Monday, January 08, 2007

Newsweek: "Hagel Could Have a Shot"

Newsweek has another article on Chuck Hagel that's worth a look. Here are some excerpts:
One Republican—we'll call him "Candidate A"—has among the highest support levels for President George W. Bush's conservative agenda in the Senate. He championed the president's 2001 tax cut, which many Republicans believe is the litmus test of today's GOP. After initially voting to give Bush the authority to go to war, he became an early and outspoken critic of the Iraq policy, a view now endorsed not just by the American public and Democrats but by Republicans as well.
You would think that Candidate A would be a strong favorite for the nomination and Candidate B destined for political oblivion. But no. Candidate A, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, is seen as damaged goods, with little chance to be nominated. Candidate B, Arizona Sen. John McCain, is now the front runner.
In a GOP debate, McCain would not be able to use his military experience as a trump card on Hagel. But Hagel and the others would score heavily on McCain for opposing the tax cuts.
The most stunning thing about the Republican campaign so far is the vacuum on the right.
But governors, who normally make the strongest presidential candidates, seem a little irrelevant this time around. They aren't likely to sound as credible as senators on the nuances of Pakistani politics or the readiness of the Third Infantry Division.
Chuck Hagel might not run. But if he does, Candidate A would be formidable. It's the issues, stupid.
Read the article in full. Jonathan Alter makes a compelling case for a very viable Hagel candidacy for President due to the issues and the make up of the field.

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