and Eisenhower led in the rebuilding of Europe and Japan.

Ninety years after the creation of the Brookings Institution, we live in a different world...but once again a world in transition. The lessons learned after World War II still apply. American leadership is still indispensable in the world...and the institutions and alliances formed after World War II are as vital today as when they were formed.

For decades, the United States used its power and influence to help forge international consensus on vital issues. America’s leadership inspired the trust and confidence of a generation of governments and nations around the world... because we pursued common actions that reflected common interests with our allies...because we remained committed to global engagement...and because we exercised our power with restraint. We made mistakes. It was imperfect. There were differences with our allies. But despite the imperfections and shortcomings, the United States and its allies contributed to world stability and the spread of freedom and prosperity.

Today, the world and America are in deep trouble. In a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations last November, I warned that the world’s trust and confidence in America’s purpose has seriously eroded. America is increasingly not seen as the well-spring of consensus that for decades helped create alliances and coalitions grounded in common objectives and common interests.

This is in contrast to a very troubling trend toward isolationism that is emerging in America today – a trend that was reflected in this week’s New York Times/CBS News poll of Americans about our country’s role in the world. This trend is a looming concern that may not be obvious but is manifest across seemingly unconnected events and issues. We must avoid the trap of limiting our power by allowing ourselves to become isolated in the world. America must not allow itself to become isolated through mindless isolationist remedies to difficult and complicated problems.

In the 1930s, the threat of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany was not taken seriously. Most did not recognize this threat until World War II was upon them. But there was a voice sounding an alarm. Throughout the 1930s, Winston Churchill urged his countrymen and Europe to see the world through the clear lens of reality – not through the blurred lens of misplaced hope. On October 3, 1938, the House of Commons debated the Munich Agreement that Prime Minister Chamberlain had negotiated with Hitler. Many saw this agreement as the assurance of peace with Germany. Churchill disagreed. He said:

      “Can we blind ourselves to the great change which has taken place in the military situation, and to the dangers we have to meet? This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”

Today, there is no such threat to world order. Global threats today are less defined than Hitler. However, the challenges are more insidious, more difficult to comprehend and identify, yet more interrelated, more dynamic, and more dangerous. In the 21st century, we are confronted by a universe of challenges, threats, and opportunities unlike any that we have ever known. The margins of error for miscalculation are less than ever before. Dramatic shifts in security, stability and prosperity can occur in weeks or even days.

On April 16, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors that we now know as the “Chance for Peace” speech. In the aftermath of the death and destruction of World War II and the ongoing war in Korea, the world then was confronted with the threat of the Soviet Union and communism. A different time. A different generation. Yet, Eisenhower’s words and wisdom still ring true today. He said,

      “No nation's security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation but only in effective cooperation with fellow-nations.”

Just as Eisenhower said in 1953, America’s security, prosperity and freedom cannot be separated from the dangers, challenges, and opportunities abroad. There are no national boundaries from terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, pandemic disease, environmental degradation, and despair. No nation, unilaterally, possesses the power to defeat the threats of the 21st century. A global society underpinned by a global economy is our world today. The world’s problems and dangers are interconnected. Nowhere are these realities clearer than in the Middle East.

The Middle East is a region in crisis. A continuous and escalating volley of violence has the potential for wider regional and global conflict. Centuries-old religious, ethnic and tribal hatreds and tensions are being manipulated by Islamic extremists for their own unholy purpose. The Middle East is today as combustible and complex as it has ever been. More than fifty percent of the world’s proven oil and natural gas reserves reside in this troubled a time when the world’s six and a half billion people rely on these resources in an interconnected world economy. Uncertain popular support for regime legitimacy continues to weaken governments of the Middle East. Economic stagnation, persistent unemployment, deepening despair and wider unrest enhance the ability of terrorists to recruit and succeed. An Iran with nuclear weapons raises the specter of broader proliferation and a fundamental strategic realignment in the region, creating more regional instability.

America’s approach to the Middle East must be consistent and sustained, and must understand the history, interests and perspectives of our regional friends and allies.

The United States will remain committed to defending Israel. Our relationship with Israel is a special and historic one. But, it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice. Achieving a lasting resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is as much in Israel’s interest as any other country in the world.

