Monday, September 10, 2007

Hagel not running in 2008

Chuck Hagel has announced today that he will not be seeking a third term in the Senate and that he will not be running for Presdient.

Here is the text of Chuck Hagel's announcement today (the text from Sandhills PAC):

Hagel Announces He Will Not Seek A Third Term In Senate

OMAHA, NE – United States Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) announced this morning that he will not seek a third term in the United States Senate and does not intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008. Below is a text of Hagel’s remarks delivered at the Omaha Press Club:

I will not seek a third term in the United States Senate, nor do I intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008. It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve my country and represent my fellow Nebraskans in the U.S. Senate. My family and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity and the trust placed in me by the people of Nebraska. It has enriched all of us.

I have always tried to live up to the promise I made to the people of Nebraska the day I announced my intention to seek this Senate seat. On March 30, 1995 I said, “I intend to be a Senator all Nebraskans can be proud of.” I hope I’ve done that, and made some contributions to our state and country along the way. History will sort that out.

I am proud of my Senate record and deeply grateful to all those who helped get me there and keep me there, and those who have worked so hard for the people of Nebraska—my staff. I would like to particularly thank Mike McCarthy, Ken Stinson and Lou Ann Linehan. I owe a great deal to these three individuals.

I would have been unable to do my job without the love, wise perspective and constant encouragement of my wife Lilibet, my daughter Allyn and my son Ziller. My appreciation for their support is immeasurable. I would also like to thank my brothers, Tom and Mike, for their constant support and occasional brotherly constructive evaluations.

I said after I was elected in 1996 that 12 years in the Senate would probably be enough. It is. I have always believed that democracies work best when there is a constant cycle of new energy and ideas, and fresh leadership.

I will leave the Senate with the same enthusiasm, sense of purpose and love of my country that I started with. I leave maybe a little wiser, surely a little more experienced and with a very respectable amount of humility.

Public service has always been a big part of my life, and I hope to have another opportunity to serve my country in some new capacity down the road.

This afternoon, my family and I will return to Washington, and I will go back to work. I look forward to working as hard in the remaining 16 months of my Senate term for the people of Nebraska as I have over the last 11 years.

Thank you.”

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Watch Monday's Announcement Live

You can watch Chuck Hagel's Monday announcement live at, an Omaha news station.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Monday - Hagel to announce future plans

The wait may soon be over. Here is the message from Chuck Hagel's PAC website:
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) will hold a press conference on Monday, September 10th. The press conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the Omaha Press Club. Hagel will announce a decision regarding his future.
I and many others are hoping that Chuck Hagel will jump into the 2008 Presidential race on Monday, but we'll have to wait a few more days to find out.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

American Public Media: "Drafting a President"

Weekend American has done a piece on "Drafting a President" and the Draft Hagel movement has a link of the page. With luck, our Draft Hagel movement can achieve the same result as the Draft Ike movement did fifty years ago.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Veterans group praises Hagel on Iraq votes

Southwest Nebraska News reports that there is a new radio ad praising Senator Hagel ("Hagel, other Republicans Commended in Radio Ads").
Major General (Ret.) John Batiste, former 1st Infantry Division commander in Iraq, life-long Republican, and advisor to, is featured in a new radio ad campaign being launched today, that praises three Republicans for standing up for the troops.
Here is the text of the ad being run in Nebraska:
"I first want to thank the great state of Nebraska for standing behind our great military. When I was in uniform, my duty was to get the job done, without commenting on the policy makers in Washington. Now I'm a civilian, and pleased to thank Senator Chuck Hagel for his moral courage and standing up for our troops and military families. We're caught in the middle of a brutal civil war in Iraq, without a focused national strategy. Senator Hagel is well-informed, challenging those politicians who are breaking our great Army and Marine corps. Right now our soldiers and marines are killing and dying in Iraq, despite the fact that the Iraqis are no closer to reconciliation, and the current government is ineffective. Policy-makers need people like Senator Hagel, standing up for our troops, their families, and our national security."
There have been many veterans that have expressed their support for Senator Hagel and the trend will no doubt continue. You can listen to the ad here, or at

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Senator Hagel reacts to the Gonzales Resignation

KETV, an Omaha station, has Senator Hagel's reaction to the Alberto Gonzales Resignation.
In a written statement, Sen. Chuck Hagel said, "Attorney General Gonzales has taken the responsible and appropriate action in resigning. His resignation is the best thing for the country, Justice Department and the president."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hagel book to be released early next year

In February it was released that Senator Hagel would be writing a book (check out the original post here). has a page for the book, including a title: "America: The Next Chapter: Tough Questions and Straight Answers." Check it out.

Monday, August 27, 2007

David Broder - "Bloomberg And Hagel For 2008?"

David S. Broder's column in yesterday's Washington Post, "Bloomberg And Hagel For 2008?", is certainly worth a read.
Chuck Hagel, the senator from Nebraska, describes himself as a "tidal" politician, one who believes that larger forces in society shape careers more than the ambitions of individuals. "The only mistakes I've made," he told me last week, "were when I tried to go against the tide."
Next month, Hagel will make a threshold decision -- whether to run for a third term in the Senate. He gave me no definitive answer, but my guess is that he will say that 12 years of battling the institutional lethargy of Capitol Hill will be enough. Certainly he is under no illusions about how much he can achieve as one of 100 lawmakers.
The imperative the public will impose on the next president, Hagel says, "is to lead the country and restore the sense of national purpose." But the early start on campaigning for the GOP and Democratic nominations, and the prospect that the battles on one side or the other or both could continue right through next summer's conventions, could make it harder for the survivor to be that unifying figure.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lincoln Journal Star: "Hagel: Congress demands facts on Iraq"

Don Walton had a piece in Friday's Lincoln Journal Star covering Hagel's latest on the Iraq war. Check out the full article for more.
“We’re going to demand we get whatever information we require,” the Republican senator said during a Lincoln interview. “We fully expect the leaders of our government will comply with their responsibility. We must have all the facts and details required to make intelligent decisions.”

Friday, August 17, 2007

One and a half years

Today is the one and a half year anniversary for this blog. Thanks for all the support!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fantasy Politics USA

Head over to Fantasy Politics USA and check out their 2008 poll. Chuck Hagel is currently in 2nd place and if the readers of this blog sign up and vote I think we can push him to number one for the month.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The latest on Hagel in New Hampsire

The Concord Monitor ran a piece on Hagel this week.

The nation's increasing frustration with the war has given Sen. Chuck Hagel - the loudest Republican critic of the war in the Senate - renewed hope in a possible presidential run. He told The New York Times recently that a few major fundraisers were urging him to run. He said: "There is no Republican presidential candidate with this point of view. There might be an opening for me on this."

We checked in with state Sen. Bob Odell, a Lempster Republican who's been friends with Hagel for 30 years.


Odell said he thinks Hagel's position has increasing resonance. "I certainly think the public is open to a new voice, a new approach," he said.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A post and a video from DWSUWF

DWSUWF has a new post on Hagel that's worth a look: "Now is the time for one good man to come to the aid of his party." Here is an excerpt:
Hagel's staff has not asked me, but I have some free advice for them. There are three themes/messages that a "Hagel for President" campaign should focus on and hammer over and over again.
  1. "It's the war, stupid." - Hagel is the only credible anti-war Republican (except for Ron Paul - but the problem with Ron Paul is that he is Ron Paul).
  2. Hagel is The AntiBush - (See above)
  3. Hagel is a real conservative. - Unlike Bush, Cheney, or most of the current crop of Republican candidates.
This video hits on the first two of the three. I know, I know - two themes in one video is one too many. That is why this video is too long at two minutes. Hey - this is strictly amateur hour - you get what you pay for.

Check out the post and the video.

Monday, August 06, 2007

New Format

I've updated the format of this blog with the key addition of a complete list of labels on the left side of the page. Are you interested in learning more about a particular topic? Do you have a pet issue that you want to learn more about? Check out the labels on the left side of the page (just below the form and above the archives section).

