Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 10:23:55 AM EDT
I'm not in the crowd that thinks it would be particularly wise for the Democratic nominee to pick a Republican to join him or her on the ticket this fall, but Marc Ambinder makes an interesting catch (that presumably isn't an April Fools hoax).
Obama/Hagel Is Very Much Alive
It could happen. On MSNBC's Morning Joe this a.m., Sen. Chuck Hagel said he'd be open to endorsing Barack Obama.
Let me make clear again that I don't think it would be terribly wise for the Democrats to have a Republican on the ticket as their Vice Presidential nominee in 2008. There's simply no need for the party to sell out its values and issues in such a way at this point (if there ever were a point when a unity ticket would be in order).
However, it's hard to say that Hagel would not be a strong surrogate for Barack Obama in a general election as an endorser and potential cabinet member (though not in the Vice Presidential spot). Administrations almost always feature at least one or a few members of the opposing party in cabinet-level positions, so striking a deal linking an across-the-aisle endorsement to a possible cabinet spot would not be unprecedented.
To step back for a moment, I think it's important to say, also, that Obama does not need the validation of Hagel -- or any other Republican, for that matter -- in order to press his credentials. Nevertheless, given the fact that the establishment media eat it up whenever a member of one party endorses a member of the other, and that Hagel as a surrogate could help provide a balance to Joe Lieberman as a surrogate for John McCain (regardless of whether he can sway any actual voters, he does garner media attention), it probably wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to see Hagel come out in support of Obama in a general election (should Obama win the nomination, of course...).