Unending war will continually drain Israel of its human capital, resources, and energy as it fights for its survival. The United States and Israel must understand that it is not in their long-term interests to allow themselves to become isolated in the Middle East and the world. Neither can allow themselves to drift into an “us against the world” global optic or zero-sum game. That would marginalize America’s global leadership, trust and influence, further isolate Israel, and prove to be disastrous for both countries as well as the region.

It is in Israel’s interest, as much as ours, that the United States be seen by all states in the Middle East as fair. This is the currency of trust.

Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories have experienced devastating violence in the last couple of weeks. The world has rightly condemned the despicable actions of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel and kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Israel has the undeniable right to defend itself against aggression. This is the right of all states.

Hezbollah is a threat to Israel, to Lebanon and to all who strive for lasting peace in the Middle East. This threat must be dealt with, as Israel’s military operations continue to weaken Hezbollah’s capacity for violence.

However, military action alone will not destroy Hezbollah or Hamas. Extended military action will tear apart Lebanon, destroy its economy and infrastructure, create a humanitarian disaster, further weaken Lebanon’s fragile democratic government, strengthen popular Muslim and Arab support for Hezbollah, and deepen hatred of Israel across the Middle East. The pursuit of tactical military victories at the expense of the core strategic objective of Arab-Israeli peace is a hollow victory. The war against Hezbollah and Hamas will not be won on the battlefield.

To achieve a strategic shift in the conditions for Middle East peace, the United States must use the global condemnation of terrorist acts as the basis for substantive change. For a lasting and popularly supported resolution, only a strong Lebanese government and army, backed by the international community, can rid Lebanon of these corrosive militias and terrorist organizations.

President Bush and Secretary Rice must become and remain deeply engaged in the Middle East. Only U.S. leadership can build a consensus of purpose among our regional and international partners.

The Rome meeting of the Lebanon core group this week must be the beginning of a very intensive diplomatic process – at the highest levels – with the objective of ending the military conflict, securing the Israel-Lebanon border, and invigorating the political track. To lead and sustain U.S. engagement, the President should appoint a statesman of global stature, experience and ability to serve as his personal envoy to the region who would report directly to him and be empowered with the authority to speak and act for the President. Former Secretaries of State Baker and Powell fit this profile.

America must listen carefully to its friends and partners in the region. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and others – countries that understand the Middle East far better than we do – must commit to help resolve today’s crisis and be active partners in helping build a mechanism to move toward realizing the already agreed-upon two-state solution.

A robust international force deployed along the Israel-Lebanon border will be required to facilitate a steady deployment of a strengthened Lebanese Army into southern Lebanon to eventually assume responsibility for security and the rule of law. The UN Security Council should negotiate a new binding resolution that strengthens its demands to disarm militias and to remove Syrian influence from Lebanon that were made in UN Security Council Resolution 1559, and commits the international community to help Lebanon re-build its country.

The core of all challenges in the Middle East remains the underlying Arab-Israeli conflict. The failure to address this root cause will allow Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorists to continue to sustain popular Muslim and Arab support, continuing to undermine America’s standing in the region, and the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and others – whose support is critical for any Middle East resolution.

The United States should engage our Middle East and international partners to revive the Beirut Declaration, or some version of it, proposed by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and adopted unanimously by the Arab League in March 2002. In this historic initiative, the Arab world recognized Israel’s right to exist and sought to establish a path toward a two-state solution and broader Arab-Israeli peace. Even though Israel could not accept it as written, it represented a very significant “starting point” document initiated by Arab countries. Today, we need a new Beirut Declaration-type initiative. We squandered the last one.

The concept and intent of the 2002 Beirut Declaration is as relevant today as it was in 2002. An Arab-initiated Beirut-type declaration would re-invest regional Arab states with a stake in achieving progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace. This type of initiative would offer a positive alternative vision for Arab populations to the ideology and goals of Islamic militants. The United States must explore this approach as part of its diplomatic engagement in the Middle East.

Lasting peace in the Middle East, and stability and security for Israel will come only from a regionally-oriented political settlement.

Former American Middle East Envoy Dennis Ross once observed that in the Middle East a process is necessary because process absorbs events...without a process, events become crises. He was right. Look at where we are today in the Middle East with no process. Crisis diplomacy is no substitute for sustained, day-to-day engagement.

