Obama loses Hagel

posted at 6:00 pm on August 12, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

If you’re looking for the name Chuck Hagel to run across your cell-phone screen as Barack Obama’s running mate, get ready for disappointment. Not only will Hagel not accept a VP invitation from Obama, he won’t bother to endorse him, as many thought he might. Instead, Hagel will quietly complete the last few months of his Senate term before retiring:

Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican who is one of John McCain’s closest friends — but who has been mentioned as a potential running mate for Democrat Barack Obama — is sitting out the presidential contest, according to his spokesman, Jordan Stark. (USA TODAY’s Kathy Kiely reporting and writing.)

“Senator Hagel has no intention of getting involved in any of the campaigns and is not planning to endorse either candidate,” Stark said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Suggestions for cross-party candidates have flown over the past two months as both Obama and John McCain try to reach for centrists and independents.  McCain actually has plenty of centrist credibility already, though, and needs a running mate that will energize the GOP base.  Obama, on the other hand, has no real track record of bipartisan work and could have used a disaffected Republican to steal a march on McCain in the fall.

Of all the potential candidates for that job, Hagel probably presented the best choice.  A genuine war hero turned war critic, Hagel would have given Obama some immediate credibility on military affairs and perhaps better footing on foreign policy than Obama has at the moment.  Hagel also could have provided Obama with some cover on Iraq for changing his policy, allowing Hagel to take some of the heat from the Left if circumstances forced him to make more adjustments.  Having Hagel at the Democratic convention would have given Democrats a powerful moment, especially as the running mate.

USA Today says that Hagel’s choice to remain neutral is a striking development in terms of McCain’s campaign, but no one expected Hagel to endorse McCain or any other Republican this year.  We did expect a Zell Miller moment from Hagel in support of Obama, especially after the two teamed up for their CODEL to Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Nebraska Senator had a lot of critical things to say about the Iraq policy and the Republican efforts before he left, but he’s suddenly gotten very quiet — and according to USA Today, intends to stay that way.

What happened on his trip with Obama?  Something seems to have changed very suddenly.


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Hagel might actually be the one Senator that loves himself more than Obama.

Chuck Schick on August 12, 2008 at 6:02 PM

What happened on his trip with Obama? Something seems to have changed very suddenly.

What do they know that we don’t?

CyberCipher on August 12, 2008 at 6:04 PM

What happened?

Answer: The success of the surge. Remember that Hagel called the plan the single greatest military mistake in the history of the nation.

Try having a VP candidate with that statement hanging around his neck.

Plus, he pro-life. My guess is that for the Hillary supporters, that would be disqualifying.

SteveMG on August 12, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Hegel didn’t like that phenomenology of that spirit.

ninjapirate on August 12, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Now, if Hagel would just get lost . . .

rplat on August 12, 2008 at 6:07 PM

Judas!

jeff_from_mpls on August 12, 2008 at 6:07 PM

Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican who is one of John McCain’s closest friends — but who has been mentioned as a potential running mate for Democrat Barack Obama …

Imagine Obama/Hagel vs. McCain/Leiberman?

Tony737 on August 12, 2008 at 6:08 PM

You guys think I’m goofy but, there will be a woman (I think it will be a white one) that will come forward and claim she aborted Obama’s baby in college. Just remember, you heard it here first.

LtE126 on August 12, 2008 at 6:09 PM

McCain actually has plenty of centrist credibility already, though, and needs a running mate that will energize the GOP base.

I think he needs to head towards the center…

ninjapirate on August 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM

Hegel didn’t like that phenomenology of that spirit.

ninjapirate on August 12, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Not to overthink this, but it has been said that Marx (Obama) turned Hegel (Hagel) on his head.

True?

jeff_from_mpls on August 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM

It’s revealing with regard to Hagel that it’s news when he doesn’t stab Republicans in the back.

thirteen28 on August 12, 2008 at 6:14 PM

“Hagel’s not the RINO I used to know”

nottakingsides on August 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM

What happened on his trip with Obama? Something seems to have changed very suddenly.

I guess he was crushed by the death of his childhood fantasies when he unzipped the Dalai Bama’s pants.

Misha I on August 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM

Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican who is one of John McCain’s closest friends

Yaw, right!

Wade on August 12, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Imagine Obama/Hagel vs. McCain/Leiberman?

Tony737 on August 12, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Yep.
I’ve said it before that I would trade a Hagel for a Lieberman anytime.

carbon_footprint on August 12, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Sumpins running amuck!

canopfor on August 12, 2008 at 6:27 PM

What happened?

