Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Caucus Cooler is an excellent blog (except for their low odds on Hagel) looking at the 2008 Iowa Caucus (and only the Iowa Caucus). Please take a look at their site (it's well worth the read) and post comments arguing why Senator Hagel has a decent shot in the Iowa Caucus in early 2008 and should be moved up higher in their line.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Technorati tags: Chuck Hagel, 2008 Election, Washington Post
A month ago the idea that Sen. Chuck Hagel would make a serious run for the Republican presidential nomination would have been a non-starter. As an outspoken critic of President Bush on Iraq and other issues, Hagel's way was blocked. His best hope was nomination by a quixotic third party in an online convention.
It's a measure of the step change brought about by the Nov. 7 elections that Hagel is now seriously exploring a GOP presidential bid. The Republican blowout, he says, reflected a "breakdown of confidence and trust in governance" and opened the way for what he believes will be "the most wide-open presidential race since 1952." The Nebraska senator says he will make a formal decision in the next two months on whether to run.What would make a Hagel candidacy interesting is that he can claim to have been right about Iraq and other key issues earlier than almost any national politician, Republican or Democratic. Though a Vietnam veteran and a hawk on many national security issues, he had prescient misgivings about the Iraq war -- and, more important, the political courage to express these doubts clearly, at a time when many politicians were running for cover.
Hagel warned about the dangers of invading Iraq in a Feb. 20, 2003, speech in Kansas. He noted that America stood "nearly alone" in advocating military force to disarm Iraq and cautioned against "a rush to war." Some of Hagel's premonitions were almost eerie: "What comes after Saddam Hussein? The uncertainties of a post-Saddam, post-conflict Middle East should give us pause, encourage prudence and force us to recognize the necessity of coalitions in seeing it through." He urged the Bush administration to transfer postwar oversight to the United Nations as soon as possible, and he admonished Iraq boosters to "put aside the mistaken delusion that democracy is just around the corner."
Hagel was also early to understand the importance of talking to Iran, another idea that has since become commonplace but at the time took political guts. In a July 10, 2003, speech on the Senate floor, he said that a direct U.S. dialogue with Tehran about the nuclear issue might be necessary. In a Nov. 15, 2005, speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, he was emphatic: "The fact that our two governments cannot -- or will not -- sit down to exchange views must end."
Such outspoken criticisms of Bush policies had put Hagel outside the respectable Republican perimeter -- until Election Day. Hagel delivered his own blunt postmortem in a Nov. 16 speech to a conservative political action committee, GOPAC. The message of the election, he said, "is the American people saying you failed." Republicans had become so focused on keeping power that "we came loose of our moorings."
Hagel went on to criticize his party's failings in language you rarely hear in the usual pre-masticated sound bites of today's politicians. On GOP ethics lapses: "When you blow past the ethical standards and you play on the edge of legality, you're in trouble." On Bush administration foreign policy: "You cannot have a foreign policy based on divine mission. We tried that in the Middle Ages, that's what the Crusades were about."
It strains credulity to imagine that a GOP controlled by Bush and Karl Rove could learn to love Hagel, but, as the Nebraskan says, this is a time of "transformational politics." A more practical problem is that if Hagel does decide to seek the nomination, he will be competing for the same niche as the GOP front-runner, Sen. John McCain, who has been on his "straight-talk express" longer than has Hagel. And although McCain's centrist halo has been tarnished by his efforts to woo the far right, he remains a far more polished speaker and campaigner than Hagel. But on Iraq, Hagel has a clearer stance than does McCain, whose call for a big increase in troops is out of step with both the recommendations of U.S. military commanders and the public mood.
Hagel likes to evoke the Republicanism of Dwight Eisenhower, another former military officer who could be devastating in his criticism of the policies advocated by the military-industrial complex. "This was a real Republican president," he told the GOPAC audience.