America’s approach to Syria and Iran is inextricably tied to Middle East peace. Whether or not they were directly involved in the latest Hezbollah and Hamas aggression in Israel, both countries exert influence in the region in ways that undermine stability and security. As we work with our friends and allies to deny Syria and Iran any opportunity to further corrode the situation in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, both Damascus and Tehran must hear from America directly.

As John McLaughlin, the former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence recently wrote in the Washington Post,

      “Even superpowers have to talk to bad guys. The absence of a diplomatic relationship with Iran and the deterioration of the one with Syria -- two countries that bear enormous responsibility for the current crisis -- leave the United States with fewer options and levers than might otherwise have been the case. Distasteful as it might have been to have or to maintain open and normal relations with such states, the absence of such relations ensures that we will have more blind spots than we can afford and that we will have to deal through surrogates on issues of vital importance to the United States. We will have to get over the notion that talking to bad guys somehow rewards them or is a sign of weakness. As a superpower, we ought to be able to communicate in a way that signals our strength and self-confidence.”

Ultimately, the United States will need to engage Iran and Syria with an agenda open to all areas of agreement and disagreement. For this dialogue to have any meaning or possible lasting relevance, it should encompass the full agenda of issues.

There is very little good news coming out of Iraq today. Increasingly vicious sectarian violence continues to propel Iraq toward civil war. The U.S. announcement this week to send additional U.S. troops and military police back into Baghdad reverses last month’s decision to have Iraqi forces take the lead in Baghdad...and represents a dramatic set back for the U.S and the Iraqi Government. The Iraqi Government has limited ability to enforce the rule of law in Iraq, especially in Baghdad. Green Zone politics appear to have little bearing or relation to the realities of the rest of Iraq.

The Iraqis will continue to face difficult choices over the future of their country. The day-to-day responsibilities of governing and security will soon have to be assumed by Iraqis. As I said in November, this is not about setting a timeline. This is about understanding the implications of the forces of reality. This reality is being determined by Iraqis – not Americans. America is bogged down in Iraq and this is limiting our diplomatic and military options. The longer America remains in Iraq in its current capacity, the deeper the damage to our force structure – particularly the U.S. Army. And it will continue to place more limitations on an already dangerously over-extended force structure that will further limit our options and public support.

The Cold War, while dangerous, created a fairly stable and mostly predictable world order. That is no longer the case today. The challenges of the 21st century will be more complex and represent a world of greater degrees of nuance, uncertainty and uncontrollables than those of the last 60 years. America’s policy choices will be more complicated than ever before.

We must be clear in our principles and interests, with friends and foes alike. But framing the world in “absolutes” constrains our ability to build coalitions and alliances, alienates our friends and partners, and results in our own isolation. No country will view its interests as coinciding exactly with ours; nor will countries simply subsume their national interests to maintain relations with America. U.S. policies that are premised on such assumptions will be flawed, with little likelihood for success, and ultimately work against our national interests.

In pursuing our objectives, America must always be mindful of the risks of sudden change and the dangers of unintended consequences. Rarely will America succeed if its actions seek to impose its objectives on others, or achieve change and reform through power alone. America is always strongest when it acts in concert with friends and allies. This approach has enhanced our power and magnified our influence. The Middle East and other regions of the world have been left behind and not experienced the political and economic reform that many other regions have enjoyed in the last 60 years.

The Middle East crisis represents a moment of great danger, but it is also an opportunity. Crisis focuses the minds of leaders and the attention of nations. The Middle East need not be a region forever captive to the fire of war and historical hatred. It will can avoid this fate if the United States pursues sustained and engaged leadership worthy of our history, purpose, and power. America cannot fix every problem in the world – nor should it try. But we must get the big issues and important relationships right and concentrate on those. We know that without engaged and active American leadership the world is more dangerous.

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union Address on January 6, 1945, he counseled the United States and the world to look beyond the immediate horror of war to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. Roosevelt understood the requirements of U.S. leadership and the essence of alliances and partnerships. He said:

      “We must not let those differences divide us and blind us to our more important common and continuing interests in winning the war and building the peace. International cooperation on which enduring peace must be based is not a one-way street. Nations like individuals do not always see alike or think alike, and international cooperation and progress are not helped by any nation assuming that it has a monopoly of wisdom or of virtue.”