Answer: The success of the surge. Remember that Hagel called the plan the single greatest military mistake in the history of the nation.

Try having a VP candidate with that statement hanging around his neck.

Plus, he pro-life. My guess is that for the Hillary supporters, that would be disqualifying.

SteveMG on August 12, 2008 at 6:05 PM

I’m going to try hard to be nice to Hagel (of whom I am NOT a fan) here. I’ll say he saw that Barry treated the troops like crap, and that Barry chose to go shopping instead of visiting the wounded, and maybe even that the cheering horde in front of Hitler’s Victory Column creeped him out.

Enjoy your retirement, Senator Hagel. Could you talk Sen. Stevens into joining you in retirment? I hear those Alaskan cruises are awesome. Your wives would enjoy going together, I’ll bet.

funky chicken on August 12, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Sen. Chuck Hagel should find a big rock to crawl under. The man is not a Republican, but a disgraceful useful tool.

byteshredder on August 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

One of Fudge Haus McCain’s best friends and fellow Republican refuses to endorse his presidential bid and it’s bad news for…Obama?

Too funny.

I await the right claiming that Obama winning the presidency will be bad news for Obama.

alphie on August 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

I await the right claiming that Obama winning the presidency will be bad news for Obama.

alphie on August 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

I doubt you’d hear that, sport. More like bad news for ALL Democrats once his actions produce results.

Patrick S on August 12, 2008 at 6:36 PM

You guys think I’m goofy….

LtE126 on Aug 12,2008 at 6:09PM.

LtE126:Thats quite the prediction,but for a Democrat,that
would be a nice add on for Obamas resume’,and would
be solid proof(if anybody entertains this idea!)that
Barack had a real world experience in one of the
Liberal partys platform of abortion!jus sayin!

canopfor on August 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM

McCain actually has plenty of centrist credibility already, though, and needs a running mate that will energize the GOP base.

A genuine war hero turned war critic, Hagel would have given Obama some immediate credibility on military affairs and perhaps better footing on foreign policy than Obama has at the moment.

To balance his ticket, Barack Obama should pick a really old white general. Therefore, he should pick Dwight Eisenhower. John McCain, on the other hand, needs to pick someone younger than himself. Therefore, he also should pick Dwight Eisenhower.
- David Brooks

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM

The ultimate, bipartisan, feel-good, reach-across-the-aisle dream ticket (not): Obama/McCain and McCain/Obama this would certainly be a win-win for both candidates and would most certainly lead to greater unity and healing of the wounds after the election.

jerseyman on August 12, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Hey Hagel, DLTDHYOTWO.

kirkill on August 12, 2008 at 6:41 PM

What happened on his trip with Obama? Something seems to have changed very suddenly.

Maybe the plane ride gave Hagel a chance to have an in-depth conversation with Barry and Hagel finally realized what an inexperienced, incompetent, grievance-mongering, Marxist loon Barry is.

AZCoyote on August 12, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Sen. Chuck Hagel should find a big rock to crawl under. The man is not a Republican, but a disgraceful useful tool.

byteshredder on August 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

Hagel served in Vietnam with his brother Tom in 1968. They served side by side as infantry squad leaders with the U.S. Army’s 9th Infantry Division. Hagel earned many military decorations and honors, including two Purple Hearts.

In Vietnam, Chuck, 21, and brother Tom, 19, had fought and nearly died together as infantry squad leaders. In 1968, their armored personnel carrier hit a 500-pound mine. It blew out Chuck’s eardrums, set him on fire, “the whole left side of my face bubbled.” Chuck pulled Tom, unconscious, from the burning gunner turret. Chuck saved his brother’s life just months after Tom had saved his, when shrapnel ripped Chuck’s chest.
- Multiple sources

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM

bad news for Obama…

alphie on Aug 12,2008 at 6:33PM.

alphie:Winning the Presidentcy,I hate to correct you,
however it would be a disaster for America,and
catastrophic of biblical proportions that would
affect the entire world for hundreds of years
to come!

canopfor on August 12, 2008 at 6:50 PM

Better Obama than a bitter old loon who’s got one foot in the grave already and may want to go out with a bang, cano.

alphie on August 12, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Better Obama than a bitter old loon who’s got one foot in the grave already and may want to go out with a bang, cano.

alphie on August 12, 2008 at 7:00 PM

This whole foreign policy thing the last few days has really set your teeth on edge, hasn’t it? I’ll agree with you that it has opened a lot of eyes. Have you got that peace/unity hand signal down yet? It’s awesome in so many ways.

a capella on August 12, 2008 at 7:13 PM

It’s a shame for mccain that hagel won’t be barry’s vp. That would have really enegized the conservatives.

peacenprosperity on August 12, 2008 at 7:16 PM

When Chuck Hagel doesn’t take the opportunity to shaft the GOP, the card deck they’re pull’n from has too many jokers.