Will that pre-Reagan Revolution message play to the party faithful in Iowa and New Hampshire in 2008? Will the Bush administration's problems become so severe that Republicans would embrace a senator from the radical center? The very fact that Hagel is mulling a campaign reminds us that American politics turned a corner this month and that we are in new territory.
Monday, November 27, 2006
I ran across an interesting article ("A Republican Takes the Lead on Iraq") that was worth sharing. It was from The Nation, so it has its biases, but it offered an interesting perspective. Here are excerpts from it:
Now, with a new Congress about to charge, Hagel writes, "It is not too late. The United States can still extricate itself honorably from an impending disaster in Iraq."
Democrats should be asking themselves: Why is a Republican taking the lead on the issue that played such a pivotal role in putting Democrats in charge of the House and Senate?
The honest answer is an unsettling one.
Right now, Hagel is sounding more realistic and responsible than most if not all of the Democrats who are positioning themselves for 2OO8 presidential runs...
This is not to say that Hagel, who entertains presidential ambitions of his own, should switch parties. He's still a domestic-policy conservative, and something of a hawk on foreign policy. Yet, he is the one saying that: "If the president fails to build a bipartisan foundation for an exit strategy, America will pay a high price for this blunder -- one that we will have difficulty recovering from in the years ahead."
If they are outflanked by Republicans like Hagel on the central issue of our time, Democrats will also pay a high price. They will lose the popular support and the moral authority that their November 7 successes gave them. And Americans, who polls show are ready for rapid withdrawal, will give their support to the leaders who are willing to say not just that it is time to bring the troops home but also, as Hagel does, that it is time for the U.S. to radically alter its approach to the Middle East.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Leaving Iraq, HonorablyBy Chuck HagelSunday, November 26, 2006; Page B07
There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis -- not the Americans.
Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost. It is part of the ongoing global struggle against instability, brutality, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. There will be no military victory or military solution for Iraq. Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger made this point last weekend.The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose.
We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government.
It may take many years before there is a cohesive political center in Iraq. America's options on this point have always been limited. There will be a new center of gravity in the Middle East that will include Iraq. That process began over the past few days with the Syrians and Iraqis restoring diplomatic relations after 20 years of having no formal communication.
What does this tell us? It tells us that regional powers will fill regional vacuums, and they will move to work in their own self-interest -- without the United States. This is the most encouraging set of actions for the Middle East in years. The Middle East is more combustible today than ever before, and until we are able to lead a renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, mindless destruction and slaughter will continue in Lebanon, Israel and across the Middle East.
We are a long way from a sustained peaceful resolution to the anarchy in Iraq. But this latest set of events is moving the Middle East in the only direction it can go with any hope of lasting progress and peace. The movement will be imperfect, stuttering and difficult.
America finds itself in a dangerous and isolated position in the world. We are perceived as a nation at war with Muslims. Unfortunately, that perception is gaining credibility in the Muslim world and for many years will complicate America's global credibility, purpose and leadership. This debilitating and dangerous perception must be reversed as the world seeks a new geopolitical, trade and economic center that will accommodate the interests of billions of people over the next 25 years. The world will continue to require realistic, clear-headed American leadership -- not an American divine mission.
The United States must begin planning for a phased troop withdrawal from Iraq. The cost of combat in Iraq in terms of American lives, dollars and world standing has been devastating. We've already spent more than $300 billion there to prosecute an almost four-year-old war and are still spending $8 billion per month. The United States has spent more than $500 billion on our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And our effort in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, partly because we took our focus off the real terrorist threat, which was there, and not in Iraq.
We are destroying our force structure, which took 30 years to build. We've been funding this war dishonestly, mainly through supplemental appropriations, which minimizes responsible congressional oversight and allows the administration to duck tough questions in defending its policies. Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibility in the past four years.
It is not too late. The United States can still extricate itself honorably from an impending disaster in Iraq. The Baker-Hamilton commission gives the president a new opportunity to form a bipartisan consensus to get out of Iraq. If the president fails to build a bipartisan foundation for an exit strategy, America will pay a high price for this blunder -- one that we will have difficulty recovering from in the years ahead.