If you're new to this site the labels are a great place to start.

Hagel and Infrastructure

Senator Hagel made the news last week by calling for a new way to keep our infrastructure healthy, and it came just before the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

Hardblogger has a piece on the plan (you can see video of Senators Hagel and Dodd on Hardball here) and here is an excerpt:
Earlier on Wednesday – a few hours before the 35W bridge in Minnesota collapsed -- Senators Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Chuck Hagel R-Neb.) introduced legislation to fix America’s road, bridges, water, and transit systems. According to the senators, the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007 would help revitalize America’s infrastructure.
“We have the capacity to do it,” said Sen. Hagel. “We have the greatest economy, system, nation, people in the world. There is no challenge this country has ever failed at meeting.” (Rumors continue that Hagel may run for president as well).
NPR has an interview with Chuck Hagel on the matter as well. You can listen to it here.

More from Novak

Robert Novak wrote this recently:

Sen. Chuck Hagel, the Senate's toughest Republican critic of President Bush's war policy, has not ruled out a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination and will use the August recess of Congress to make up his mind.

A major reason for the unexpectedly strong professions of support for Rep. Ron Paul's libertarian-conservative candidacy is that he is the only announced Republican presidential candidate opposed to the invasion of Iraq. Hagel as an anti-war candidate might attract a broader base of support than Paul. He has received many offers of financial support should he run.

Hagel must decide what to do in 2008: to run for president, to run for Senate re-election, or to get out of politics. The betting in the Senate Republican cloakroom is that he will retire, but Hagel has given no signal of his intentions and tells friends that he has yet to make a decision.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Notes from Novak

From Robert Novak's piece today:
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is still considering the possibility of a presidential campaign as an anti-war candidate and soon will make his decision. He could make a splash in the primaries.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hagel to speak at Panetta Lecture Series

It was announced that Chuck Hagel will be speaking next month in California.
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, and Sen. Bob Graham, D-Florida, will be the final speakers at this year's Leon Panetta Lecture Series on Aug. 13.
This lecture can be viewed live on cable television in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, and north through the San Francisco Bay area, as well as east to the greater Sacramento area. C-SPAN is also invited to broadcast these lectures nationally.
From The Herald

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New York Times - "Seeking a G.O.P. Opening on the War"

The New York Times had a good piece last week that had some particularly interesting things to say.

So with the Republican presidential field turned upside down, and a wide-open battle for the party’s nomination unfolding over the next six months, could there suddenly be room for a candidate who opposes the administration’s war policy?

That’s what Senator Chuck Hagel is trying to conclude.

Mr. Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, has long been among the loudest Iraq critics in his party, a position that he said was “very, very lonely over the last four years.” His conservative voting record has been overshadowed, in the eyes of many faithful Republicans, by his forceful criticism of how Mr. Bush has handled the war.

These days, Mr. Hagel is no longer feeling so alone.

As he walked across the Capitol, one day after the latest chapter of the Senate war debate ended, he said he is receiving fresh encouragement to consider a presidential candidacy. He intends to study the landscape and disclose his intentions “in the next few weeks.”

“There is no Republican presidential candidate with this point of view. There might be an opening for me on this,” Mr. Hagel said. “I’ve had three very significant Republican fundraisers come to me this week, all of whom said I should look at running.”

He declined to name the fundraisers, only saying: “They are three Bush people, not committed to any candidate yet. You would recognize two of the names, clearly.” With a smile, he added, “Of course I’d need more than three.”

Mr. Hagel conceded being stung by the negative reaction to a March 12 news conference in Omaha, when he announced – after significant fanfare – that he had made no decisions about his future. Since then, even during the war debate, he has maintained a decidedly lower profile as he contemplates whether to seek re-election, run for president or step away from public office.

“I think people have enough regard for me to know that I’m not a flake, that I’m a serious leader,” Mr. Hagel said. “Whether you agree with me or not – or whether you think I’d have a chance or not, that’s a different thing. But I don’t think anyone would doubt my sincerity to do a good job and do it right.”


One day earlier, the senator called a town meeting in Nebraska to share his views on Iraq. A crowd of 300 people gathered. “I expected I was going to get roughed up pretty good,” he said. “But there was an overwhelming response toward me.”

That doesn’t mean, of course, that the hate mail to his Senate office has entirely stopped. (It hasn’t.) And it doesn’t mean that Republican primary voters are ready for a candidate like him. (Even if he could raise the money, he concedes, it may not be.)

But it does provide him enough of a reason to not foreclose the idea entirely.

“It’s not a no. I have not said no,” Mr. Hagel said...“I don’t want to make a decision in the flurry of all this, the intensity of all this. Next month when we get a little break, I’ve got to sort it out. I’ve got to make a decision and I will.”

The article gives us a new idea about his decision timetable, something I haven't heard anything about in a while.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The blog is back

My apologies for the extended break. Between moving and the related activities the blog got put on hold. Now it's back.

Some of what you may have missed is in the posts below.

Hagel on Meet the Press

Chuck Hagel was on Meet the Press on July 8th, 2007. Here is the video:

Draft Hagel 08 Press Release

Here is the latest press release from Draft Hagel 08:


The Winner of Monday Night’s Democratic Debate: Republican Senator Chuck Hagel

Boston, MA – At the first CNN/YouTube Democratic Presidential Debate held Monday, July 24, Democratic contender Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) was asked by a questioner: “If you had to pick any Republican member of Congress or Republican governor to be your running mate, who would it be? Without hesitation, Mr. Biden said: Chuck Hagel. When asked the same question, Democratic contender John Edwards (D-NC) said Chuck Hagel as well. Senator Chuck Hagel’s name continues to be batted around Washington political circles as a possible Republican, Independent, and now Democratic candidate for the ’08 election.

In a political environment immersed in hyper-partisanship and ideological polarization, one where political gamesmanship has become the watchword of the day in Washington, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) has managed to transcend partisan lines and earn respect
across the isle.

In his own party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calls Senator Hagel a “solid, thoughtful, conservative Republican” whose voice is invaluable to the nation, and who is “an indispensable member of the Republican team.” (Lincoln Star Journal, May 18, 2007, by Don Walton, “McConnell says Hagel's Iraq warnings were right”)

Hagel is expected to decide whether to pursue a presidential bid in the next few weeks. For the sake of unifying this nation with true leadership, the “” movement continues to ask Mr. Hagel to enter the presidential sweepstakes. We are confident that, as president, Hagel can forge a bipartisan consensus to tackle critically important issues which have been mired in partisanship. These issues include extricating the United States from Iraq, immigration reform, and returning fiscal sanity to our nation.

Hagel is an accomplished mainstream independent-minded conservative voice that emphasizes realist internationalism abroad and fiscal austerity at home in the spirit of former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gerald R. Ford, and former Secretaries of State James Baker and Colin Powell.

Senator Hagel, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, maintains that the only way to end the bloodshed in Iraq is through a political accommodation. A Vietnam Veteran, Senator Hagel has called our misadventure in Iraq “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam.” To bring the political solution to fruition, Senator Hagel supports establishing an international mediator with the “backing and authority of the international community to engage Iraq’s political, religious, ethnic, and tribal leaders in an inclusive political process.” (Financial Times, July 3, 2007, by Chuck Hagel, “Internationalize Iraq”). Senator Hagel’s position on the Iraq War is in sharp contrast to the major Republican Primary candidates who continue to support the failed policies of the Bush Administration.

Senator Hagel has shown his fiscal conservative stripes by breaking with his Party and by opposing the fiscally irresponsible prescription-drug program under Medicare. In addition, Senator Hagel is a steadfast supporter of states rights, vehemently opposing the President’s federal “No Child Left Behind Act.” What’s more, Senator Hagel opposes the President’s call for a Constitutional amendment codifying marriage, emphatically stating: “I don't think the federal government has any business in dictating what constitutes a marriage.”

