Friday, March 30, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Received this letter to the editor that a Hagel supporter from Martin County, FL recently submitted to his local paper, and just wanted to share it

"In the not so distant past, Republicans produced a conservative majority and were remaking America in ways profound. Yet, since absolute power corrupts (even Republicans) absolutely; we lost Congress. Now we are set on losing the White House.

Republicans today march like mindless drones behind GWB off the cliff. The GOP front runner is hardly pro-family and believes in publicly funded abortions. Once a Democrat, I fled to the GOP for those very reasons. Now, I'm supposed to support Giuliani? Never.

Bush abandoned the Powell doctrine and let Rumsfeld conduct the war like Jack Rogers cutting employees at GE. Result? We sent in just enough troops to create an insurgency and waited 4 long years to try and fix it. If that weren't bad enough, Bush $pent us into debt like Democrats of old. When the attorney general does something askance, we say: "Well it’s no different that what the Dems did!" We support such convoluted logic with the total absence of integrity like the mindless drones we've become. Our party once used to raise the bar and would never have settled for such "lowest-common-denominator" responses.

So, the Republican Party is dead and adrift with no heroes. Except one. Hagel. He supports small government, fiscal restraint, and is NOT interested in mindless nation-building in a Middle Eastern black hole. But will Hagel stand up and say: I AM THE HEART and soul of The Republican Party? No - not yet, because Republicans are too proud to admit the need to change. And that is exactly what we need to do. Or would we rather wait and watch while closet liberals destroy the GOP and Reagan’s legacy?

I am a conservative and I want a conservative candidate on my party's ticket. Do Martin County conservatives want that? If yes, the answer is: Chuck Hagel."

After reading this, this question came to mind: In the last 6 years, when have you heard the White House speak about historical Republican, conservative policies? Taking a look at the deficit, they don't seem to care too much for some of them.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Too Early?

Some people know that debates are about to start, and that the candidates will most likely be chosen by Feb 5, 2008. Most people, however, just know that we're coming into April 2007, and think that anything Presidential doesn't happen until the middle of January 2008. Well, by January 2008, the landscape won't look the same.

This may be the most important Presidential election in American history. It can be argued that there has never been so much at stake for future generations of Americans as there will be in this election. If anything, voters will be presented with more choices than they have ever been before. For this reason, it is important to support the candidate you want to run so that he/she knows that the support is there to make it to January 2008, and past Feb 5. Please, show Senator Hagel that you support the idea of a Hagel 2008 Presidential run. Visit Draft Hagel 08 to see what it's all about, if you haven't already. If you have, urge people you know to do the same. It is far from too early to do so.

Grassroots Groups

If there is a grassroots professional group (lawyers, nurses, doctors, etc) that you would like to start or be a part of, just let the folks over at know!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Impeachment Talk

Senator Hagel has made it clear that he has not and is not calling for the impeachment of the President (see "This Week"), so why can't people mention "impeachment" and "President" without mentioning Hagel? As I mentioned, take a look at how he described it on "This Week"and try to argue with it.

The hope for 2008 is that the people will matter as much as the parties, if not more, as they should. At this point, the only person who can fulfill that hope is Chuck Hagel.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Supporting Senator Hagel

The reporting deadline for contributions this quarter is March 30. Show your support for Senator Hagel and show others how much support he has by contributing at today. Every donation, no matter the amount, helps.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I'll be on vacation from the 26th-6th. I've asked Jeremy from Draft Hagel 08 to take over for me while I'm gone - so enjoy his posts. And remember - just because I'm gone doesn't mean you can't get involved in the Hagel campaign!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Is Hagel a "Conservative Turned Liberal?"

Here's a comment I got via e-mail from Mike earlier today:

I'm sure in the beginning Mr. Hagel was a nice man.

But come on, a candidate for REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT.

I see in many polls that Hagel hasn't even reached 1%, now boy that is funny. Sorry, but conservative, turned liberal won't make it with the middle class informed Americans.

OK - so in response to this I'd like to direct you to some statistics that Senator Hagel points out on his website:

Conservative Voting Records . . .