To squander this moment would be to squander future possibilities for the Middle East and the world. That is what is at stake over the next few months.
The writer is a Republican senator from Nebraska.
The excellent blogger Extreme Mortman, who I highly recommend, posted this about the op-ed:
Hagel blasting Iraq policy isn’t newsworthy, of course. What is significant about this piece is that he doesn’t name any member of the Bush Administration. He says “we” 12 times — but never mentions President Bush.
Perhaps this line will be his rallying cry for his presidential campaign: “Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibility in the past four years.”
Another blogger, Just Dahlia, had this to say:
In this already-started presidential election season, it is often hard to find anyone who not only knows what they are talking about, but also respects voter intellect. Chuck Hagel is that kind of guy...Originally an economist, my inclination is to reach for a Republican answer, but when they went off the reservation with W, one had no choice but to go left. Hagel offers a hope.... He has a moral center that is informed and he does not fear speaking his mind.Technorati tags: Chuck Hagel, 2008 Election, Iraq
I was elated this morning when I opened the Post and saw that he had an opinion piece. I read it with excited anticipation, wanting to know what would make this mind speak out... and I was not disappointed.
How often have we heard a Republican senator (other than Lincoln Chafee) point to Iraq as a colossal mistake? More interesting, he reminds us that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In other words, "America cannot impose a democracy on any nation..." He chastises the policy of the US for taking its eye off the ball. "And our effort in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, partly because we took our focus off the real terrorist threat which was there, and not in Iraq." Not that it actually matters, but that is coming from a Vietnam vet.
For those who wonder why we even bother to have a Congress in view of its rubber stamp status these past years, Hagel seems to agree. After funding over $500 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan "dishonestly, mainly through supplemental appropriations," it is time for Congress to fulfill its obligation. As Hagel states, "Congress has abdicated its oversight responsibility in the past four years."
That is refreshing! Now, how can we get him to run??
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Chuck Hagel is definitely an interesting choice now. Like Gingrich, he had a gravitas with the pro-business crowd. He appeals to intellectual conservatives and comes from a relatively Red state...However, a door has definitely swung open for Hagel, and if he makes the most of it, he can become a top candidate for the GOP. Dont be surprised if you seem him making the Fox News circuit repeatedly.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Technorati tags: Chuck Hagel, 2008 Election, President, FOX News
Advisers for Hagel say he is likely to jump into the 2008 presidential race, although he has told supporters his decision will not be final until January. That decision, aides say, also is to include whether he would run for re-election to the Senate. His Senate term ends in 2008.
Hagel has said he will not "play coy" by filing first with an exploratory committee, but rather will say outright if he is running.
Hagel has not campaigned as aggressively as other Republican candidates like McCain or Romney, but has been clear about his presidential ambitions. For the election season that just ended, Hagel spent more time stumping for candidates than in any prior campaign, and has begun building support networks in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — the crucial primary states.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
New Hampshire beckons.
Its curtain-raising 2008 Republican presidential primary is wide open, the Concord Monitor suggested in an editorial last week.
“And we’ll see if Sen. Chuck Hagel, the potential GOP candidate most helped by last Tuesday’s spurning of the Bush war policy, can light a spark,” the newspaper stated.
Hagel hasn’t even decided yet whether to strike the match, but a decision is coming in January or shortly thereafter.
A little pre-primary primer from the Monitor, the moderate newspaper voice in New Hampshire:
* Independent voters may choose either the Republican or Democratic ballot and can be the decisive factor, as they were in 2000 when they flocked to John McCain.
* McCain, who has veered away from the role of “maverick truth-teller” and is a supporter of the war, is not the McCain of 2000.
* Charisma counts, and Rudy Giuliani could catch a Republican wave.