Over the last 60 years since Roosevelt’s remarks, the United States has been a force for peace and prosperity in the world. Decades of investment in geopolitical security, economic stability, political freedom, innovation and productivity have resulted in a 21st century of both cooperation and competition. This is a defining time for 21st Century American leadership. With enlightened American leadership this century offers the world the prospects of unprecedented global peace, prosperity and security...if we are wise enough to sense the moment, engage the world and share a nobility of purpose with all mankind.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chuck Hagel Myspace Group

I just stumbled across a Myspace group supporting Chuck Hagel for President. For those that are on Myspace, hop on and join the group. Another way to network and get the word out is always worth checking out. is an excellent way to network and get a message out. It has been revolutionary for the music industry, and it certainly provides an opportunity to political applications as well. Myspace may well be an excellent tool to get younger voters involved in a campaign.

There is also a new Chuck Hagel group over at Google Groups as well.
As reminder, there are three Yahoo! Groups (Hagel for President, Missouri for Hagel, South Carolina for Hagel) that have been around for a while now.

We encourage everyone to join one or more of these groups in order to facilitate the communication among those grassroots supporters of Chuck Hagel in 2008. The ability to network is critical to success.

As it looks like Myspace is having some issues today this piece will be reposted in a week or so.

"Hagel brings a lot to the party for '06"

There's a good story in the World-Herald titled "Hagel brings a lot to the party for '06" by Jake Thompson about how Senator Hagel has been working hard to raise money for GOP candidates in Nebraska as well as all over the country for the 2006 election. Here are some excerpts from it:

Where the late U.S. Sen. J.J. Exon molded, built and led the Democratic Party in Nebraska for a quarter century, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel now is searing his brand on the state GOP.

Hagel, Nebraska's senior elected Republican, is focused on this fall's elections and has pumped $127,000 into state GOP efforts. That's nearly double his 2004 campaign contributions in Nebraska.

GOP candidates for the Nebraska Legislature have received the bulk of the money. But Hagel also has given to Republican Party committees and Nebraska Republicans running for the U.S. House, Senate and governor.

Hagel said he knew four years ago that 2006 would be a big year. In a sense, he's been gearing up since he was elected to the Senate in 1996.

"One of the legacies I want whenever I leave Nebraska politics is that 'Hagel left the party better than he found it.'"

His interest was sparked in the early 1970s, when he says he watched Nebraska Republican politicians pay too little attention to bringing new blood and fresh ideas to the state party.


Over the last decade, Hagel has helped state Republicans raise money and recruit candidates. He worked closely with state GOP chairmen and Republican Govs. Mike Johanns and Dave Heineman.

Through his Senate campaign fund and his political action committee, the Sandhills PAC, Hagel donated $47,250 to Nebraska GOP candidates and party committees for the 2002 elections. That rose to $73,750 in 2004.

He's given $127,000 so far this year. Of that, $53,000 has gone to candidates for Nebraska state offices and $40,000 to Nebraska candidates for the U.S. House and Senate, according to his office and reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.


Hagel's roll-up-the-sleeves work now could help him by tamping down frustrations some Republicans have voiced over Hagel's criticism of the Bush administration handling of the Iraq war, Hibbing said.

Hagel, a possible 2008 presidential candidate, also has continued his practice of donating to national Republican candidates.

He's donated about $130,000 to GOP candidates across the country via the Sandhills PAC for the 2006 elections.

Other possible presidential candidates have done more. The political committees of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, have donated about $200,000 each to candidates of their parties.


Hagel said his first priority is Nebraska. "I'm playing where I think my responsibilities are most significant," he said.

Still, he recently traveled to Michigan to campaign for a Republican candidate. Earlier in the year he donated $5,000, through his PAC, to GOP efforts in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

"I haven't taken my eye off the ball on my own interests for 2008 either," he said.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"Senate Passes Child Custody Protection Act"

Senator Hagel's office issued this press release yesterday:
Senate Passes Child Custody Protection Act
July 26th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate today passed The Child Custody Protection Act (S.403) by a vote of 65 to 34. U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) was an original cosponsor of the bill.

This legislation makes it a crime to transport a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion if the purpose is to circumvent a state parental notification or parental consent law. Nebraska requires a parent to be notified before a minor has an abortion. A majority of states have laws that require a parent to give consent or be notified before a teenage girl can obtain an abortion.