Senator Hagel has one of the most solid conservative voting records in the U.S. Senate. The following are his lifetime ratings from some important organizations:

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) 94% (1997 - 2006)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 96% (1997 - 2005)
American Conservative Union (ACU) 85.2% (1997 - 2006)
National Taxpayers Union 75% (1997 - 2005)
National Right to Life Committee 96.4% (2000 - 2006)
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) 100% (1999-2006)
Club for Growth 99% (2005)

Hagel's Support of President Bush's Priorities in the Senate

2006 95.5% (highest of GOP Members in Senate)
2005 89%
2004 94%
2003 98%
2002 98%
2001 96%

Source: Congressional Quarterly, January 2007

So basically - the only liberal part about him is his stance on the Iraq War.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hagel Statement on Vote Against the Budget

Hagel Statement on Vote Against the Budget

March 23rd, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding his vote against the budget passed by the Senate:

“This is an irresponsible budget. It increases taxes by more than $700 billion on families and businesses over the next five years and increases the debt by $2.4 trillion over the next five years. The federal government’s problem is not that it has too little money, but that it spends too much money. This budget would put America in a deeper financial hole.”

Hagel to be on This Week (ABC)

Just to let everybody know, Senator Hagel will be on This Week (on ABC) this Sunday.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hagel Introduces Resolution Commemorating 25th Anniversary of Vietnam Memorial

Hagel Introduces Resolution Commemorating 25th Anniversary of Vietnam Memorial

March 22nd, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) introduced a resolution today commemorating March 26th as the 25th anniversary of the construction and dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The bill has 53 cosponsors. Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam veteran, and former Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, spoke at the 1982 groundbreaking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On March 26th, Hagel will speak at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“The creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial marked the beginning of a healing process for a nation, and veterans, divided by the war. Now, every year millions of Americans come to this monument to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. While the debate over our involvement in Vietnam and the conduct of the war will continue for years to come, the Memorial demonstrates the appreciation all Americans have for those who serve. It honors the warriors, not the war,” Hagel said.

In 1997, the U.S. Senate passed S. Res. 87, a resolution introduced by Hagel and former Senator and fellow Vietnam veteran Bob Kerrey (D-NE), which commemorated the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Presidential Primary Debates

At this point in the 2008 race, as early as it is, should a candidate have to have declared to be invited to participate in a debate?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hagel Reintroduces Bill to Aid Military Families

Hagel Reintroduces Bill to Aid Military Families

March 20th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) joined Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) today in reintroducing the “Military Retiree Survivor Benefit Equity Act.” This legislation would allow qualifying surviving spouses of military service members to receive survivor annuities—without being offset—from both the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Defense.

“America owes a great debt of gratitude to our professional service members. It is important to remember that years of devoted service also affects not only service members, but their families. This legislation will ensure that surviving military spouses are guaranteed access to the benefits that were earned and purchased by the service of their loved one,” Hagel said.

Currently, when a retired service member passes away from a service-related disability, the surviving spouse may be eligible to receive 1) Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) paid by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and 2) Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) which is paid by the Department of Defense. Under current law, DIC payments to surviving spouses are deducted from their SBP payments. Therefore, most surviving spouses of disabled military retirees find that their DIC payments cancel out their SBP benefits. This legislation would allow surviving spouses who qualify for both to receive full DIC and SBP payments. Hagel and Bill Nelson introduced similar legislation in the 109th Congress.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Q & A Time

OK - well there seems to be a lull in postable material, so I am opening this up to a Q & A "time." Ask me what you want to know about Hagel and I will do my best to help answer it.

Hagel Praises Plan to Establish an Immigration Court in Omaha

Hagel Praises Plan to Establish an Immigration Court in Omaha

March 16th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) plan to establish an Immigration Court in Omaha, Nebraska:

“This is important news for Nebraska. The establishment of this court will provide better access to due process for those who have come to the U.S. legally and improve efficiency in the enforcement of our immigration laws,” Hagel said.

Senator Hagel has strongly supported this effort and worked with the Department of Justice to help establish an immigration court in Omaha.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Editorial: Hagel Will Sell Well In the Heartland

Editorial: Hagel Will Sell Well In the Heartland

In every presidential primary, Republican or Democrat, each party's dominant wing (right for Republicans, left for Democrats) are courted heavily.

Take the Republicans. Even if the vast majority of Republican voters are not strongly conservative in the Republican primaries, those conservatives are highly prized because they always vote and are passionate enough to get others to vote.

So every Republican who wants to have a chance of victory is talking conservatives' language on social issues and foreign policy in anticipation of next year's primary contests. Even former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is trying to convince wary conservatives that his liberal advocacy on issues ranging from abortion to gun control to gay rights is behind him now.

What a relief for supporters of U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) that their man doesn't have to try so hard to convince conservatives that he is one of them. On abortion issues, Hagel has a sterling pro-life record in the U.S. Senate. The same is true on issues involving family values like marriage to a defense of the Second Amendment.

