Hagel Won’t Seek Re-election to Senate
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and JEFF ZELENY
Published: September 9, 2007
WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 — Senator Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska Republican and outspoken critic of the Iraq war who had been mulling a run for president, will retire at the end of his term in early 2009 and will not run for the White House, aides said on Saturday.
Mr. Hagel has scheduled a formal announcement in Omaha on Monday morning, the aides said. Mr. Hagel declined interview requests on Saturday.
In announcing his retirement, Mr. Hagel will fulfill a promise he made to voters when he first ran for the Senate in 1996 that he would serve only two terms. But his decision presents yet another challenge for the Republican Party in its effort to stop Democrats from extending their majority in Congress next year.
Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat who has been president of the New School university in New York City since leaving office in 2001, has said that he might return to Nebraska to run for office again. Mr. Kerrey is also a former governor of Nebraska.
Mr. Kerrey has informed the New School’s board of trustees of his potential interest in running for Mr. Hagel’s Senate seat and has said that the board was supportive.
But in an e-mail message on Saturday, Mr. Kerrey declined to comment on his intentions. In an interview last month, he had expressed skepticism about running, but added: “These moments don’t happen very often. It’s a possibility.”
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Like the story says, this is a possible pickup for the Democrats in 2008. Senator Hagel's stance on the war, I respected, and after reading a piece on him at The New Republic, I understood more about his position. The Republicans may not know it yet, but it is their loss.