Speakup on August 12, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Better Obama than a bitter old loon who’s got one foot in the grave already and may want to go out with a bang, cano.

alphie on August 12, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Because a self-absorbed paranoid with no notable accomplishments, no leadership experience and 2 years in Washington is much better.

Chuck Schick on August 12, 2008 at 7:32 PM

In Vietnam, Chuck, 21, and brother Tom, 19, had fought and nearly died together as infantry squad leaders. In 1968, their armored personnel carrier hit a 500-pound mine. It blew out Chuck’s eardrums, set him on fire, “the whole left side of my face bubbled.” Chuck pulled Tom, unconscious, from the burning gunner turret. Chuck saved his brother’s life just months after Tom had saved his, when shrapnel ripped Chuck’s chest.
- Multiple sources

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM
———-

So, by your definition, John F’n Kerry should have been Prez?

Let me say this clearly.

Bleeding for the U.S.A. gets my attention. It’s a sacrifice few, including myself, make. (in my case, being a cat disqualifies me… there’s no feline tank corps)

Bleeding for the U.S.A. does not get my vote. That goes to people who I think will make the best choices for our country. Having bled, hell having served counts for something, but it is not the only thing.

Google “Tammy Duckworth” some time.

Mew

acat on August 12, 2008 at 7:47 PM

Sen. Chuck Hagel should find a big rock to crawl under. The man is not a Republican, but a disgraceful useful tool.

byteshredder on August 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

Same can be said of McCain. Personally, I’m sick of the revisionists that want to forget the political treason for the whole gang of RINOs including McCain, Hagel, Snow, Chafee, etc.

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM

MB4, I, for one, will be the first to acknowledge the service of McCain, Hagel, and others during a conflict that ended over 30 years ago. That includes Randy Cunningham who was an American air ace turned corrupt politician.

That being said, McCain and Hagel are political traitors or at best Quislings who go along to get along instead of standing on principle. They don’t deserve high office on the basis of their ideology and despite service to this nation three decades ago.

highhopes on August 12, 2008 at 8:05 PM

Hagel served in Vietnam with his brother Tom in 1968. They served side by side as infantry squad leaders with the U.S. Army’s 9th Infantry Division. Hagel earned many military decorations… etc. etc. etc.

You know? That’s funny. Couple that with his present resentment of anything that in the least resembles conservative principles and he could be McVain’s identical twin.

Misha I on August 12, 2008 at 8:16 PM

I guess Obama is not anti Israel enough for Chuckles.

Hilts on August 12, 2008 at 8:44 PM

That being said, McCain and Hagel are political traitors or at best Quislings who go along to get along instead of standing on principle. They don’t deserve high office on the basis of their ideology and despite service to this nation three decades ago.

highhopes on August 12, 2008 at 8:05 PM

None of us likes McCain, but the prospect of a Socialist Obama Presidency is a sobering reality check.

Hilts on August 12, 2008 at 8:46 PM

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM
Hagel was a war hero, so was Audie Murphy. I would not have wanted Murphy as President. George McGovern also was a war hero but a pseudo Communist too.

Hilts on August 12, 2008 at 8:49 PM

I await the right claiming that Obama winning the presidency will be bad news for Obama.

alphie on August 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

No, that would certainly be good news for Obama – terrible news for the rest of us of course…

18-1 on August 12, 2008 at 8:53 PM

As for the larger point of why Hagel would say no…

He may be loony tunes on foreign policy, but he does have a lifetime ACU rating of 86* vs BO’s 8.

*McCain comes in at 83.

18-1 on August 12, 2008 at 8:58 PM

It’s been a great week. Happy Joe Wilson Original Haircut Week!

Travis1 on August 12, 2008 at 10:06 PM

What happened on his trip with Obama? Something seems to have changed very suddenly.

…………….. he went on a trip with Obama, and said to himself,

“This is not the Obama I thought I knew…..”