Moreover, Hagel is a strong anti-tax Republican who wants a balanced budget. And as for his stand against some of the strategy leading up to the Iraq war and the blunders caused in it, Hagel always comes in the name of the soldiers themselves--and a more sensible, effective foreign policy to fight terrorism worldwide.

This is the kind of common-sense conservatism that appeals to both the social conservatives and the traditional, anti-tax conservatives in the Republican Party. More importantly for the GOP as it looks for a winner nationally in what will be a very close election in 2008, Hagel's common sense will resonate with the general voting public in both parties.

Rural states similar to Nebraska, like West Virginia, are as much traditional as they are conservative. Their voters want someone who understands rural issues. Given West Virginia's rise to prominence in the electoral college tally in 2000, putting George W. Bush over the top, look for candidates like Hagel to put in some time in states like West Virginia where they have natural common ground.

Hagel can do well nationally, both in the primaries and the general election, in rural states like West Virginia. Hagel's straight-talking yet always-respectful style will be appreciated here.

The American people may be ready for a "Steady Eddie," a fresh face with a solid record of achievement in the U.S. Senate, and a seasoned leader with an intimate understanding of our nation's military, foreign policy, and what makes the private sector hum. If so, the Republicans would be wise to put forward a midwestern statesman this time around for President: U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel.

Why not Hagel, GOP needs something new

Why not Hagel or Thompson, GOP needs something new
By E.J. Dionne Jr

WHY NOT Chuck Hagel? For that matter, why not Fred Thompson? For Republicans, 2008 promises to be a disconcerting if exciting year because for the first time since the 1964 Goldwater insurgency, the party is struggling over its philosophical direction.

The old conservatism is in crisis, Bush Republicanism (of the son's variety but not the father's) is a tainted brand, and no candidate has emerged as the Next New Thing that the party wants or needs.

That's why Hagel, the Nebraska senator and Iraq war critic, suggested Monday that he might seek the presidency.

Read the rest at...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing Statement

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing Statement by U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel on the Nomination of Ambassador Zalmay Kahlizad to be the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations

March 15th, 2007 -
“Mr. Chairman, it is my privilege today to introduce Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for a third time to this Committee. In October 2003, I introduced Ambassador Khalilzad as the President's nominee to be the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. In June 2005, I introduced him as the President's nominee to be the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. Today, following his distinguished service in Kabul and Baghdad, Ambassador Khalilzad returns to this Committee as the President's nominee to be the next U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

It is not surprising that the President has chosen Ambassador Khalilzad to lead our efforts at the United Nations at this critical time. In recent years, he has filled two of the most difficult diplomatic posts in our nation's history. As Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Khalilzad served under conditions that could have easily overwhelmed even the most gifted diplomat. Instead, he has earned a reputation as an agile and credible mediator in a region complicated by tribal, religious, and sectarian divisions. His deep understanding of the Middle East has been a vital asset, and we are grateful for his service.

Though the challenges of Iraq today are daunting and its future still deeply uncertain, Ambassador Khalilzad’s tenure in Iraq was marked by important milestones. After arriving in Baghdad in June 2005, Ambassador Khalilzad led our efforts to help the fledgling Iraqi government move forward in the political reconciliation process. He was central in facilitating the tough compromises that led to the ratification of Iraq’s Constitution in October 2005 and a successful national election in December 2005. At the end of his tenure, Iraq’s Council of Ministers approved a national oil law that, if adopted by the Iraqi Council of Representatives, will play a key role for Iraq’s future. Ambassador Khalilzad’s accomplishments in Afghanistan were equally impressive. During his tenure, Afghanistan held its first national free and fair elections in the nation's history and established a new government. He led U.S. efforts to help establish Afghan security forces and oversaw U.S. reconstruction assistance, allowing the Afghan people hope for new economic opportunities.

Ambassador Khalilzad will now fill a critical role as Ambassador to the United Nations. As members of this Committee are aware, the United Nations has its limitations and is imperfect. Over the past year, some improvements, such as stronger internal oversight capacity and the establishment of a UN ethics office, have been made... but further reform is needed. Institutional reform – with the goal of making the UN more effective and credible – should be one of the top priorities of our new Ambassador. It will require building durable consensus among member states. This is difficult and takes time. But it will not be accomplished without strong, wise and respected U.S. leadership.

