U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) has led what some would call an adventuresome life: helping to fight the Vietnam War, some serious success as a businessman and entrepreneur, and one of the most respected, independent political voices at the nation's capitol.
He could cash in his chips right now and leave a hero. Or perhaps opt for a significant appointment in the next administration like Colin Powell chose to do, perhaps to his regret.
But increasingly, Senator Hagel sounds like a Republican Presidential candidate, and when one surveys the field of likely candidates in parties, no one else has the blend of experience, the understanding of war, and the pulse of the American people like Senator Hagel does.
Hagel was the first Republican to question whether the Iraq War was heading in the right track. He courageously asked questions nobody else would ask -- in either party -- of this administration's key foreign policy decision. Having seen war up close, Hagel is neither afraid to prosecute a just war, nor is he patient with bland excuses for warfare that seems to be listless and meaningful only in the number of casualties.
The man who is both comfortable with power but responsible and judicious in its use is who American needs now. Like George Washington, who always returned his power back to the people who gave it to him, Senator Hagel appears to have the integrity to be trusted with power in next year's election and beyond.
We hope he runs--for the sake of our country and the world. Those who have the audacity to question Senator Hagel for merely raising the most obvious of questions about a failed strategy need to get a serious reality check--and to check out the continued drumbeat of the public opinion polls.
Hagel is a man whose time has come -- because he's one of us. He understands the price of war and how to prosecute a necessary military conflict effectively. How?
Because he does his homework and casts a wide net for advice.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Here's an editorial from Huntington News in Huntington, WV that sums up why many want to see Chuck Hagel in the White House.