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.