It is for these reasons that we consider Senator Chuck Hagel to be the best candidate to reclaim the leadership of the mainstream of this country. We believe Hagel’s message will strike a resonant chord across the “great political divide.” We would be glad to speak with you at-length about the “Draft Hagel 08” Movement. For more information, please contact us.

Rich Rubino, Press Spokesperson
Draft HAGEL 08 is not authorized by or associated with any candidate, candidate's committee, PAC, or political party.

Financial Times - "Internationalize Iraq"

Senator Hagel had a piece, Internationalize Iraq, in the Financial Times on July 3rd, 2007. Once again, Chuck Hagel clearly and articulately lays out his views on how the United States should approach Iraq. The piece is well worth a read.

Press Release catch up

Here are some of the press releases you may have missed:

Senate Passes “Wounded Warriors Act”

Hagel’s International Mediator Language Included in Levin-Reed Amendment on Iraq War Policy

Hagel-Levin Introduce Amendment to Protect U.S. Military Deployment Standards

Hagel Introduces Comprehensive Amendment on U.S. Iraq War Policy

Hagel Introduces Comprehensive Energy Reform Legislation

For a full listing of the press releases from Chuck Hagel's Senate office, see his Senate website.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two recent articles

There were two recent articles by Don Walton in the Lincoln Journal Star that are worth a read.

The first is about the fund raiser for Hagel that Senate minority leader McConnell hosted (McConnell says Hagel's Iraq warnings were right).
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell lavished praise Friday on Sen. Chuck Hagel and said many of his warnings about the Iraq war have been validated.

“Many of the predictions Chuck Hagel made about the war came true,” the Kentucky senator said in a brief interview after his remarks at a fundraising reception.

“They have proven to be accurate.” Hagel’s views on the war “have not diminished his effectiveness,” McConnell said, and may, in fact, increase his effectiveness over time.
The second piece, "Don Walton: Maybe Hagel just being Nebraskan", notes the history of political independence in Nebraska politics and how Chuck Hagel fits that mold.

Green Cheese's take on Hagel

Here's a blog post that's worth a read: "Hagel for President? Not Unreasonable." over at Green Cheese.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Message from the Draft Hagel Movement

This message brought to you by the Draft Hagel 08 Movement:
What is the purpose of a draft movement?

To create a buzz, a groundswell of support, to influence a decision. We do not care which party the candidate desires to represent, only that he/she is the right person for the job. This is what we need to do. We cannot wait for a decision, and then jump into action. We need to be in action to influence a decision.

At this point in time, Senator Hagel is focused on his job as a US Senator, as he should be. While he thinks about a decision to run, it is the job of Draft Hagel 08 movement supporters to show him that the energy is out there to ensure that a decision to enter the Presidential race has the potential to be successful.

Looking at the direction and future of our country, it is hard to imagine that doing so could ever be considered a waste. Start a local group in your area. Have some type of political experience, or want to gain some? Contact us to be a regional or state coordinator. Whatever your commitment to the movement can be, make it vocal and let's go! At no other point in this country's history has it mattered more!

The Draft Hagel 08 Team

Today's WaPo article on Hagel

Today's Washington Post has an interesting article on Hagel: "Hagel as Hamlet -- or the Third Man?" by Dana Milbank. It's worth a read.
If Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel shows any more leg about an independent presidential candidacy, he risks a citation for indecent exposure.
I have to say, that's a catchy opening line. The author's analysis is that Hagel is leaning towards an independent bid for the White House.
Whatever his true intentions, his words yesterday pointed unmistakably toward an independent presidential run: too concerned to retire ("everywhere you look, we have huge problems"), too independent to remain Republican ("neither party is seen as an answer") and too disgusted with Congress ("this nonsense that we're consumed with here") to seek reelection next year.
We'll see what happens. Chuck Hagel has sought to lead the Republican party back to its roots, but that doesn't seem to be catching on right now.
The Senate was in need of some adult behavior -- and Hagel provided it in his lunchtime speech, where 100 people heard him speak for 40 minutes without notes. The early start to the presidential campaign "has paralyzed, locked down our ability to govern," he complained. "We must find some bipartisan consensus on Iraq and on the future, our security, and we can't wait for two years, a year and a half, for the next president to take office."

"Hagel Calls for Resignation of Attorney General Gonzales"

Chuck Hagel's Senate office released this statement yesterday:
Hagel Calls for Resignation of Attorney General Gonzales

May 16th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) today released the following statement calling for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that, as White House Counsel, Gonzales attempted to undermine Comey’s authority as the acting Attorney General and persuade Attorney General John Ashcroft to re-authorize a domestic surveillance program from his hospital bed.

“The American people deserve an Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer of our country, whose honesty and capability are beyond question. Attorney General Gonzales can no longer meet this standard. He has failed this country. He has lost the moral authority to lead. Comey’s testimony yesterday brings to light the latest episode in a series of questionable actions by Attorney General Gonzales. It is another part of a pattern of flawed decision making by the Attorney General.

“America is a nation of laws. In the interest of the American people, Alberto Gonzales should resign now,” said Hagel.

"Lieberman, Hagel Call for Increase in Skilled Workers to Boost U.S. Economy"

Here's a press release issued Tuesday from the Senator's office:
Lieberman, Hagel Call for Increase in Skilled Workers to Boost U.S. Economy
Senators introduce the Skilled Worker Immigration and Fairness Act of 2007

May 15th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) today introduced the Skilled Worker Immigration and Fairness Act of 2007 to ensure that America’s innovative industries can hire the workers they need to fuel US economic growth, and to better protect American workers. The bill is also co-sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and George Voinovich (R-OH).

The bill would increase the annual allotment of H-1B visas, which provide American employers with access to highly educated foreign professionals in “specialty occupations” (those requiring at least a U.S. bachelor's degree or equivalent education and work experience). Despite dramatic changes to the US economy in the past 17 years, the H-1B cap remains at its 1990 limit of 65,000 per year (an additional 20,000 visas are available for foreign nationals holding US graduate degrees). As a result, thousands of U.S. high-tech jobs today remain unfilled.

“To remain competitive, American companies need access to highly educated individuals,” Lieberman said. “But today’s system makes it difficult for innovative employers to recruit and retain highly educated talent, which puts the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage globally. As part of comprehensive immigration reform, we must address this crisis to ensure that America remains the world leader in innovation. At the same time, we must strengthen the H-1B program to ensure that American workers are protected.”

“The severe shortage of H-1B visas is a nation-wide problem, and Nebraska is directly affected. The demand in underserved communities throughout Nebraska for these highly qualified individuals, such as doctors and nurses in rural areas, far out number the supply. This legislation is important to helping keep America competitive in the 21st Century workplace,” Hagel said.

“Keeping America’s economy strong depends on having enough skilled workers,” said Cantwell. “That means making sure education and training opportunities are affordable and accessible, but it also means getting help from the world’s best and brightest when there are skill shortages. With so many high-tech companies in the Pacific Northwest, we need an H-1B visa process that meets employer demands as well as prevents fraud and abuse. This proposal strikes a balance on the H-1B visa program, which is key to investing in our future and keeping America competitive.”

The Lieberman-Hagel bill would increase the cap to 115,000 in 2007 and would add a flexible adjustment mechanism that would enable to cap to rise as high as 180,000, depending on market conditions (this ceiling would still be less than the 195,000 limit in 2001-2003). Additionally, the bill would exempt from the cap foreign nationals who hold a US graduate degree; a non-US graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or math; or a US medical specialty certification.

Currently, foreign nationals count for 56% of all engineering master's degrees and 65% of engineering Ph.D. degrees awarded by Connecticut universities. In Nebraska, the percentages are 37% and 72%, respectively.

