Chuck Hagel won't run -- for anything
Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said yesterday that he won't run for re-election to the Senate in 2008 -- nor will he run for president.
There went just about any chance I would vote for a Republican presidential candidate next year, though it depends on whom the Dems end up nominating.
He's apparently quitting to fulfill a semipromise of a self-imposed term limit:
"I said after I was elected in 1996 that 12 years in the Senate would probably be enough," Hagel said. "It is."
Fair enough. But I'm sad that he's not tossing his hat in the presidential ring. A solidly conservative, principled, nonisolationist antiwar candidate would have made things interesting.
As the story notes, the pending retirements of Hagel, Wayne Allard, John Warner and probably Larry Craig give Republicans four tougher-than-expected races that they'll need to win simply to stay even in the Senate. With 22 GOP seats up for re-election versus only 12 Democratic seats, it seems likely that Democrats will strengthen their hold on the Senate regardless of how the presidential campaign turns out. The question is whether Democrats will end up with anywhere close to 60 seats, which would put them within striking distance of being able to pass legislation over the objections of minority Republicans. Which, in turn, would make life very pleasant for a Democratic president and very uncomfortable for a Republican.
Me, I don't mind the Democrats getting a shot at control of Congress and the presidency, if only to undo some of what Bush "accomplished" under Republican dominance. But if they get it and screw it up, I hope Republicans take over part of Congress in 2010 and save us with gridlock. Unless obvious good is being done, gridlock is our friend.
Hagel, politics, midtopia
Labels: general politics