Ambassador Khalilzad will find a partner in this effort in the new Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, who has already signaled his commitment to greater transparency, accountability, and effectiveness at the United Nations. The world needs an effective and engaged UN today as much as any time since its creation.

I want to also recognize Ambassador Khalilzad's son, Alexander. Alexander was an intern in my office a few years ago, and now attends Stanford Law School. Ambassador Khalilzad's wife, Cheryl Benard, and their other son, Maximilian, are unfortunately not able to join us today.

Mr. Chairman, I strongly endorse Ambassador Khalilzad's nomination to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and enthusiastically recommend him to this Committee.

Thank you.”

Comment Rules

I had opened up comments to be posted freely - because so far the comments had been productive and appropriate; however, earlier today this privilege was abused, so I have now put comments to a setting that they must be approved by me first. I would now like to set down some ground rules:
  • Please refrain from swearing
  • Please do not advertise for unrelated websites.
  • Please do not advertise for other politicians not relevant to the present topic.
  • Please respect other posters.
  • I will delete any comments that violate these rules. If the comment is productive, I will repost it under my name, with the inappropriate material censored out.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wineke: Hagel would make the best president

Wineke: Hagel would make the best president

Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel may announce his candidacy for president today, and I hope he's successful.

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that Hagel is the best person to run this country for the next few years.

Read more at...

Senator Hagel's Brother, Tom, says, "I would expect throw his hat in the ring"

Sen. Hagel’s brother: ‘It’s just a matter of time’
Tom Hagel served with his brother in Vietnam; says Chuck will likely run

Earlier Monday, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) announced that he would make a decision about his political future later in the year. Later, Tom Hagel, who served in Vietnam with his brother, told Hardball whether he thinks his brother will end up running for president.

Read more at...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hagel Cosponsors Bill to Exempt Manure from EPA Regulation

I debated whether to post this, but figured that it affects Michigan enough, so...

Hagel Cosponsors Bill to Exempt Manure from EPA Regulation

March 8th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) will join a bipartisan group of Senators today in reintroducing legislation that would exempt animal manure from being subject to regulations under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund. The Superfund regulations are administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This legislation would exempt animal manure from being subject to regulations under CERCLA, and ensure that Superfund regulations are not applied to animal feeding, farming and ranching operations.

“Animal manure is rich in nutrients and valuable for crop production. It is not responsible to subject producers to this burdensome regulation. This is common-sense legislation that will benefit Nebraska’s agricultural producers while maintaining the necessary environmental safeguards,” Hagel said.

There have been recent attempts, through litigation, to place farms under EPA cleanup and liability provisions, which would restrict the use of manure in agricultural operations. Manure has been used as a fertilizer by Nebraska’s agriculture producers for generations. Additionally, the agriculture industry already operates under strict federal and state guidelines regulating water, soil and air quality.

Hagel cosponsored similar legislation in the 109th Congress.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hagel's Speech: "I will make a decision on my political future later this year"

As you all know, Hagel had a press conference earlier today. He was expected to make an announcement regarding his decision about 2008; however, he decided that he was going to hold off on announcing for now. This came as a shock to many, but he is keeping his options open, and has launched his official website: Check it out!

Here's Hagel's speech from earlier today:

"America stands at an historic crossroads in its history. It is against this backdrop that I find myself at my own crossroads on my political future. Burdened by two wars, faced with dangerous new threats and global uncertainty, beset by serious long-term domestic problems and divided by raw political partisanship—America now reaches for a national consensus of purpose. America’s response to the challenges and opportunities that confront us today will define our future. Finding solutions to these challenges and capitalizing on these opportunities will not wait until the next election.

I have worked hard over the last ten years on foreign policy and national security issues, climate change and energy, education, entitlement reform, especially Social Security reform, health care, veterans benefits, GSE reform, and immigration reform. This year will be an important year for these critical issues– and I intend to offer new initiatives on each of them. I want to give these and other subjects my full attention over the next few months. I believe it is in the interests of my Nebraska constituents and this country that I continue to work full time on these challenges.
America is facing its most divisive and difficult issue since Vietnam—the war in Iraq, an issue that I have been deeply involved in. I want to keep my focus on helping find a responsible way out of this tragedy, and not divert my energy, efforts and judgment with competing political considerations.

I am here today to announce that my family and I will make a decision on my political future later this year.

In making this announcement, I believe there will still be political options open to me at a later date. But that will depend on the people of Nebraska and this country. I cannot control that and I do not worry about it. I will continue to participate in events across this country, raising money for my Political Action Committee to assist Republican candidates, and raising funds for a Senate re-election campaign.