In raising the H-1B cap, the bill would also create meaningful and reasonable reforms to prevent visa fraud and abuse. The bill includes provisions that would:

• Prohibit employers from advertising jobs as exclusively open to H-1B visa holders.

• Provide that employers with 50 employees cannot have more than half of their workforce on H-1B visas.

• Remove unnecessary restrictions on the Department of Labor’s (DOL) ability to investigate H-1B compliance.

• Authorize DOL to hire an additional 200 employees to administer, oversee, investigate and enforce the H-1B program.

• Raise the H-1B petition fee by $500, to pay for enhanced enforcement and ensure the program pays for itself.

• Authorize reasonable improvements to coordination among DOL, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS).

The bill also allows the most highly qualified green card applicants to immigrate without being subject to artificial caps. Immediate families of employment based immigrants will no longer count against the worker caps.

The Lieberman-Hagel bill enjoys support from a wide-range of businesses technology groups, including Microsoft Corporation and Compete America, a coalition of corporations, educators, research institutions and trade associations committed to assuring that US employers have the ability to hire and retain the world’s best talent.

“The nation continues to witness a dramatic decline in the number of native born computer science graduates,” said Jack Krumholtz, Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs for Microsoft Corp. “As a result, technology companies like Microsoft rely on the H-1B visa and employment-based green card programs to deliver an adequate supply of highly qualified employees to help maintain our competitive position. That can only be achieved through immediate reform of these programs to ensure they are meeting the needs of our economy. We commend Senators Lieberman, Hagel, Cantwell and Voinovich for their leadership in addressing this critical problem, and urge the Senate to adopt these measures and pass expeditiously comprehensive immigration reform legislation.”

“The Skilled Worker Immigration and Fairness Act would provide crucial reforms to the H-1B visa and EB green card processes that U.S. companies urgently need,” stated Robert Hoffman, Vice President for Government and Public Affairs at Oracle and Co-Chair of Compete America. “Senators Lieberman and Hagel should be commended for taking a leading role on an issue that is so important to America’s continued innovation leadership and economic strength.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Senator Hagel Receives Patriot Award from Boy Scouts of America"

Chuck Hagel has been given an award by the Boy Scouts of America. Here's the news from Southwest Nebraska News:
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has received the Patriot “Good Scout” Award for 2007 from the Boys Scouts of America. The award is presented each year to one senator or congressman who displays patriotism and an allegiance to the scouting spirit.

“It is an honor to receive this award from an organization that has helped shape the character and patriotism of generations of young men. The lessons I learned in scouting have served me well throughout my life. The dedication of the Boy Scouts to patriotism and hard work honors the best of America,” Hagel said.

Hagel was both a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout growing up in Nebraska. Hagel was also the 2001 recipient of the Patriot “Good Scout” Award.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

An Independent Bid?

Since Chuck Hagel's appearance on Face the Nation Sunday there has been a great deal of discussion of whether or not he should run as an Independent or as a Republican.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Please share them in the comments.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hagel on Face the Nation

Chuck Hagel was on Face the Nation yesterday morning, and you can read about it or watch it from the CBS News website. Check out the video.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Video of Hagel - Asia Soceity

This is from the Asia Society, May 5th 2007

Thanks to Alex for pointing out the video.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Press Release: "Hagel Introduces Veterans and Survivors Employment and Training Act"

Here is a press release issued last week from the Senate office of Chuck Hagel:
Hagel Introduces Veterans and Survivors Employment and Training Act

May 3rd, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Jack Reed (D-RI) today introduced the “Veterans and Survivors Employment and Training Act of 2007.” This legislation would make school more affordable to veterans, survivors, and dependents pursuing an education in high tech fields. The bill would expand the education programs that are eligible for accelerated payments under the Montgomery GI Bill, and provide the benefit to recipients of the Survivors’ and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (SDEAP).

“America’s service men and women make tremendous sacrifices in service to our country. As policymakers, we have an obligation to ensure they have the resources they need to pursue their education. This legislation will make it easier for veterans, and the families of veterans killed or permanently disabled in service to our country, to afford higher education and expand the much needed high tech workforce in our country,” Hagel said.

Under current law, individuals eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill qualify for accelerated payments of their education benefit if they are pursuing two or four year programs in life or physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, science technology, computer specialties and management. The accelerated payment option is currently not available to individuals eligible under SDEAP.

This bill would provide 60% of the benefit for each semester in a single lump sum at the beginning of that eligible semester for veterans, survivors, and dependents pursuing an education in approved fields. Further, this bill would:

· Expand the programs eligible for accelerated payments; and,

· Extend the same eligibility for the accelerated payments to recipients of SDEAP as recipients of the GI bill.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Monday's Novak Article

Robert Novak had a piece out yesterday, "Hagel's Stand." It is well worth the read. Here are some excerpts:

Hagel certainly is no peace-now zealot. "We're not going to precipitously pull out," he told me. "We have [national] interests in Iraq." While he asserted that "we can't get out by the end of the year," he called for "pulling some of our guys out -- not all of them, but you've got to get them out of [Baghdad] at least, get them out of the middle of civil war." If not, Hagel said, "then the prospects of the Republican Party are very dim next year."

What about claims by proponents of the Iraqi intervention that failure to stop the terrorists in Iraq will open the door to them in the American homeland?

"That's nonsense," Hagel replied. "I've never believed that. That's the same kind of rhetoric and thinking that neocons used to get us into this mess and everything that [Donald] Rumsfeld, [Paul] Wolfowitz, [Richard] Perle, [Douglas] Feith and the vice president all said. Nothing turned out the way they said it would."

It is "nonsense," Hagel said, because "Iraq is not embroiled in a terrorist war today." Hagel, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, cited "national intelligence" attributing "maybe 10 percent" of the insurgency and violence to al-Qaeda. Indeed, he described Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds as opposed to al-Qaeda: "They don't like the terrorists. What's happened in Anbar province is the tribes are finally starting to connect with us because al-Qaeda started killing some of their leadership and threatening their people. So the tribes now are at war with al-Qaeda."


These judgments come from someone credited with rebuilding Nebraska's Republican Party and who has earned a lifetime conservative voting rating of 85.2 percent from the American Conservative Union. Hagel represents millions of Republicans who are repelled by the Democrats' personal assault on President Bush but are deeply unhappy about his course in Iraq.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Robert Novak piece

Robert Novak has a piece out with some discussion of Chuck Hagel's future plans:


Sen. Chuck Hagel, facing opposition from the right wing of the Nebraska Republican Party, is expected to decide within the next two and one-half months what he will do in 2008: run for President, seek a third term in the Senate, or neither.

Hagel has been testing the presidential waters in Iowa and New Hampshire over the past several months. He would be the only major Republican presidential prospect who opposes President Bush’s Iraq war policy.

His stance on the war may force a contested Nebraska primary against Hagel, who has been the state’s most popular Republican in a generation. State Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning has withdrawn his earlier support for Hagel and indicated he may run against him for the Republican nomination for the Senate. However, Hagel would be backed by Gov. Dave Heineman and other prominent Nebraska Republicans.

I don't know if the time table is accurate or not, but it is the latest that I have heard.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Press release: "Hagel Statement on Vote in Favor of War Supplemental Spending Bill"

The second of two press releases today from the Senate office of Chuck Hagel:
Hagel Statement on Vote in Favor of War Supplemental Spending Bill

April 26th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding his vote in favor of the Iraq War Supplemental spending bill:

“I do not believe the current policy we have in Iraq is worthy of the sacrifices our troops are making and I will not continue to support it. Given a choice between the two options of voting for this bill or supporting the current course we are on in Iraq, I chose to vote for this bill. We need a change of policy.

“The President will veto this legislation and we will find ourselves at a crossroads. The Administration and Congress must find a responsible common ground on a new Iraq policy that funds our troops, strips the unnecessary spending out of this bill, addresses our national interests in Iraq and the Middle East, and presses the Iraqi government to find a political accommodation and make the tough choices they need to make in order to govern and defend their country. This is a time for responsible government and far-sighted leadership. We cannot and will not continue to be an occupying presence in Iraq,” Hagel said.