“State parental notification and consent laws have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. These responsible state laws should not be circumvented by those who would take a young girl across state lines for an abortion. It is in the interest of a young pregnant daughter to have parental involvement in their medical decisions. This legislation reaffirms states’ authority to enact and enforce their own laws regarding abortions,” Hagel said.
This piece of legislation is one that has been applauded by right to life organizations.

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Hagel Statement on Japan and U.S. Beef

Senator Hagel's office released this press release today. The reopening of Japan to American beef is an issue that the Senator has been working on for some time, particularly given his constituency and his personal focus on international trade.

Hagel Statement on News Report of Japanese Government’s Decision to Re-Open Japanese Markets to U.S. Beef

July 26th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding press reports of the Japanese Government’s decision to be made on Thursday to resume U.S. beef importation following the recently completed inspection of all authorized beef processing plants in the United States:

“I am hopeful that tomorrow will be an important victory for the entire U.S. beef industry. Today’s news reports are encouraging. For two and half years, we have worked to re-open this significant market for Nebraska’s beef producers. We must now work to re-gain the confidence of Japanese consumers until the market has been fully re-opened to all U.S. beef products. U.S. beef is the highest quality, safest beef in the world, and it is critical for Nebraska’s producers to have full access to the Japanese market. I will continue to work with Secretary Johanns to open markets which remain closed to U.S. beef,” Hagel said.

Last week, Senator Hagel met with senior officials from the Japanese Embassy to discuss the resumption of U.S. beef exports into Japan. In May, Senator Hagel met with the Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Ambassador Kato in Washington, D.C. to discuss the resumption of U.S. beef exports into Japan. On October 28, 2005 Senator Hagel hosted Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato on a tour of beef producing and processing plants in Nebraska.
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Banners for Chuck Hagel for President

If you would like to link to this page, feel free to use one of these banners. Just right click and save the image and upload it to your server and link back to


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Brief book review

I've finished reading Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward by Charlyne Berens and want to do a brief review. I hope to have a (less biased) guest write a more detailed review of the book shortly.

I found the book very enjoyable and I highly recommend it.
It tells the story of Chuck Hagel's life, from his lower middle class childhood in Nebraska to the United States Senate. The book has a chapter dedicated to the speculation of a Chuck Hagel candidacy for President in 2008. It also nicely explains an issue that one reader of this blog has brought up, and has been popular fodder for conspiracy theories on the web: the voting machine issue. Charlyne Berens does an excellent job of covering and explaining the circumstances of the issue.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Senator Hagel speaks at the Brookings Institution this Friday

Chuck Hagel will be speaking to the Brookings Institution this Friday at 11 a.m.
On July 28, Senator Chuck Hagel, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Select Intelligence committees, will participate in The Brookings Institution's 90th Anniversary Leadership Forum series with an address on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Chaos continues in the Middle East as Israel confronts attacks by Hezbollah guerrillas from Lebanon, following Israeli incursions into Gaza. Recent events, including Iran's pursuit of nuclear arms, the continued violence and instability in Iraq, Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections, and talk of further Israeli disengagement from the West Bank, have created new political terrain in the Middle East.

Senator Hagel will discuss the new challenges this presents for U.S. foreign policy and our national security, as well as our relationship with other countries in the Middle East and around the world. He will offer his perspective on the need for a new strategic U.S. thinking, creative diplomacy, and recognition of the varied perspectives and values of other countries.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Role of Blogs in the 2008 Election

What is the role that blogs will play in the upcoming 2008 Presidential election? That's a question whose answer will only come with time, but the speculation is that they will (and we certianly hope so) have an impact of some sort. The blog RightFaith has this to say on the issue:
I can't be so optimistic to say that they will determine who wins, but I feel confident that blogs will determine who gains the Presidential Nomination for the major political parties in 2008.
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Friday, July 21, 2006

GOP Bloggers July Straw Poll

GOP Bloggers has posted another one of their 2008 straw polls. You vote for those who would be acceptable for the Republican nomination in 2008 and those that would not be. Last time Chuck Hagel did not fare well in their poll, so go forth and vote for Chuck Hagel. One of the cool things about this poll is that other blogs can use it and put it on their sites, so keep your eyes open for it on other blogs as well.