* “The personal connection still matters most in New Hampshire,” where candidates must make their pitch and answer questions in living rooms, diners and town hall gatherings.
Lesson: If you want to win New Hampshire, you have to come. And return. And return. And return.
Hagel Praises Paulson Remarks on Excessive Regulation
November 20th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, released the following statement today regarding remarks given by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to the Economic Club of New York warning against excessive regulation in capital markets:
“Secretary Paulson’s remarks today warning against excessive regulation shows a critical understanding of what will be required for America to remain competitive in the 21st Century. One of the most important requirements for a company in today’s modern economy is access to capital through the financial markets.
“We can’t let the cost of doing business in the U.S. become so onerous and burdensome that we drive investors and capital offshore. Our markets are the best in the world. We need to make sure the world continues to have confidence in our markets. But there are ominous signs of erosion in America’s capital markets. For example, in 2001, 59% of all global international Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) were listed in New York and 9% in London. In 2006, only about 6% of all global IPOs were listed in New York and 25% in London. Since the end of 2004, 30 foreign companies have left the NYSE and Nasdaq. In 2005, only one out of the world’s top 24 IPOs was registered in the U.S.
“I appreciate Secretary Paulson’s leadership on this issue. It will be critically important as the new Congress addresses these 21st Century market issues. The U.S. has paid little attention to trade and these big economic and competitive issues over the last few years.”
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Here is their take on Chuck Hagel:
Chuck Hagel — Senior Senator, Nebraska
Rationale: Call him the new John McCain. With two Purple Hearts earned as an Army infantryman in Vietnam and cozy relations with the press corps, Hagel comes across as the Republican maverick that McCain once was — before he began courting President Bush and the party’s conservative wing. Early on, Hagel was a rare GOP voice in opposition to Bush’s handling of the Iraq War. He did not let up, despite extreme pressure from party leaders to cool it. As a result, he is a favorite Republican to many Democrats. But he is no wild-eyed liberal, having once voted to overturn the Roe v. Wade protection of a woman’s right to an abortion. For a presidential campaign, geography favors him: His home in Omaha is practically within walking distance of Iowa.
Resources: With just over $1 million raised by his political action committee during the 2006 cycle, Hagel shows no signs of being a campaign-finance powerhouse. He easily won re-election in 2002 with a modest $1.6 million in campaign funds. Chances are that if Bush and his friends have anything to say about it, Hagel will not be tapping a lot of traditional GOP resources. He has been a thorn in the president’s side, and payback is probably on its way.
Hobby Horse: For Hagel, the word is maverick. In an era when voters are disgusted with blind partisanship, he is about as independent as they come. Like McCain and Rudolph Giuliani, his best argument to Republican primary voters is that he could appeal to a wide swath of general-election voters.
Hobble Horse: Plenty of GOP conservatives would rather set themselves on fire than see Hagel win the Republican nomination. They see his persistent criticism of the Iraq War as treason within his party, if not to the nation as a whole.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The animus against Chuck Hagel in the ragged right of the Republican party is real and significant. I don't get it. Look at his record, and you see a bona fide fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a successful entrepreneur, a limited government Republican in the Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater tradition and a decorated Vietnam war combat veteran. He is tough on crime, strong on defense, pro-gun with an "A" rating from the NRA, supports low taxes and limited spending, was rated a "Taxpayers Friend" by the NTU, is pro-business with an 87% rating from the US Chamber of Commerce, and even secured a 0% rating from NARAL indicating a perfect pro-life voting record.
This is my question for conservatives and the"Republicans blogging for the minority" that are particpating in this poll: On exactly what issues do you disagree with Chuck Hagel's positions? Excluding the fact that you will not find his lip prints on GWB's butt, he is a perfect conservative candidate. For all except the 31% of the electorate that still thinks Bush is doing a good job, Hagel's demonstrated independence from this administration makes him more electable in '08. If Bush had been listening to Chuck Hagel over the last four years, as opposed to Cheney and Rumsfeld, we would probably have a successful policy in Iraq, and the Republicans would still have a majority in Congress.
