Chuck Hagel just held a press conference
in which he declared that he is not running for President - at least not yet.
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. . . . . 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 am here today to announce that my family and I will make a decision on my political future later this year.
Atrios says this means Hagel isn't running. Atrios is very, very wrong. Chuck Hagel is going to run for president. He knows that the current candidates are hopeless. He knows that there are Republicans actually talking about drafting Fred Thompson
to run for president.
Hagel simply wants to be courted, to be drafted, to be able to declare, by August at the very latest, that he would love to stay a Senator, he feels obligated to his Nebraskan constituents, but he also feels an obligation to the people and Constitution of the United States of America. His fellow Nebraskans want him to run, Republicans around the country want him to run, Democrats
want him to run*, so he's going to run.
President Hagel will promise in his inaugural address that he will work with the Democratic Congress (with stronger majorities in both houses) to keep the country safe and prosperous. It will
happen if he runs. He has the exact position that McCain wanted, which is to be able to say that had the Iraq War been run the way he wanted, it would have turned out much better. He's a "plain speaker" who is reliably conservative.
*Within the next month there will be a "Democrats for Hagel" so-called grassroots website that signs up Democrats in an attempt to draft Hagel to run, I'm sure of it. "democratsforhagel" .com, .org and .info are already registered.