Press release: "Hagel Introduces Legislation to Deal with Illegal Immigrants Living in the U.S."

Here is the first of two press releases from Chuck Hagel's Senate office today:
Hagel Introduces Legislation to Deal with Illegal Immigrants Living in the U.S.

April 26th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) today introduced “The Immigrant Accountability Act of 2007.” The legislation would create a merit-based point system to deal with those living in the country illegally. Those who receive enough points would be put on a pathway to earn citizenship after 13 years. Under Hagel’s bill, no person here illegally would be able to jump in line ahead of someone who has applied for citizenship legally.

Hagel’s legislation is a compromise intended to be incorporated into the comprehensive immigration reform legislation the Senate will consider in May. The legislation builds on previous immigration reform legislation introduced by Hagel in the last two Congresses.

“It is not in our interest to have 12 million people living here illegally. We must create a system in which those who are contributing to our country, speaking English, and helping build a better America are given a pathway toward earned citizenship, while those who are not contributing to our country can be identified and deported. This legislation creates that kind of responsible system. This is an issue of national security as well as an economic issue. We cannot afford to continue to ignore it,” Hagel said.

To be eligible for the point system under Hagel’s legislation, an illegal immigrant must have been in the country since before January 7, 2004; pass a criminal or national security background check; pay back state and federal income taxes; demonstrate a proficiency in English and U.S. history; register for selective service; and pay a $2000 fine and additional fees. The system is modeled after those used by Canada and Australia.

Attached is a summary of the Immigrant Accountability Act of 2007

This legislation builds on the Hagel/Daschle legislation introduced in January 2004, the Hagel Immigrant Accountability Act of 2005, and the Hagel/Martinez compromise that made passage of the Senate Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act possible in 2006. This legislation embraces the concept from the Hagel/Martinez compromise allowing long-term, employed illegal aliens to stay in the United States if they prove that they are invested and contributing to the United States. Illegal aliens who arrived after January 7, 2004 would have to leave the U.S. or be deported.

Under the Hagel Immigrant Accountability Act, illegal aliens applying for earned adjustment would have to pass criminal and national security background checks; pay back state and federal income taxes; demonstrate English proficiency and knowledge of U.S. history and government; register for the military selective service; and pay a $2,000 fine and additional fees. They would have to wait in the back of the line behind those who have already applied before earning a greencard.

New provisions under the Hagel legislation require illegal aliens to demonstrate they are contributing to the United States to be eligible to earn an eventual path (after 13 years) to American Citizenship. To qualify for a greencard, an individual here illegally must earn points in categories that show specific characteristics that demonstrate investment, contribution and assimilation into the United States. The individual would be required to receive 65% of the available points to qualify for a greencard. (Point table attached.) After the initial application, if at anytime DHS determines that the alien cannot qualify for the program, the alien would have to leave the U.S. or would be deported.

The bill establishes the following point categories:

• Military Service (after meeting initial qualifications for adjustment)

• Advanced English proficiency

• Civic Engagement – significant community service work (religious or secular), a clean criminal record, and on time payment of income taxes for past work

• Business ownership (which employs at least 2 unrelated “legal” workers)

• Home ownership

• Work History (points for each year of work an alien can prove) (Like Hagel/Martinez)

• Education (additional points for all levels of education)

• U.S. Presence (points for length of time in the U.S.) (Like Hagel/Martinez)

· U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident Spouse or minor child

Basic Points



The range of points is based on the number of years a person has worked in the U.S. (Up to 5 points per year possible.)


An alien may earn minimal points for primary school, additional points for high school or obtaining a GED, or skilled trade license.


A person may earn points for having a U.S. citizen child; additional points may be awarded for a U.S. citizen/legal resident spouse.


The range of points is based on level of proficiency - the more fluent, the more points.

Civic Engagement

Points may be earned for community service, having no criminal or civil infractions, and on time payment of taxes.

U.S. Presence

The range of points is based on the number of years a person has lived in the U.S.

(Up to 5 points per year possible.)

Total Possible Points

Specific point values will be determined by regulation.

An alien must earn 65% of available Basic Points to eventually qualify for a green card and citizenship.

Extra Credit Points

Extra points may be awarded to those immigrants who have made exceptional contributions.


U.S. Military Service

Points for being eligible for honorable discharge.
Up to 20

Business Ownership

Points awarded if business is sustained for 18 months and alien employs at least 2 non-relative employees.
Up to 10

Advanced Education

Points for college degree or advanced degree.
Up to 15

Home Ownership
Up to 5

Other Circumstances: There will be factors that we are unable to anticipate at this time. These factors, and the points to assign to them, are at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security
Up to 20

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Entitlement Reform - Press Release

Here's a press release from Chuck Hagel's Senate office:
Hagel, Tanner, Webb and Castle Reintroduce Bicameral and Bipartisan Legislation to Create Comprehensive Entitlement Reform Commission

April 24th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Representatives John Tanner (D-TN) and Mike Castle (R-DE) reintroduced legislation in the Senate and House today to create a Comprehensive Entitlement Reform Commission. The commission would review Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and make recommendations to Congress that would sustain the solvency and stability of these three programs for future generations. Hagel and Tanner both introduced the legislation in the last Congress.

“Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have played a vital role for millions of Americans to cope with the financial burdens of retirement and health care costs. However, over the next 75 years these three programs represent a $47 trillion unfunded commitment and are on a trajectory that cannot be sustained. The Commission will review America’s three major entitlement programs and make comprehensive recommendations to sustain the solvency and stability of these programs for future generations. Confronting the financial challenges that exist with these entitlement programs now means facing less dramatic and difficult choices down the road,” Hagel said.

“Millions of Americans depend on Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid everyday, but the programs are not financially sustainable over time if we do not take a comprehensive look at potential reforms. We have a responsibility to strengthen these programs for the Baby Boomers who are retiring now and also for future generations who deserve the assistance they have helped support for those before them,” Tanner said.

“For decades, hard-working Americans have counted on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as a safety net to protect their basic needs,” Webb said. “The intentions of these programs are unquestionable. They foster a level of fairness and government responsibility that Americans deserve. But with nearly 80 million baby boomers retiring in the next few years and the costs of medical care continually rising, we need to take the responsible steps to ensure the solvency of these programs in the years ahead.

“For too long, Congressional debate on these programs has been mired in partisan politics. As the latest trustees’ report makes all too clear, we need leadership to ensure the long-term financial health of these programs. That’s why it is time for a neutral commission to recommend solutions to Congress within one year of the bill’s passage,” continued Webb.

“With the Trustees Report yesterday reconfirming for all of us, the urgent need to address the solvency of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security sooner rather than later, this Commission can play a vital role in making specific recommendations on how to do so. With these three entitlement programs comprising such a large chunk of our federal budget every year, there is no question that in order to be fiscally responsible we can no longer wait to make changes. Facing the tough choices now, will ensure a healthier economy in the long run,” Castle said.

The bipartisan Commission would be comprised of eight members appointed by bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate. Its work would fall under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires Government Accountability Office oversight and full public access. The Commission would be required to submit a final report to the President and Congress one year after the appointment of all Commission members and staff, and Congress would be required to hold committee hearings to review the Commission’s recommendations.

Attached below is a fact sheet detailing the proposed Commission.

Comprehensive Entitlement Reform Commission Act of 2007

• The Entitlement Reform Commission will review Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and make comprehensive recommendations to sustain the solvency and stability of these three programs for future generations.


• Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid face a $47 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Social Security Administration; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Congressional Research Service)

• The Social Security Trust Fund will pay out more money than it takes in beginning in 2017 and will be exhausted in 2041. Social Security faces a $4.7 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Social Security Administration)

• The Medicare Part A Trust Fund (hospital insurance) will be exhausted in 2019 and faces an $11.6 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

• The Medicare Part B (supplementary medical insurance) faces a $13.9 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

• The Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) faces an $8.4 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Government Accountability Office; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

• Medicaid faces an $8.4 trillion unfunded commitment over the next 75 years. (Source: Congressional Research Service report – August 2005)

• Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid represent America’s three major entitlement programs. Together, these programs make up 78% of total mandatory spending. (Source: Office of Management and Budget)

• Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is projected to increase from 8.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006 to 16% of GDP in 2080. (Source: Congressional Research Service report – February 2007)

• In March 2005, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan urged Congress to act on modernizing entitlement programs, “sooner rather than later.” He warned that unless we act now to meet the huge unfunded commitments of our entitlement programs, there will be significant economic consequences for our nation.

• We need to comprehensively reform these programs so they are sustainable for future generations.

Commission Overview:

• The Commission will be comprised of 8 total members. The House Speaker, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader will each appoint two members.

• The Commission shall select two Co-Chairmen from among its members.

• All appointments must be made 30 days after enactment of the Act.

• Following the appointment of all Commission members, the Commission will have an initial organization period of two months to establish an outline for work. The Commission work will fall under the Federal Advisory Committee Act requiring Government Accountability Office oversight and full public access.

• The Commission shall appoint an Executive Director. The Executive Director will hire additional staff with approval of the Commission Co-Chairmen.

• The Commission is required to submit the final report to the President and Congress one year after the selection of the two Co-Chairmen of the Commission and the Executive Director.

• Congress is required to hold Committee hearings to review the Commission’s recommendations.

• The legislation authorizes $1.5 million to carry out the necessary tasks of the Commission, such as salary for the Executive Director and staff and travel expenses for the members. Members will not be compensated with salary.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Draft Hagel '08 - Mission: Memorial Day!

From Draft Hagel '08:
We have a mission to accomplish by Memorial Day if we want to see Chuck Hagel's views presented to the American people in the 2008 Presidential election!

We are asking that, by May 28, you try and find 25 new supporters to sign the online petition! How? Talk to people you know, talk to people they know, let them know that we need their help in making sure that America does not have to suffer through the 2008 election, that signing the online petition shows Senator Hagel that we need his views expressed through the Presidential election! If you and a friend were to stand on a busy corner over a weekend, that's all it would take to accomplish the 25!

If you hear someone say, "It's too early to make that decision," tell them you're not asking them who they will support in 2008, but rather that you would like their help in making sure a true American has the right to be one of their choices!

Are you a doctor, nurse, teacher, lawyer, scientist, housewife, househusband,etc? Start a local coalition of like individuals in your area!

Wondering how to go about any of this? Don't be afraid to ask us for help - !

Let's get to work! We've got a mission to right the direction of our country!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hagel's op-ed in today's Washington Post

Senator Hagel wrote an op-ed that is in today's Washington Post. This piece is the result of his recent trip to Iraq.

In Iraq, All Terribly Familiar

By Chuck Hagel
Sunday, April 22, 2007; Page B01

Last weekend, along with Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), I completed my fifth trip to Iraq, and I am frustrated and worried. We are still risking the lives of our troops without giving them a realistic policy worthy of their sacrifices. To me, as a Vietnam veteran, that feels terribly familiar.

If success were simply a matter of the determination and ability of U.S. troops and civil servants, we would have already created a secure and stable Iraq. But unfortunately, the reality is that after more than four years, America remains the country's occupying power. Iraq's future will be determined by Iraqis, who, I hope, will reach a political accommodation -- but America is still making the major decisions and taking the lead militarily in most critical areas of the country. We can continue to help buy time for the Iraqi government -- but that time is running out.

The signs are everywhere. Key Shiite leaders told me that they remain deeply skeptical of Sunni intentions. They derided as "appeasement" constructive attempts to reintegrate select ex-Baath Party officials into public life and the government. Shiite and Kurdish leaders openly suggested that Iraq simply pursue what's known as "the 80/20 solution" -- meaning that the Kurds and Shiites, who make up some 80 percent of the population, would run the country without regard for the minority Sunnis, who had grown accustomed to dominating Iraq. Almost no one in Baghdad was talking about using new provincial elections this year to help bring the Sunnis into the national government. The governor of Anbar province, al-Qaeda's base in Iraq, agreed that security had improved recently but raised concerns that his province still gets almost no assistance from the central government in Baghdad. That has left citizens in his province without jobs, electricity and potable water, even as open sewers spill filth into the streets.

There are important areas of progress in Iraq, and we should recognize them. In Anbar province, for example, U.S. military leaders highlighted the significant success they have had in lowering the number of attacks by al-Qaeda. The military has successfully engaged tribal leaders who have provided informal governance there for hundreds of years. The U.S. military has also succeeded in helping double the size of the Iraqi forces in the province. Whether this progress can be sustained or is temporary will be up to the Iraqis.

If the good news is mixed, the bad news is downright troubling. Within the past two weeks, hundreds of Iraqis were slaughtered in Baghdad, the Iraqi Parliament's cafeteria was hit by a suicide bomber, and a historic Baghdad bridge over the Tigris River was destroyed. Ominously, these increased acts of violence occurred in the area where the United States and Iraq have deployed 80,000 security forces.

So what do we do?

We must start by understanding what's really happening in Iraq. According to the National Intelligence Estimate released in February, the conflict has become a "self-sustaining inter-sectarian struggle between Shia and Sunnis" and also includes "extensive Shia-on-Shia violence." This means that Iraq is being consumed by sectarian warfare, much of it driven by Shiite or Sunni militias -- not al-Qaeda terrorists. Yes, there are admirers of Osama bin Laden in the country, including a full-blown al-Qaeda branch. But terrorists are not the core problem; Sunni-Shiite violence is. The Bush administration's rhetoric has not been nearly clear enough on this key point.

American occupation cannot stop a civil war in Iraq. Our military, superb as it is, can only do so much. The only lasting answer to Iraq's anguish will come from a political resolution. There will be no military solution in Iraq.

So how can America influence the Iraqis to reconcile their differences -- at least enough to form some kind of responsible government?

First, we must recognize that we have few good options in Iraq and that we are dealing with dynamics that lie mostly beyond our control.

Second, we must do all we can to encourage a comprehensive regional security framework, which includes engaging Syria and Iran. The regional security conference next month in Egypt is an opportunity we must not miss. We cannot solve the problems in Iraq by ourselves. We will have to work more closely with our Middle East allies than ever before, and that means addressing the nearly universal perception in the Middle East that we are imposing our will on the region for our own purposes.

To get more help from our regional friends, we must also have Middle Eastern countries see the Iraqi government as credible, not a U.S. puppet. And to get our regional strategy right, we must clearly recognize the depth of the Sunni-Shiite split and factor it into our Middle East policy and relationships. If we do not, the region could explode into ethnic and religious conflict.

Third, and closer to home, the administration and Congress must untangle themselves from the debate over funding our continued involvement in Iraq. The Iraqis must be jolted into understanding that America's continued commitment of troops and money is not open-ended. Significantly, American leaders in Iraq told me that they believed the debate on this issue in Congress had actually helped them get Iraqi leaders to grasp this point.

I do not like restricting our war policy with conditions or timelines. They are blunt instruments in an area of policy that requires flexibility. But they are some of the few levers Congress has when the majority of Congress and the American people have lost confidence in the president's policy.

We are at a crossroads at home. One option is that Congress can pass and the president can sign a war-funding bill that gives our troops the resources they need and places responsible conditions on that funding that will press the Iraqi government to perform and make the tough choices. President Bush should not see this as a threat from Congress but as a reasonable progression of events after four bloody and costly years.

