Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hagel Won’t Seek Re-election to Senate

Per the

Hagel Won’t Seek Re-election to Senate
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.”

Rest at link above.

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.


Brian said...

Hagel was one of the few Republicans that made any sense... one of the few that I actually liked/respected.

I'm disappointed that he didn't run as an independent.
He would have been a good 3rd Party independent/moderate candidate. But since campaigns are about big's not an even playing field. In order for a candidate to run & to get funding, they have to be held prisoner by their Political parties.

If campaigns were publicly financed, all candidates or potential candidates could have more of an equal shot.

Hopefully Sam Nunn will run as an independent.

Anonymous said...

I was intrigued by him for a minute, too.

I liked his position on the war - and it appeared he didn't allow the press to push him around - but, as someone pointed out, his voting record on other issues raised flags for me.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your last line--"The Republicans may not know it yet, but it is their loss." Definitely agree. I didn't like all of his politics, but I respected his views.

The retirement does put the seat into play for Democrats, but a pickup is far from certain even if they get a strong candidate, like former Senator Bob Kerrey, into the race. Simply given the demographics of the state, it will be an uphill climb.