Net net - We have a candidate here who is a bona fide, high integrity conservative, who can retrieve the libertarian swing vote, might even pull in Democrats like Reagan did, and would certainly retain the White House for Republicans. And what is the only objection from the right? He is not a team player with the most unpopular President of the last 70 years. Good strategic thinking. Just the kind of thinking that will elect a Democrat for president in 2008.
Monday, November 13, 2006
On Thursday, Senator Hagel will address GOPAC, a conservative group in D.C. Here are details about this event.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
In the Politics One on One poll Senator Hagel is in the hunt to win the poll, so be sure to vote in it if you haven't already.
Here's another poll at the Republican 2008 Yahoo Group.
And another at The Next Prez
And at The Krusty Konservative
And at We the People
And at GOP Bloggers
And at StrawPoll08
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
But the political environment he’s always said he would need to have any shot at the GOP presidential nomination fell into place Tuesday.
If voters had expressed contentment with the status quo and current Republican leadership, there would be no opening for Hagel.
On the contrary, voters said no to both.
On top of that, national opinion about the war in Iraq is moving to the place where Hagel always has been.
Suddenly, the environment has become more open and friendly. Still treacherous, daunting, steeply uphill for a Republican whose criticism of Iraq policy has outraged his party’s right wing. But more welcoming now.
Nevertheless, when a decision rests so much on personal considerations — a presidential bid would swallow up his life for a year or two — a friendlier environment doesn’t necessarily mean Hagel will take the plunge.
A day after Republicans were snubbed in elections nationwide, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel said a possible White House bid remains in the picture.Thanks to Aaron for the heads up on the article.
"I'm seriously evaluating it, as I have been," he said.
Wednesday marked the unofficial start for those who may run for president in 2008, Hagel among them.
"I suspect there are many potential presidential candidates who are giving a new, elevated sense of evaluation," the Republican senator said. "I suspect most will come to decisions early next year."
That's his time frame, too.
"I will announce what I intend to do regarding my political future sometime early next year."
Be sure to check out the post from earlier this week on what we can do now to help make a possible Hagel run at the White House possible.
Hagel Statement on the Nomination of Robert Gates to be Defense SecretaryTechnorati tags: Chuck Hagel, Robert Gates, Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld
November 8th, 2006 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding President Bush’s nomination of Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense:
“I’ve known Bob Gates for many years. President Bush has made an excellent choice for this critically important position. Bob Gates is qualified, competent and experienced. I believe the Senate will quickly confirm him. We need to get him on the job as soon as possible.”
Thursday, November 09, 2006
One of the key things that must be done is networking. A grassroots movement is being built and it needs to grow. To further that, fill out the form on the right hand side of this page. Also, join one of the Chuck Hagel for President groups (Chuck Hagel 2008 Google Group, Hagel for President, Missouri for Hagel, South Carolina for Hagel , Chuck Hagel Myspace Group, and the one at Facebook).
A key element is simply spreading the word. Talk to people about Chuck Hagel and discuss why he will make a great President. You'd be amazed at how much impact just talking to people has.
Also, buy merchandise and get his name and the idea of him running for President into people's heads. At this point getting people to think about the possibility is critical. Also, getting those people that are likely to volunteer on a campaign or donate money to think about Hagel for President is important, as they are more likely to be thinking about it earlier than your average voter.
One more way that you can help Chuck Hagel on the road to the White House is to donate money. Two ways to do this are to donate to his PAC, and/or to his Senate campaign. Any money in his Senate campaign can be transferred to a Presidential campaign.
Another thing that people can do is drive the Internet Buzz surrounding Chuck Hagel. There are numerous ways to do this. Everyone can vote for Chuck Hagel in online polls. Also, everyone can comment on blogs, expressing their support for Senator Hagel. If you have a website or blog, add a banner or a link to this site (http://hagel2008.blogspot.com) and others that support Chuck Hagel. If you have a blog, post about Chuck Hagel.
