Tuesday, September 11, 2007

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.

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Blogger Not Your Mama said...

I'll be very, very surprised if Idaho elects any Dem no matter how centrist so that seat is probably safe. It's Utah north.

9/11/2007 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, where did the "divided gov't is better than one party having control of all of it" belief? Or is that only for the thought of Republicans having all three?

Dems having all three...the Congress, Senate and the Presidency and with a 60-vote proof majority would not only be disastrous for the country, they would have no one to blame things on when they go wrong. It would be ALL them. A bad economy: them. A bad terrorist attack: them. A bad budget and deficit: all them. I'm not so sure they'd want that....but it would be kinda fun to watch them turn on each other.

As far as Hagel....he looks like like one, tired, old, bitter man. But I do respect him for serving a reasonable length of time and then leaving it to some new blood. As I've been saying....whether the Republicans lose or win, they'll have some new faces which I think will be very good....for the party and for the country. Dems will have the same old, career politicians who can't seem to ever move over and let some new, younger ones in. Republicans will be the party of change....Dems will be the same old, same old.


9/11/2007 10:19 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

NYM: Me, too. But they lose seniority and influence, and it's one more seat the GOP has to spend time and energy defending.

JP5: You clearly missed the last two sentences of my post: "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."

After a long period of Democratic dominance, I wouldn't mind Republicans getting a shot at control of all three. It would help balance out a lot of things done in the previous sessions. And likewise, have it taken away two years later if they prove unworthy of the power.

9/12/2007 4:42 PM  

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