Article of interest at

There is an interesting article about Senator Hagel's trip to Michigan in a local paper that's worth a read.

Though U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel came to Jackson Monday at the request of U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz, once there, the Nebraska Republican let his true intentions be known.

“I must confess, I’m really here to meet the mayor of Hillsdale,” Hagel said.

Speaking at a press conference at Schwarz’s Jackson office, Hagel and Mayor Michael Sessions gave their support to the Battle Creek Republican in his re—election bid for the GOP nomination in the 7th Congressional District. Schwarz and Hagel also took part in an economic roundtable with Jackson business leaders earlier in the day.

Turning to Sessions at the beginning of his speech, Hagel said, “You understand this celebrity business,” and told the 18—year—old mayor, “You’re as good looking, smart and articulate as I thought you’d be, and you obviously have wise judgment in your commitment to your congressman.”

It's an enjoyable article.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Chuck Hagel Quote for the Day

“Our foreign policy needs to support our energy, economic, defense and domestic policies. It all falls within the arch of national interest. There will be windows of opportunity, but they will open and close quickly.”

-Chuck Hagel

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"Hagel Statement on Vote Against Using Taxpayer Funds to Destroy Human Embryos"

The following is a press release from Senator Hagel's office issued yesterday.
July 18th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding his vote against allowing federal funding to be used for expanded stem cell research:

“Whether to federally fund research on embryonic stem cells is a very complex issue with significant long term consequences. Moral, religious, ethical, scientific and health considerations all come together on the embryonic stem cell research question.

“I do not support using taxpayer dollars for the destruction of human embryos. That is the reason I voted against legislation today to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. I did vote to support promising research on adult stem cells and on ways to harvest stem cell lines without destroying human embryos. In 2001, I supported the decision President Bush made to allow federally funded stem cell research to proceed only under strict guidelines which will not result in the destruction of any additional human embryos.

“I will support President Bush’s veto of this legislation,” Hagel said.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward

The new Chuck Hagel biography is out. I have been able to find it at Borders and Barnes & Noble, as well as at

Go get your copy. I'll post a review of it when I finish reading it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Vote in a new on-line straw poll

Patrick Ruffini has put out an excellent new 2008 straw poll. You can look at the data the poll generates by state as well as by tags. Go forth and vote for Chuck Hagel!

Also don't forget to vote in the other on-line 2008 polls that are out there, including the ones at The Next Prez and the Krusty Konservative.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Hagel Press Release on Court Ruling

Senator Hagel's office issued this press release on Friday in response to the 8th circuit court upholding Nebraska's ban on gay marriage.
Hagel Applauds Federal Appeals Court Ruling Reinstating Nebraska’s Constitutional Provision Banning Same-Sex Marriage
July 14th, 2006 - Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement this afternoon in support of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit’s ruling which reinstated Nebraska’s constitutional provision banning same-sex marriage:

“The federal appeals court has reinstated Nebraska’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, re-affirmed the right of Nebraskans to determine their own laws governing marriage, and has found there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage. I support Nebraska’s constitutional provision and I support this long-awaited and common-sense decision by the 8th Circuit. States have always had jurisdiction over marriage laws. Today’s ruling should not come as a surprise. Every other ruling by state appeals courts or federal courts on this issue has upheld the authority of states to define their own definition of marriage,” Hagel said.
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Friday, July 14, 2006

Hagel Press Release on the Middle East

Senator Hagel's office issued this press release yesterday:
Hagel Statement on the Current Situation in the Middle East

July 14th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees, released the following statement today regarding the on-going violence between Israel and Hezbollah in the Middle East:

“We are at a moment of crisis in the Middle East. If the current violence spreads beyond Israel and Lebanon, the consequences for the region and the world are enormous. The instability in Iraq, tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, the rise of terrorism and its support by Syria and Iran, and growing domestic pressure on Arab governments have created dangerous instabilities in the Middle East. In this fragile situation, an escalation of violence could produce a region-wide conflict that engulfs United States and the rest of the world, particularly with the world’s dependence on Middle East energy. The United States must quickly and actively help stabilize and work to de-escalate this dangerously volatile situation. Within this moment of crisis is an opportunity for focused and creative diplomacy. Working with the nations of the region and our allies we can concentrate our efforts to build a stronger consensus against those who support terrorism.