Seven Percent Solution on August 12, 2008 at 10:24 PM

What happened on his trip with Obama? Something seems to have changed very suddenly.

He saw what victory looks like…

tommylotto on August 12, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Hagel was a very reliable Reliable Republican throughout most of his Senate career. This Nebraskan voted for him in every past election. It was on Iraq that he fell and fell hard. On that issue alone he lost so much support it surprised even me. As big as the Iraq issue was, it would’ve been about the ONLY thing he and Obama saw eye-to-eye on. On most everything else, Hagel was a reliable conservative but he lost this voter on the Iraq issue to be sure.

Yakko77 on August 12, 2008 at 11:18 PM

Hagel did the only reasonable thing. Just because you realize the war in Iraq is a disaster, doesn’t mean you should support a nobody who can’t stop the war anyway.

freevillage on August 12, 2008 at 11:34 PM

Hagel might actually be the one Senator that loves himself more than Obama.

Chuck Schick on August 12, 2008 at 6:02 PM

LOL.

Didn’t think that was possible.

drjohn on August 12, 2008 at 11:39 PM

Sen. Chuck Hagel should find a big rock to crawl under. The man is not a Republican, but a disgraceful useful tool.

byteshredder on August 12, 2008 at 6:33 PM

Agree! Hagel is a worthless POS OPEN BORDERS ZEALOT for AMNESTY. SCREW HIM!!!

DfDeportation on August 12, 2008 at 11:40 PM

“Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican RINO…”

(ERROR CORRECTED!)

landlines on August 13, 2008 at 12:33 AM

Actually, jeff_from_mpls on August 12, 2008 at 6:10 PM, I believe the outrageous claim of Marx was that he took Hegel, who was standing on his head, and righted him.

Hegel correctly observed what precious little we could really know about the future — “The Owl of Minerva only spreads her wings upon the dawn.”

Trochilus on August 13, 2008 at 1:11 AM

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM
Hagel was a war hero, so was Audie Murphy. I would not have wanted Murphy as President.

Hilts on August 12, 2008 at 8:49 PM

You seem to have completely missed the point and left out the context of my comment. Would you have said about Audie Murphy that he “should find a big rock to crawl under”?

Sen. Chuck Hagel should find a big rock to crawl under. The man is not a Republican, but a disgraceful useful tool.

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 2:49 AM

So, by your definition, John F’n Kerry should have been Prez?

Mew

acat on August 12, 2008 at 7:47 PM

Wow. You seem to have missed the point completely too, or maybe you actually got it but couldn’t respond to it, and here I thought that cats had such good eyesight and coordination.

Sometimes I really do think that there must be something in the water around here or maybe some brands of computer monitors give off some kind of radiation.

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 3:00 AM

That’s what he wants you to think!

Seixon on August 13, 2008 at 3:34 AM

I think he needs to head towards the center…

From the left or the right?

MarkTheGreat on August 13, 2008 at 7:34 AM

Chuckie Hagel is a RINO who gives RINO’s a bad name. The sooner this assclown moron retires, the better.

pilamaye on August 13, 2008 at 7:57 AM

Plus, he pro-life. My guess is that for the Hillary democrat supporters, that would be disqualifying.

SteveMG on August 12, 2008 at 6:05 PM

abcurtis on August 13, 2008 at 8:12 AM

I suspect the Obamans had planned to have Hagel as the headliner for their “Republicans for Obama” rollout yesterday. Instead, they were left with a nothingburger of Jim Leach and Lincoln Chafee. That was almost laughable in its inanity.

I think Hagel realized that (a) he was not going to be the VP pick, and (b) Obama is going to lose the election. President McCain might forgive him his apostasy on Iraq, but he probably wouldn’t forgive him for an actual endorsement of Obama.

rockmom on August 13, 2008 at 10:07 AM

HAGEL IS AN EMBARRASSMENT… WILL SUCCUMB FROM SELF-LOATHING.

jimmer on August 13, 2008 at 10:15 AM

You seem to have completely missed the point and left out the context of my comment. Would you have said about Audie Murphy that he “should find a big rock to crawl under”?

MB4 on August 13, 2008 at 2:49 AM

Audie Murphy was a great American, why would anyone say that. Chuck Hagel is a nasty piece of shite.

Hilts on August 13, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Hagel might actually be the one Senator that loves himself more than Obama.

Chuck Schick on August 12, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Hagel might actually be the one Senator that loves himself more than Obama loves himself.

saiga on August 13, 2008 at 3:43 PM