The Washington Post today carries an article that does more to explain Chucky Hagel's actions in the past weeks than any of the coverage up until now. They point out that he's contemplating a run for the White House. They also show that his posturing has a good deal more to do with "positioning" than with principle.
Hagel said in a wide-ranging interview this week that he is discussing his options with his family and other confidants and will make a decision in the next six weeks.
He said one possibility is forming a presidential exploratory committee and — despite his outcast position within his party — seeking the Republican nomination. Or he may seek a third Senate term. Then again, he might take a more creative path.
Hagel joked during the interview about teaming up with New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a moderate Republican, and also floated the possibility of joining a bipartisan unity ticket with a Democrat — with his name first, of course.
The WaPo article is quite glowing about Hagel because he's their kind of politician. In other words he opposes Bush. But that isn't enough to get him elected. I'd put his chances of winning the presidency in negative numbers. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but my contempt for the man just increased. One hopes the people of Nebraska throw this guy out of the office he now holds.
UPDATE: Tom Bevan over at the RCP Blog has a bit more about Hagel's "honesty" and "courage". It ain't pretty.
This is, quite frankly, almost indistinguishable from the antiwar left's "Bush Lied, Troops Died" cry we've heard for so long. Maybe this is really what Hagel believes. Fair enough.
But a bit later on in the interview Hagel says "I have never doubted the motives of those who wanted to go to war so badly." Come again? He just said the Bush administration "doctored" intelligence and lied to take us to war in Iraq knowing (or having a good idea, at least) that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction. That sounds like "doubting the motives" of the President and his administration to me – not to mention impugning their character. Hagel appears to be trying to have it both ways, which isn't very honest, let alone "courageous."
Read the whole thing. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Hagel comes across not as honest or courageous. He comes across as an opportunistic hack. I imagine there will be a lot of Nebraskans looking at this spectacle and thinking seriously about a new Senator.