“The United States must show leadership and directly engage this crisis. The President should send someone of global stature, credibility and experience, such as General Colin Powell or former Secretary of State James Baker, to the Middle East to act as his personal envoy. The United States is the only country with the ability to lead a coalition to prevent the region from spiraling out of control,” Hagel said.
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Senator Hagel in Michigan

From Sandhills:

Senator Hagel to Keynote Michigan State GOP Party Fundraiser and campaign for Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-7th)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Jackson, MI – Senator Hagel is the special guest at an evening fundraiser for the Michigan State GOP Party in Jackson, MI.

In addition, earlier in the day, Senator Hagel will appear at a business roundtable and press conference with Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-7th). Senator Hagel strongly supports Rep. Schwarz's reelection campaign to the U.S. House of Representatives.

For more information on the events, please contact Sandhills PAC.

Press release on border security

Yesterday Senator Hagel's office released a press release on border security. The following is from the press release, "Hagel Votes Against Amendment to Take Money Away from Border Patrol Agents and Other Homeland Security Priorities."
July 13th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today voted down an amendment by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) by a vote of (29-71), which would have cut $1.8 billion from Homeland Security funding to pay for a 370 mile-long fence on America’s southern border. The amendment would have cut funding for border patrol agents, border infrastructure, first responders, port security and other homeland security programs. U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) voted against the Sessions Amendment.

“It is absurd to ask the taxpayers of Nebraska and the nation to choose between building a fence to help secure our southern border and funding our other homeland security priorities. By enacting the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate in May, we can fund our homeland security needs and build a 370 mile-long fence on our southern border, along with providing significant border resources. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the net revenue from the Senate bill would be roughly $12 billion over ten years. This money would be put back into securing our borders instead of sticking Nebraska taxpayers with the bill. This is all the more reason we need to move as quickly as possible to resolve the differences between the Senate and House and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill,” Hagel said.
For the full press release, go here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Principles and Interests"

Check out an interesting and in depth interview between The National Interest and Chuck Hagel entitled "Principles and Interests." The following is an excerpt from it.

TNI: You have called for American foreign policy to be guided by "a principled realism."

CH: Foreign policy is no different than any policy that deals with real life as it is. Rarely do you have easy choices to make or easy decisions to make--they are always imperfect and they are not always obvious. Foreign policy requires both a certain amount of vision and of realism.

Principle has to be the anchor, there's no question about that. This country has stood for and believed in certain things since the founding of our Republic. At the same time, we must be realistic in appreciating that fact that we cannot impose our values, our standards, our way of life, our government on other nations of the world just simply because we think that our system is better or somehow we are more virtuous. That may be the case, but the reality is that it won't work--and it never has worked.

So we have to be wise in how we work our way in choosing our foreign policy options. We want to have influence. We want to influence outcomes in countries where there are dictators, where people are without opportunities and freedom, where there is despair. We want to help change that. But we start with the fact that there is a centerpiece of reality in how you do that. Every country is different, every country has a different history, a different culture, a different background, and all of that has to be factored in. If you do not begin with this assessment, you're going to end up with a very wobbly and sometimes dangerous policy that will cost the nation and make the world more unstable.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Senator Hagel in Texas

Chuck Hagel has been traveling the country raising money for candidates for the 2006 election and much of that has been done through his political action committee.

Senator Hagel to Keynote Greater Houston Partnership Luncheon and attend Sandhills PAC fundraiser in Houston

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Houston, TX – Senator Hagel will be the keynote speaker at a Greater Houston Partnership Luncheon in Houston, TX.

In addition, Hagel will appear at a fundraising reception for Sandhills PAC. The event will raise over $40,000 for Sandhills PAC.

For more information on the events, please contact Sandhills PAC.

This activity is important for him to be a contender in 2008 as well as to help Republican candidates for Congress in 2006.

Book now available

The Chuck Hagel biography is now available from the University of Nebraska Press.
The University of Nebraska Press is pleased to announce that Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward by Charlyne Berens is now available for purchase at the following link:

View the Table of Contents and read an excerpt:
Get the book and learn more about Senator Hagel. His compelling personal story is one of his greatest assets.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hagel finishes third in on-line poll

In the June poll at The Next Prez Chuck Hagel finished third among the Republican contenders, just three votes out of first place, beating John McCain's fourth place finish.