In conclusion, I would first like to commend my colleagues who are currently seeking their Party’s presidential nomination. I admire each of them for their willingness to put themselves on the line and pursue their strong beliefs and ideals.

I believe the political currents in America are more unpredictable today than at any time in modern history. We are experiencing a political re-orientation, a redefining and moving toward a new political center of gravity. This movement is bigger than both parties. The need to solve problems and meet challenges is overtaking the ideological debates of the last three decades—as it should. America is demanding honest, competent and accountable governance.

A global political readjustment is also in play today...and will respond to America’s leadership. What is at stake for the future of America is larger than just American politics. Politics is simply the mechanism democracies use to affect responsible change. The world is not static, it is dynamic.

At the beginning of my remarks I said that America is reaching for a national consensus of purpose. We will find it because Americans expect it and will demand it. I do not believe America’s greatness is lost to the 20th Century. There are chapters of America’s greatness yet to be written. I intend to continue being part of America’s story."

A video of the speech is available at:

Here's an article from Huntington News:
EDITORIAL: Hagel Will Make 2008 an Adventure

U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) has led what some would call an adventuresome life: helping to fight the Vietnam War, some serious success as a businessman and entrepreneur, and one of the most respected, independent political voices at the nation's capitol.

He could cash in his chips right now and leave a hero. Or perhaps opt for a significant appointment in the next administration like Colin Powell chose to do, perhaps to his regret.

But increasingly, Senator Hagel sounds like a Republican Presidential candidate, and when one surveys the field of likely candidates in parties, no one else has the blend of experience, the understanding of war, and the pulse of the American people like Senator Hagel does.


Hagel was the first Republican to question whether the Iraq War was heading in the right track. He courageously asked questions nobody else would ask -- in either party -- of this administration's key foreign policy decision. Having seen war up close, Hagel is neither afraid to prosecute a just war, nor is he patient with bland excuses for warfare that seems to be listless and meaningful only in the number of casualties.

The man who is both comfortable with power but responsible and judicious in its use is who American needs now. Like George Washington, who always returned his power back to the people who gave it to him, Senator Hagel appears to have the integrity to be trusted with power in next year's election and beyond.

We hope he runs--for the sake of our country and the world. Those who have the audacity to question Senator Hagel for merely raising the most obvious of questions about a failed strategy need to get a serious reality check--and to check out the continued drumbeat of the public opinion polls.

Hagel is a man whose time has come -- because he's one of us. He understands the price of war and how to prosecute a necessary military conflict effectively. How?

Because he does his homework and casts a wide net for advice.

An Official Hagel Site Is Now Up!

Head over to and check it out. Perhaps you'd be interested in contributing some $$$ or signing up to volunteer.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Watch Chuck Make His Announcement Live!

The Leavenworth Street blog has the details on how to catch Chuck Hagel's annoucement live on Monday:
For those of you who can’t wait for the online news updates to Chuck Hagel’s 10:00 AM CDT Monday “announcement”, three of the local Omaha TV stations will provide streaming video of the event live on their websites.
They are:

In addition, you can listen to the announcement on your computer as well
via radio stations KFAB or KKAR’s websites.

Due to my school schedule (and recent network problems at my school), I will not have a post until 12:00 P.M. EDT (I've never said that this early in the year!) or as late as 4:30 P.M. EDT.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Lawmakers: Hagel's Announcement Could Create Ripple

Lawmakers: Hagel's Announcement Could Create Ripple
State Senators Watching Hagel Closely

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel's decision whether to run for president is being watched closely in Nebraska's statehouse.

Lawmakers said on Friday that whatever Hagel announces Monday morning, it could send a ripple effect throughout the state's political landscape.

"It will shake things up, because anytime you have an open seat in a high-profile position like that, a lot of people who are ambitious are going to look at it," said state Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln.

Read the rest at...

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Hagel's Future...America Waits to Find Out

Speculation About Hagel Announcement Begins

Speculation ran rampant today about just what Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will announce during a planned news conference early next week.

Hagel's options include a bid for the 2008 presidential nomination as either a Republican or an independent, a re-election race to the seat he has held since 1996 or retirement from elected office.

Most Republican observers believe that Hagel will announce a bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday in Omaha, but warn that he largely keeps his own counsel, making it difficult to predict his plans.

Read more at...

Could Hagel Run As An Independent?
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- U-S Senator Chuck Hagel's anti-war stance and other issues could point to the possibility that he might run for president as an independent.

That's the word from Ross Baker, a congressional scholar at Rutgers University who served as a senior adviser to Hagel in 2000.

Read more at...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Hagel to announce political plans Monday

Hagel to announce political plans Monday

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Hagel, who's long been considering whether to run for the White House, will announce his political plans in Omaha on Monday, his office announced Wednesday.

Nebraska Sen. Chuck HagelThe Nebraska Republican will hold a 10 a.m. press conference at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

He will speak in Bootstrapper Memorial Hall at UNO's William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center, his office said.

Hagel's spokesman, Mike Buttry, declined to offer any details about what Hagel will announce. He said only that it would be "a news conference regarding his future plans."

Hagel has a number of options.

He could launch a presidential campaign; he could file paperwork for an exploratory presidential committee; he could set up that committee without making a full commitment to a 2008 presidential bid; he could take a step toward the race but delay a formal decision until later; or he could decide not to run.

He also might discuss whether he will seek re-election to a third term in the Senate next year when his current term expires.

Several key Republicans, speaking on the condition of anonymity, speculated this week that Hagel may defer making a final decision on a presidential bid until September. In the meantime, he could leave open the possibility of seeking a third Senate term.

Under that scenario, Hagel could see how the current field of presidential candidates fares on the campaign trail before he makes a final decision.

That would be similar to what Newt Gingrich is doing. The former U.S. House speaker from Georgia has said he will wait until the fall to decide whether to enter the presidential race.

Already, 18 Republicans and Democrats are running for president in what is shaping up to be a lengthy and hotly contested showdown.

They include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican; Sen. Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and now Democratic senator from New York, and Sen. Barak Obama, D-Ill.

Other Republican hopefuls include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Duncan Hunter of California.

Other Democrats include New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and former Sen. Mike Gravel of Washington.

After Monday's announcement, Hagel is scheduled to appear at a Nebraska GOP fundraiser in Washington on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he will speak at a presidential forum hosted by the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington.

That forum included 10 politicians from both parties an opportunity to speak for 30 minutes to an influential and bipartisan labor union. At this point, Hagel is the only one of the 10 who hasn't launched a full-fledged presidential campaign.

He also plans to speak March 28 to the Building and Construction Trades Department, an alliance of craft unions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Is Hagel The Credible Conservative Candidate?

Here is a GREAT article from the Cyclone Conservatives:
Is Hagel The Credible Conservative Candidate?

There seems to be a lot of media discussion lately claiming that the GOP has not yet found a top tier conservative candidate to rally around yet. Personally, I think that discussion would fold away if Newt Gingrich got into the race, but that is either unlikely to happen until this fall or not at all ever.

The candidate that everyone thought would have that mantle was George Allen from Virginia. But the now former Senator nearly completely killed his political career by making one major gaffe last summer.

Now, we've got Mayor Rudy Giuliani who seems to have a tough hawkish stance on foreign policy which many red blooded conservatives really like but he's got a plethora of social issue problems which red blooded conservatives really don't like.

John McCain actually has a pretty conservative record on social and fiscal issues, but it is his tendency towards being a maverick and his 'moderate' media created tag that has scared off many. Joining with Ted Kennedy on immigration, Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform, and leading judicially comprimising 'Gang of 14' has a lot of conservatives uneasy. However, he's also probably the toughest hawk on terrorism in the race and that is where he is gaining a lot of traction.

Mitt Romney could be the guy and then again many conservatives still don't know who he is and if the Mitt from the debate footage from 1994 and 2002 is still the Mitt of 2007. He claims that he was wrong then, but that hasn't settled a lot of fears and for right now, his campaign hasn't been picking up as much momentum as it could be as a result. Additionally, the Mormonism is likely to still be dogging him.

Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Sam Brownback of Kansas are still relatively unknown to a lot of people nationwide and therefore they just have not been getting the kind of media coverage that the others have been. Brownback tends to be one of the more conservative members of the United States Senate, though he has now become a lot more of a dove on foreign policy and that is causing him problems. Huckabee could by dynamic but he's got some immigration problems and there are plenty of questions about whether or not he'll be able to raise the kind of money it takes to win.

Tommy Thompson is perhaps as thorough of a campaigner as anybody but he just hasn't gotten that 'buzz' yet. There's no doubt that Thompson could be the most all around conservative candidate in the race but he, like Brownback and Huckabee, has not yet captured the national attention. I am convinced that Thompson is going to do well in Iowa because he's very folksy, looks like a common Iowan, and is extraordinarily intelligent. Thompson is still just 2nd tier for right now though he is moving up the ranks faster than anyone.

