Like John McCain, Chuck Hagel is a decorated Vietnam veteran. Since Hagel is less well known than McCain, he is staking out a different piece of territory: he says the war has failed and we ought to start thinking about getting out. He has been far more critical of George Bush than any Democrat, even John Murtha. If the war is still the dominant issue in 2008, he can say "I warned you years ago" and have a lot of credibility. Also unlike McCain, he is not cozying up to the right-wing preachers, which may hurt him in the primaries but will help him in the general election. On domestic issues, he is slightly more conservative than McCain, though. He positively radiates integrity and gravitas and at 60, he looks like a president.I'm not quite sure I agree with all of it, but it does raise a few interesting points. Senator Hagel is one that is likely to be agreeable to the Christian Right (much more so that Rudy and some of the others), but as far as I know he is not in close with that movement. Senator Hagel is a social conservative but that has not been the focus of his career. Likewise, I don't think that his Iraq position can be based on political calculations, but rather personal experience from Vietnam and how he saw that Congress as having failed in their duty to ask the tough questions for the troops fighting abroad. Your thoughts?
Friday, December 01, 2006
Notes on Chuck Hagel from Electoral Vote.com
Electoral Vote.com has a list of possible 2008 candidates and brief notes about each of them. Here is what they noted about Senator Chuck Hagel (emphasis added):