If anyone has other ideas, please share them.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Today the 2008 race for the White House kicks into high gear. There are lots of possible candidates that have expressed interest but have not declared their candidacy, but that will change soon.
The best person for the job, though, is U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel of
Chuck Hagel one of the Senate's most respected voices on foreign policy, something that will be critically important in the 2008 race. He has executive experience in the business world and an amazing resume. Senator Hagel is a veteran who fought bravely in
Senator Hagel is a fiscal and social conservative who can lead the Republican party back to its roots. He is a conservative with crossover appeal to independants and respected by many, regardless of political affiliation.
Will the GOP turn to Senator Hagel? I certainly hope so.
After their well-deserved electoral beating, the Republicans might finally begin some soul searching on their present course. They may event take a second look at the presidential campaign of Senator Chuck Hagel .A Vietnam veteran and pioneer in the celllular phone industry, Hagel has long been a thoughtful Iraq War skeptic. His free market credentials are pretty solid (for a Republican), especially when compared to Gulliani, McCain, and Mitt "government mandated insurance" Romney.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Second, be sure to vote tomorrow. Here is a list of the candidates that Senator Hagel's PAC has supported this election season. Take a look at it and vote for these fine candidates if you have the opportunity.
Technorati tags: 2008 Poll, 2006 Election
Friday, November 03, 2006
SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. - The Dakota County GOP will host its biennial pancake breakfast from 8 a.m.- noon, Nov. 5 at the South Sioux City Senior High School. Local, state and federal candidates will attend. Those members include:From the Sioux City Journal.
Candidates for local offices: Fred Denker, County Commissioner Candidate; William Rohde, County Commissioner Candidate; Ted Piepho, County Clerk; Mary Goodman-Gamble, Clerk of District Court Candidate; Ed Matney, County Attorney; James Wagner, Sheriff
State officers and candidates: Governor Dave Heineman; Attorney General Jon Bruning; Secretary of State John Gale; State Auditor candidate Mike Foley; State Treasurer candidate Shane Osborn
Federal officers and candidates: U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel; U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry; U.S. Senate candidate Pete Ricketts
For information, contact Jonathan Johansen at 494-8160.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
The United States needs to reach bipartisan agreement after this month’s election on a new plan that will “start moving America out of Iraq,” Sen. Chuck Hagel said Wednesday.You can also read about the event at the Daily Nebraskan.
“We need to build some bipartisan consensus very quickly (to) develop a new strategy, a new direction,” Hagel told University of Nebraska-Lincoln students.
That strategy must continue to include working with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people, he said, but also should involve regional powers.
Technorati tags: Chuck Hagel, Iraq, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The annoucement can be found here at the school's website.
SENATOR HAGEL TO DISCUSS LEADERSHIP AT WESLEYAN LECTURE
LINCOLN, Neb.— Nebraska Wesleyan University students will get a lesson on leadership from Senator Chuck Hagel when he visits the campus on November 2.
Hagel’s presentation is the inaugural lecture for the Senator Carl T. Curtis and Mildred M. Curtis Lecture on Public Leadership. The presentation begins at 1 p.m. in O’Donnell Auditorium, located at 50th Street and Huntington Avenue in Lincoln. A reception will follow the presentation.
The Senator Carl T. Curtis and Mildred M. Curtis Lecture on Public Leadership was established last year to honor the late senator and to explore aspects of public and civic leadership. Curtis served in the House of Representatives for 16 years and the United States Senate for 24 years. The Minden native was best known as a fiscal conservative who warned about the dangers of deficit spending and was instrumental in introducing legislation that created individual retirement accounts. Hagel currently holds the Senate seat once held by Curtis.
The presentation is free and open to the public.
Technorati tags: Chuck Hagel, Leadership, Nebraska Wesleyan University