Saturday, May 5, 2007

Hagel Changes His Mind

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska now says he would consider entering the 2008 presidential campaign as an independent:

An independent bid "is possible," Hagel, 60, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's "Political Capital with Al Hunt," scheduled to air today. "I don't ever foreclose any options." He will decide in the next few months whether to run for a third Senate term, pursue the presidency or leave politics altogether, he said.
There has been plenty of speculation that Hagel might run on a so-called fusion ticket. Before now, Hagel has said that if he ran for president, it would be as a Republican. At The RealClearPolitics Blog, Tom Bevan posts this quote from Senator Hagel:
Q: Would you give any consideration to running as an Independent?
HAGEL: Well, if I seek the Presidency, I would seek it as a Republican. Where all this is going to go and how it ends up next year, whether that's possible for an Independent to be elected President, maybe. Maybe it would be. But, right now, I'd be focused on seeking the Republican nomination.
When Hagel was seen having diner with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week, it fueled speculation about the two of them teaming up for a presidential campaign. Hagel says no:
Hagel said they talked about their families, politics and Iraq, and there was no discussion about teaming up for a presidential campaign.

"We have a lot of common interests," he said. "But no, there was no talk of any ticket."
Recently, Hagel has made it very clear that we can't rely on what he says about his ambitions. The evidence suggests that he will run for reelection. Hagel has scheduled a fundraiser, which will be headlined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The message here is that Hagel, despite a possible challenge from Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, Hagel's strong opposition to Iraq war policies and his criticism of the president, is still a member of the team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JUNEAU, Alaska — For several thousand dollars and other promises, an Alaska legislator and two former lawmakers threw their support behind a tax scheme and a natural gas pipeline plan that would have benefited an oil services company, prosecutors said.

The three men, Rep. Victor Kohring of Wasilla, and former state Reps. Pete Kott of Eagle River and Bruce Weyhrauch of Juneau, were arrested Friday but deny wrongdoing. The three Republicans pleaded not guilty at their arraignments.

Kohring was charged with extortion, attempted extortion, bribery and conspiracy, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Friday. Kott and Weyhrauch each entered their pleas to four counts, including conspiracy to commit extortion, extortion, bribery and fraud. If convicted of all charges, each of the men could face up to 55 years in prison and a $1 million fine.