The other option is that the president can veto the funding bill, Congress can overplay its hand, and both sides can get locked into a political standoff -- with U.S. troops caught in the middle. This would not produce constructive pressure on the Iraqi government to reconcile its differences, and it would ensure that the United States would remain trapped in Iraq, doing ever-greater damage to our force structure and military capabilities. The longer we are bogged down in Iraq, the more difficult and painful it will be to get out. And the deeper we are bogged down in Iraq, the fewer resources we have to devote to the many other important challenges facing America, especially in Afghanistan but also elsewhere around the globe and here at home.

If the war continues to lose support from the American people, the limited options we have today will vanish. The president will be left with a bitter few allies in our party, and we will be forced to withdraw from Iraq in a way that greatly damages U.S. interests in the Middle East and leaves the world far more dangerous than it is today. Forging a bipartisan consensus now that places responsible conditions on U.S. war funding could forestall a time when we have no options. The Baker-Hamilton report could have been the base for that bipartisan consensus.

I came home from my fifth trip to Iraq with one enduring impression. The Iraqi government must make the tough choices now to produce political reconciliation. If there is no such reconciliation in Iraq, there will be no progress -- no matter how many American lives we lose and how much American money we give. We will have squandered our resources and efforts, undermined our interests in the Middle East and, however unintentionally, produced a more dangerous world.

Chuck Hagel, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Nebraska.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

"If Steve McQueen had ever run for political office, he would have been Chuck Hagel."

There is a piece in the SeacoastOnline that is well worth a read. It's quite entertaining, really. Here is an excerpt:
[T]he point is this: Now in particular, after the 16 years that will have preceded our next president, we’re going to need an individual we can respect and admire and take pride in. Someone who can inspire us and help define us as a nation. Or in this case, redefine us.

When even the national media was busy playing cheerleader during our march into war in Iraq, Hagel had the insight to recognize the potential for disaster and the cajones to voice his concerns in public. He recently returned from his fifth visit to the war-torn country, reiterating the importance “that the Iraqi people now carry forward the assistance that the American government has given.”

“The future of Iraq will be determined by the Iraqi people,” he said.

The refreshing candor Hagel has brought to Washington would be welcomed in the presidential campaign, and especially in New Hampshire. Web sites like have already sprung up on the Internet to encourage his run for the White House.

The senator recently announced he will make his decision on a presidential bid later in the year. Here’s hoping he gives it a shot. At this point, we probably need Hagel a lot more than he needs us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Draft Hagel merchandise site

If you're looking for Hagel merchandise (of the Draft Hagel variety primarily) check out the new site: THE OFFICIAL DRAFT HAGEL '08 STORE.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The American Conservative - Cover Story

The cover story at The American Conservative this issue is "Hagel's Dilemma." The full piece is excellent and I highly recommend it. Here are some excerpts:
"[H]ere at ground zero of the conservative movement were innumerable depictions of the late President Ronald Reagan, tons of literature and rhetoric about the sanctity of life, traditional values, constitutional correctness, limited government, states’ rights, and self-determination. In his 11 years as a U.S. senator, Hagel has in some way defended them all, yet he is a pariah in what should be his political comfort zone."
Simply put, it is the 800-pound gorilla that no one at CPAC wanted to talk about this year—the war in Iraq—that has come between Hagel and the conservative grassroots. It is why they are willing to overlook Republican Rudy Giuliani’s anti-gun and pro-gay positions or Mitt Romney’s mid-career conversion against abortion."
“Talk about no good deed going unpunished. If you use voting record as the center of the senator’s conservatism, he is in the charmed circle,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University"

"But there are plenty of hopeful libertarians, independents, and foreign-policy realists in the Republican ranks who believe Hagel can lead the party out of 15 years of broken pledges, bloated government, partisan chicanery, corruption, and war.

“I think Americans, and the Republican Party, need a thinker, rather than a party person or right winger who doesn’t care, doesn’t think,” said Safranek. Despite his bright red record, Hagel’s pragmatism on the war is attractive to the political middle, Safranek insists...“[Republicans] will see him as their shining hope,” Safranek cheerily predicted, “once they get to know him they will love him.”"


"But on the issues, Hagel points out that he has voted with the president more than any other senator today and has a lifetime rating of 85 from the American Conservative Union.

He is pro-life, defends an individual’s right to bear arms, and supports a flag-burning amendment. A self-made millionaire—he started a cellular phone company that eventually became part of Vanguard Telecommunications in the ’80s—he draws high marks from pro-business and property-rights groups.

On the other hand, Hagel voted against the Republican-sponsored Medi-care prescription drug bill and No Child Left Behind."

"The current field of Republican candidates, according to recent surveys, are not endearing GOP voters. “If they could forgive his sensible and often prescient view on foreign policy,” said Baker, “he would probably be one of the few Republicans with a prayer of retaining the White House for the party in 2008.”"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hagel to travel to Iraq again

Senator Hagel will be traveling to Iraq for the fifth time. The full details are in this press release that his Senate office issued today.
Hagel, Sestak to Travel to Iraq

April 12th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) will travel to Iraq this week to examine security, political and economic conditions during a 2-day tour of the country. Senator Hagel and Congressman Sestak will leave on Thursday, April 12th and return on Monday, April 16th. Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran, serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees. Sestak, a retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

“This trip will allow us an opportunity to assess our progress in Iraq and the Middle East and meet with the key leaders of this region. I also look forward to meeting with Nebraska troops serving in Iraq,” Hagel said.

“I appreciate the opportunity to talk with our commanders and the troops that are forward in a continuing assessment of our involvement in Iraq," stated Congressman Joe Sestak. “I am confident that I will be able to use this experience in my work on the House Armed Services Committee and in Congress.”

Hagel and Sestak are scheduled to meet with top U.S. and Iraqi military, government, and diplomatic officials. Hagel will also meet with Nebraska troops serving in the country.

Hagel last traveled to Iraq and the Middle East in December 2005. This will be his fifth visit to Iraq.

Press Release: "Hagel Statement on Secretary Gates’ Announcement Extending Army Deployments from 12 to 15 Months"

Here's a press release from Chuck Hagel's Senate office that was released yesterday:
Hagel Statement on Secretary Gates’ Announcement Extending Army Deployments from 12 to 15 Months

April 11th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ announcement that U.S. Army deployments will be extended from 12 to 15 months:

“Secretary Gates is right to bring greater predictability and clarity regarding the deployment of our military overseas rather than allowing creeping deployment extensions. However, the Secretary’s announcement extending the deployments of active duty Army units is a stark admission that the Administration’s policies in Iraq are doing permanent damage to our military and a clear acknowledgment that the U.S. military is being forced to ignore its own deployment standards. Maintaining this tempo of operations will have drastic and lasting consequences for our nation’s military readiness and unnecessarily endangers our ability to react to any other crisis in the world. We are on a very dangerous course. That is why Senator Webb and I have called for legislatively-mandated readiness and deployment standards to protect our U.S. military.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Green Conservatism?" at GOPProgress

There is an interesting post by Liz Mair over at GOPProgress that I wanted to share an excerpt from:
For those who missed it, yesterday, John Kerry and Newt Gingrich went head-to-head on the subject of climate change. The upshot? Kerry trotted out the same, tired, lefty enviro talking points, while Gingrich said something bold and thought-provoking: climate change is a problem, and we need deal with it--but not by creating a regime that will increase fines, bureaucracy, and litigation and, very likely, do too little to actually solve the problem in question.

The ideas that Gingrich voiced were not completely radical or never-before-heard. As my friend Phil Klein at the American Spectator wrote yesterday, "he suggested that the government offer tax credits for the market to develop new technologies, and prizes for the invention of new technologies such as a hydrogen car." Such initiatives would be strikingly similar to some previously suggested, and indeed pushed in major legislation, by Republicans like Chuck Hagel and Judy Biggert. Hagel was instrumental in pressing for tax credits to encourage more car buyers to purchase hybrids, and Biggert pushed similar, follow-on legislation in the last Congress.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Letter to the Editor in The Observer-Dispatch

I ran across this letter to the editor yesterday:
Hold senators to fire regarding Iraq vote

On March 27, the U.S. Senate voted 50 to 48 for a nonbinding resolution supporting a pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq by this time next year.

