Hagel Considering Independent Bid?

From Ankle Biting Pundits...

Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel is privately meeting with his top advisors and political contributors to discuss the prospects of an independent bid for the White House in 2008, a high level GOP source told me this morning.

According to the source, Hagel has already begun to posture himself as an independent, believing that by doing so he can tap into the perceived growing frustration voters feel toward both major political parties. Recent polls show widespread voter dissatisfaction with leaders of both the Republican and Democrat parties in Washington.

At issue is the concern among Hagel higher-ups that the Nebraska Senator will not be able to outshine Sen. John McCain in a GOP primary. Hagel and McCain are reported to be close friends and share a similar profile: both are Vietnam veterans and both enjoy reputations as “mavericks” in the Senate.

But McCain is an 800 lb gorilla; Hagel a mischievous lemur, at best.

So one idea being considered heavily by Hagel and his senior staff and top financial backers is for the senator to launch an independent bid for the presidency, thereby avoiding a rough-and-tumble, uphill climb with unpromising results.

Should Senator John McCain win the GOP primary, Hagel would likely endorse his friend (and maybe even angle for a #2 spot on an “all maverick” ticket.) If McCain were to lose and the GOP to nominate a right-winger, Hagel would try to tap into the disaffected McCain primary vote in a three-way general election.

“When we hear Hagel say things like ‘Iraq is looking like Vietnam,’ that’s him testing the independent waters,” my source told me. “He knows the media loves a self-loathing Republican. And all the accolades showered on Jim Jeffords for bailing on the GOP was not lost on Chuck Hagel.”

9 Responses to “Hagel Considering Independent Bid?”

  1. Centrist Chris Says:

    I hope he runs. This will split the Republican vote, thus making it easier for a Democrat to be in the White House so we can start cleaning up George Bush’s mess.

  2. Centrist Chris Says:

    And I disagree with this person’s caracterization of the media. They are not all Liberal. I even think Fox News is more conservative than CNN is Liberal.

  3. Jack Says:

    I’d be glad to see Hagel do it, but there’s a huge problem with this story - Hagel and McCain are worlds apart on the war!

  4. Ace Says:

    I think that mccain should run as an independent if he loses the GOP primary. Hagel would make a good VP on that indy ticket though.

  5. Jack Says:

    Did you hear me?! McCain is a rabid warmonger, calling for putting another 100,000 troops in Iraq - Hagel is calling for withdrawal. Like it or not, that’s the issue that really matters today, and wether or not we’re still in Iraq by 2008 foreign policy will be the major issue. I refuse to believe that outside the Beltway media sphere any pro-war politician can be seen as a maverick.

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