Tom Tancredo is definitely conservative but he has yet to fully introduce himself to Iowans and there are many who wonder if he is just getting into the race in order to force a more aggressive debate about our immigration policies.

Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul are both well respected members of Congress but are they just don't have the buzz nor have they been to Iowa much. For now, they are back in the pack a little bit.

John Cox and Jim Gilmore are definitely very conservative guys but they are constantly surrounded by question marks as to whether they have the name recognition to win.

So, there is definitely no ideal candidate out there...YET.

And so that brings into the equation Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. If conservatives can be calmed about his dovish tendencies toward Iraq, then Hagel might be the most well-known conservative in the race.

Recently, the National Journal released their 2006 liberal/conservative scores for Senators and Congressmen. After taking into account votes based on economic, social, and foreign policy; a formula is created and the votes are plugged in.

The Result? Of the 2008 Presidential aspirants already in the race or names that are floated, Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is the most conservative U.S. Senator. He just outflanks Brownback by a little bit.

Sure, Hagel bucks the President on foreign policy; but on most other issues, he totes the party line better than any of the other Senators in the race.

I, for one, would like to see Hagel get into the race. I've met Senator Hagel and heard him lecture at Iowa State in 2005. He's a very intelligent man who would bring a lot to the foreign policy debate and future of the party.

Back in December, I wrote about the Nebraska Senate Race should Hagel retire or run for President and I am confident that seat would be very safe for the GOP no matter who is running on the Republican ticket so that is not a worry for the Republicans.

I hope Hagel makes a decision soon because he quite possibly could be the credible credentialed conservative candidate to watch.
Publisher's Note: Check out those lists and see where members of the Iowa Delegation fall.
Here's a recent article from Esquire:
"Before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment."
Chuck Hagel's historic moment, and what it means for a declining presidency.

And here's a recent match-up from Rasmussen Reports:
Hagel (40%) Clinton (48%)
Hagel (34%) Obama (50%)

Pretty good for not even declaring yet.

Hagel Visits Walter Reed Army Medical Center

March 5th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), former Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, again visited service members recovering from war injuries this morning at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Hagel has spoken several times in the last two weeks to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Veterans Secretary Jim Nicholson regarding Washington Post reports of dismal living conditions and Army bureaucratic entanglements hampering the recovery of soldiers at Walter Reed.

“What I saw today, as I have seen every time I have visited Walter Reed over the last four years, were injured soldiers whose spirit and commitment represents the best of America. I also saw service personnel at Walter Reed who are dedicated to helping these soldiers rebuild their lives and fixing the problems at their facility. Secretary Gates has acted with appropriate urgency and leadership to fix the problems at Walter Reed and hold those at the highest levels of military and civilian leadership accountable for the problems there. Important Congressional hearings regarding the situation at Walter Reed begin this week.

“The American people are justifiably outraged by the problems experienced at Walter Reed. The system is being overburdened by more patients than it was prepared to help. This situation will be fixed,” Hagel said.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Hagel Releases Two New Statements

Hagel Statement on Announcement that the U.S., Iran and Syria will Attend Talks in Baghdad

February 27th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Iraqi Foreign Minister announced today that Iran and Syria will join U.S. and British envoys at a meeting in Baghdad next month to seek ways to stabilize Iraq. U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has repeatedly called for regional talks to address the situation in Iraq. Hagel released the following statement today in reaction to the announcement:

“This is an important diplomatic initiative taken by the Iraqi government. We will not achieve peace and stability in Iraq without a regional framework that includes Iran and Syria. This conference can be an important first step towards creating that framework,” Hagel said.

Hagel Statement on Congressional Commission on National Guard and Reserve’s Report that 90 Percent of Army National Guard Units are rated “not ready”

March 1st, 2007 -
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) released the following statement today regarding a report published by the Congressional Commission on the National Guard and Reserve’s Report that concluded 90 percent of Army National Guard Units are rated “not ready.” The report details the Guard’s struggles with equipment, recruitment and retention, training and funding. The Commission estimates that the National Guard would require $38 billion for equipment to restore domestic Army and Air units to full readiness:

“This report serves as a clear indication of the damage we have done to the National Guard over the last four years. As I have said, we are stretching the National Guard beyond the breaking point. It is unacceptable to ask the National Guard to take on missions for which we have not prepared or equipped them. The report’s recommendations should be seriously considered and the Administration and Congress must act now to fix these problems,” Hagel said.