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Vietnam veteran and staunch conservative, was the only Republican to support the measure. In explaining his vote, he argued "Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. It doesn't belong to the United States. Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost." Wise words. If George Bush's disastrous misadventure in Iraq continues through the November 2008 elections, the Republican senators who failed to follow Hagel's lead should be held accountable. Iraq doesn't belong to the U.S. It's time to bring our troops home.

Maurice Isserman
From The Observer-Dispatch
If you have written or seen a letter to the editor about Chuck Hagel I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A message from a visitor

Here is a message I got from a visitor to the site this week:
"As a Reagan Democrat, I am very proud of the way Chuck Hagel has stood up for what is right and wrong with the Bush/Cheney war machine. I would support Senator Hagel for President over any of the Candidates on either side of the aisle."
It has been my argument for a while that Senator Hagel could gain the support of the Reagan Democrats.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Hagel on the issues (from his new website):
  • Senator Hagel co-sponsored the Combat Meth Act which the President signed into law. This legislation authorizes increased funds for local law enforcement in the fight to eliminate meth.
  • Senator Hagel has held Congressional hearings on the impact of meth on American communities and the danger of meth trafficking.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hagel on the issues - HEALTH CARE

Part 9 in the series on Hagel's issue positions. From his website:
  • Senator Hagel formed a Health Care Commission which has brought together key health care professionals and leaders from Nebraska and the nation's health care fields. The purpose of the Commission is to review the current state of health care and present recommendations for a sustainable, accessible, affordable and quality health care system for the 21st century.


Today I pick up where we left of a week ago on Chuck Hagel's positions on a variety of issues. The information comes from his website.
  • Senator Hagel has been a consistent supporter of life since he came to the Senate and has supported everyone of President Bush's judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Diamonds Don't Always Lie at the Surface: For a Chuck Hagel Presidency"

There is a good editorial in favor of a Hagel Presidency at First Call. The piece, "Diamonds Don't Always Lie at the Surface: For a Chuck Hagel Presidency," is by Al Moran. Here are some excerpts:
Hagel’s conservative credentials are extremely sound: he has consistently voted against abortion, downplayed the need for even more money to be put into public education programs without organizing the tremendous amount that’s already there, supported reforming Social Security so the nest egg doesn’t dry up in the very-near future, etc.
Hagel has responded with the statement that he swore an oath of office to the Constitution, and not one to a party or particular ideology. I greatly admire and respect this; Hagel seems to be a voice of reason in a conservative base that is increasingly straying from its intellectual and traditional roots. He simply wants to question an administration that has erred. We have been involved in Iraq for quite some time now. The administration’s proposals must be questioned by Congress. Otherwise, why would a separate but coequal executive and legislature be necessary? The senator is not an advocate of the “cut-and-run” strategy, nor has he any desire to undermine the troops. Rather, he simply advocates the moral consequences of sending another 20,000 young people into a conflict that seems to be spiraling downward into total civil war. A fundamental recurring point throughout history is the necessity that policy match strategy. Hagel’s invocation of both terms recently in regards to Iraq seems both salient and wise. Without a sound policy, a change in strategy becomes extremely difficult and improbable.
n a Republican Party that has become corrupt and estranged from its values, he seems to be a genuinely good and honest man, who is unafraid of alienating himself based on stringent party lines. He favors curbing government expenditures. He favors cutting down the federal bureaucracy. He favors maintaining a strong military and strong American standing in the world. But most importantly, he knows the necessity of examining policy initiatives with scrutiny, and believes all politicians owe this to the American people.
Be sure to check out the full article.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Campus Coordinators

We have a new push on in the Students for Hagel element of the Draft Hagel movement. We are taking the movement to colleges and universities around the nation.

We are recruiting Campus Coordinators to take the lead in organizing the grassroots movement on campuses across the country. If you are a college student interested in helping with the Draft Hagel movement on your campus, please let us know (email me or post a comment).

Today we are happy to announce the first of the new Campus Coordinators.

Steven Place at Catholic University (Washington D.C.)

John McNamara
at Hillsdale College (Michigan)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Draft Hagel merchandise site launched!

The Draft Hagel store has been launched! Now you can show your support with buttons and stickers. Check out the store, as it has some cool items and designs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Press Release: "Hagel-Webb Introduce Amendment to Protect Readiness of U.S. Troops and Limit Deployments"

Here's a press release from Chuck Hagel's Senate website:
Hagel-Webb Introduce Amendment to Protect Readiness of U.S. Troops and Limit Deployments

March 27th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a bipartisan amendment today to the Iraq War supplemental spending bill. The amendment:

• ensures that units and individuals in the Armed Forces be certified as “fully mission capable” 15 days prior to deployment;

• limits the length of overseas deployments of the Army, Marine Corps, and National Guard;

• establishes a minimum time between deployments for the Army, Marine Corps and National Guard;

• provides additional appropriations totaling approximately $3.1 billion to reset Army National Guard and Reserve equipment and to address funding shortfalls for Army National Guard training, operations and maintenance; and to fund the acquisition of additional Mine Resistant Ambush Protection vehicles for the Marine Corps;

• and requires the President to report to Congress on the comprehensive diplomatic, political and economic strategy of the U.S. regarding Iraq.

“This amendment puts the focus where it should be: on the men and women of our military. No American wants to allow a single soldier or Marine to be deployed without meeting the military’s standard of readiness. Yet that is what we are doing. We are breaking our military and this amendment will help put a stop to it. This amendment is about taking care of our troops,” Hagel said.

“I have long advocated that the U.S. strategy in Iraq should embrace concerted regional and international diplomacy,” said Senator Webb. “This bipartisan amendment will advance efforts to achieve that goal. Moreover, we will take critical and necessary steps to strengthen congressional oversight regarding military readiness and the administration’s policies for deploying and redeploying personnel and units to Iraq. The amendment’s increased appropriations for military readiness and force-protection vehicles reflect a determination to assist our ground forces reverse their worrisome decline in readiness–especially the National Guard in both its domestic and federal missions.”

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hagel on the issues - IMMIGRATION

Senator Hagel has been a key player in the immigration debate for the last few years. Once again, the information comes from his website.
  • Senator Hagel co-authored legislation in the Senate which would add 14,000 new border patrol agents; quadruple border fencing; require aliens show a biometric, machine-readable and tamper-resistant identification card for work authorization; increase fines for hiring illegal workers; and deal with the 12 million illegal immigrants living in this country.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Part six in this week's series on Chuck Hagel on the issues. The information comes from his new website.
  • Senator Hagel has stood up to increased spending and bigger government by voting against large budget busting bills like the Medicare Reform Bill and No Child Left Behind.

Press Release: "Hagel Introduces Resolution Commemorating 25th Anniversary of Vietnam Memorial"

Here's another press release from this week:
Hagel Introduces Resolution Commemorating 25th Anniversary of Vietnam Memorial

March 22nd, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) introduced a resolution today commemorating March 26th as the 25th anniversary of the construction and dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The bill has 53 cosponsors. Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam veteran, and former Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, spoke at the 1982 groundbreaking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On March 26th, Hagel will speak at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“The creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial marked the beginning of a healing process for a nation, and veterans, divided by the war. Now, every year millions of Americans come to this monument to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. While the debate over our involvement in Vietnam and the conduct of the war will continue for years to come, the Memorial demonstrates the appreciation all Americans have for those who serve. It honors the warriors, not the war,” Hagel said.

In 1997, the U.S. Senate passed S. Res. 87, a resolution introduced by Hagel and former Senator and fellow Vietnam veteran Bob Kerrey (D-NE), which commemorated the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.