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May 23, 2005

Hagel's Choice

Roll Call is reporting that conservatives are making the nuclear option a litmus test for 2008, which is putting the squeeze on some otherwise moderate faces, like Hagel.

Why?

Hagel's got to know that the conservative base is going to reject his candidacy. None of the other contenders, after all, provoked The American Spectator into penning a cover story on the liberal, internationalist tendencies that will disqualify them from conservative support in 2008. That edition hit newstands in 2004, four years before the next presidential election, and three before the Republican primaries. Hagel should heed the warning. His hopes for the nomination come with the independents, the McCainiacs, the New Hampshire middle. They don't lie with the conservative base. If Hagel refuses to play by partisan rules now, he'll set himself up for a more convincing bipartisan, maverick message come 2008. If he bows to their pressure, he'll begin to lose his independent, moderate status and still be rejected by the conservatives come 2008. His choice.

May 23, 2005 in Election 2008 | Permalink

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Comments

I think you meant "begin to LOSE his" status, although "love" has a nice, literary depth of meaning to it.

Good post.

Posted by: Charlie | May 23, 2005 12:58:05 PM

I guess Hagel thinks he can win NH and then all will be well.

Posted by: praktike | May 23, 2005 1:27:11 PM

I think Hagel's in a different position from a Snowe or a Chaffee in that the calculus isn't when moderates start to leave him for a Democrat, but what happens if the conservatives turn full bore onto defeating him. I wouldn't underestimate the venom that could be called out. Even though that doesn't mean I'd like to see him wilt on filibusters, I can understand the impression that he's got more to fear from conservatives than most, regardless of his Presidential ambitions.

Posted by: weboy | May 23, 2005 2:09:43 PM

The latest exercise in up-is-downism, from this article linked to via Ezra's link in the main post--some big name Iowa Republican hard-liners sent a threatening letter to potential '08 nominees saying "Now is not the time to stand by silently while a band of partisan extremists abuse the Senate rules and twist Senate history in order to obstruct President Bush's qualified nominees." Wow!

Posted by: Haggai | May 23, 2005 2:29:29 PM

This slightly left of center Democrat might vote GOP in 2008 on one condition - that GOP candidate stands for principles. And these principles could include fiscal conservatism. So who might I vote for? Not McCain as he has sold out. Not for the many pretend moderates like the former mayor of NYC or that fake replacement governor we have to endure in California. So who might be left? Chuck Hagel is currently the top of my list but he votes for the nuclear options, he falls immediately beneath McCain - who is on the bottom of any list. We already have a total sell out as President. We don't need another.

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