Hagel's Introduction of Two New Resolutions

Senators Hagel and Clinton Re-Introduce Lung Cancer Resolution

February 27th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) re-introduced a resolution today calling on the President to declare lung cancer a national public health priority by increasing funding for lung cancer research, developing early detection lung cancer screening programs and appointing an advisory committee to oversee and coordinate efforts to reduce lung cancer mortality rates. Hagel and Clinton introduced a similar resolution in the 109th Congress.

“Lung cancer is the most lethal form of cancer for men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 900 Nebraskans will die of lung cancer in 2007. We have made great advancements in prostate and breast cancer survival rates; we must commit ourselves to making the same progress in lung cancer survival rates,” Hagel said.

Nebraska last year was the first state in the nation to initiate a state-wide screening program for lung cancer through the Nebraska Early Detection and Information Technology [NEED-IT] program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).

“Lung cancer touches millions of families across America and more than 12,000 new cases are diagnosed in New York State every year. We must do our part to increase awareness of this disease and support ongoing early detection and treatment research,” Senator Clinton said.

The Hagel-Clinton legislation lays out a multi-agency action blueprint for reducing lung cancer’s high mortality rate by at least 50 percent by 2015. Both senators’ emphasized the need for a carefully coordinated approach among the federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs, in focusing on earlier detection and more effective treatments.

“Research in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of lung cancer is critically important in order to improve the survival from lung cancer. The Lung Cancer Resolution introduced today will help to make lung cancer research a priority and provide hope for patients who develop this disease,” said Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center.

Hagel Re-Introduces GI Enhancement Legislation

March 1st, 2007 -
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) today re-introduced legislation that would eliminate the current Montgomery GI Bill’s $1,200 enrollment fee for active duty members of the military, including Reserve and National Guard members. Hagel introduced similar legislation in the 108th and 109th Congresses.

“The demands on America’s service members and their families have been significantly increased with the threats of the 21st century. The Montgomery GI Bill must be updated to ensure that it is relevant to the sacrifices our service members are making. There can be no higher priority for America than our soldiers and their families,” Hagel said.

The Montgomery GI Bill Enhancement Act of 2007 covers any member of the United States military, including Reserve and National Guard members, serving on active duty during the period after President Bush’s November 2001 Executive Order that placed the military on a wartime footing. Hagel’s bill would:

• Waive the GI Bill enrollment fee until President Bush’s November 2001 Executive Order is rescinded;

• Allow all servicemen and women who have served or are serving on active duty since November 2001 to opt into the GI Bill with no penalty or enrollment fee; and

• Reimburse those servicemen and women who entered service after President Bush’s November 2001 Executive Order and paid the $1,200 enrollment fee.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Hagel’s the only real right stuff
By Brett Arends
Boston Herald Business Columnist

Conservatives should stop complaining about their choices for president. They already have a serious candidate who is to the right of Ronald Reagan - and who could actually win a general election.

If they don’t want to nominate him, that’s their problem.


Long-Shot Hagel May Be Republicans' Best Bet: Margaret Carlson

I don't have a quote for this one, because this editorial has to be read as a whole. Please check it out at:

Will Hagel Run as an Independent?

The Real Clear Politics Blog has posted the following quote from Senator Hagel:
Q: Would you give any consideration to running as an Independent?
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.

Hagel Talks Up Third-Party '08 Bid

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is keeping his options open as he considers a run for the presidency.

As a Republican, he would be primarily interested in the GOP nomination. But if that isn't a realistic possibility, he'd be open to running on a hybrid ticket with a Democrat.

"If I decide to get into this, I would run not just to make a statement," Hagel, 60, said in a recent interview, according to USA Today.

The third-party option is known as Unity08, in which bipartisan political operatives use the Internet to craft a Republican-Democratic presidential ticket.

"I think it's a very intriguing enterprise," Hagel told USA Today, adding that he thinks most Americans are unhappy with the GOP and Democrats.

Hagel has become a critic of President Bush's foreign policy, although he voted in October 2002 for the authorization to go to war in Iraq.

Hagel says a troop surge in Iraq will result in "a vat of chaos." He also says America is letting its chance of winning over a "pro-American generation" of young Iranians slip away.

Such outspokenness has angered the administration. Vice President Dick Cheney told Newsweek magazine: "I believe firmly in Ronald Reagan's '11th Commandment': Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. But it's very hard sometimes to adhere to that where Chuck Hagel is involved."

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