The reality is this: If his party does poorly in congressional elections this autumn, that’s a call for change and an opening for him in the Republican presidential derby.Be sure to read the whole article. It's worth a couple of minutes.
Hagel wants to reshape — he might say restore — the Republican Party, take it back to international engagement and fiscal discipline. Back to what he describes as its moorings.
Back to Eisenhower and Reagan and the first George Bush.
Even back to Abraham Lincoln, whose presidency demonstrated the GOP was “once the party of tolerance and mutual respect.”
Today, Hagel argues for comprehensive immigration reform that welcomes newcomers and provides a pathway to earned legal status for millions now settled here illegally.
But the two-term senator has been most outspoken in parting from the Republican White House over Iraq.
Hagel also has criticized U.S. disengagement from working toward a two-state settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and warned about the isolating impact of the Bush administration’s unilateral instincts.
“If America is looking for change, my record is pretty clear about that,” Hagel says.
Twelve weeks before this year’s congressional elections, Hagel is in no hurry to decide.
As presidential hopefuls pour into Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s sticking to his own timetable.
He remains stuck far down the lists of most GOP presidential oddsmakers, largely because of the perception his buddy, Arizona Sen. John McCain, crowds him out as the more celebrated independent voice.
However, that perception ignores one big difference: McCain is a strong supporter of the war in Iraq.
“A lot of this is out of my control,” Hagel says. “I’ll focus on what I can control, the kind of senator I can be.
“Whatever’s going to happen will happen. It’ll all work out.”
Friday, August 18, 2006
"Hagel awaits nation's mood"
The Lincoln Journal Star has a great article today by Don Walton: "Hagel awaits nation's mood." It is a excellent story and I highly recommend reading the whole thing. Here are some excerpts: