Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

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...).

Tags: Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel (all tags)

Comments

50 Comments

Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Hagel talks a lot and rarely backs it up with action.

by zappatero 2008-04-01 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

this is most certainly true.

But the way he talks about Iraq is something no one else is willing to do.

I've heard him multiple times this week refer to the administrations statements on Iraq as "Alice in Wonderland/through the looking glass".  

I wouldn't be for his as VP, or even Sec Defense (no more Republicans as Secretary of Defense, it feeds the "republicans are better on national security" narrative), but an endorsement of Obama by Hagel would be a valuable tool for the General Election.

by bawbie 2008-04-01 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

And i dont see what Hagel would bring to the democratic ticket?  He is the leiberman of the GOP and republicans hate him and he is not a liberal.

BO has to take someone who brings something to the ticket either a voting group he is doing badly in or a state we could steal from the GOP.

david

by giusd 2008-04-01 02:20PM | 0 recs
Excuse me,

but I'm from Nebraska and as a Democrat I appreciate Chuck Hagel's foreign policy positions, particularly on Iraq.  Hagel as Secretary of Defense might be the "seal the deal" that overcomes the "experience" meme that McOld is going to be preaching.

by redstater 2008-04-01 08:09PM | 0 recs
There could be some serious backlash

from the democratic base over this choice. It is an interesting idea, but not the VP spot. It will hard to motivate local elected officials who are crucial in putting in play and setting up the ground game. He can offer him or spread the rumor to offering him an important post in his administration, but it shouldn't go further than that.

by likelihood zero 2008-04-01 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: There could be some serious backlash

a position in the Cabinet maybe, but not VP

by zerosumgame 2008-04-01 03:53PM | 0 recs
Now, let's all read this...

as another bullet for a future hit diary.  Never mind that Obama never said it, or intimated he'd select a Republican for the VP slot.

Cause that would be too rational.  Don't need rationality on the tubes.

by bjones 2008-04-01 10:39AM | 0 recs
oh another CT!

how special of you to visit from dkos!

by zerosumgame 2008-04-01 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel
He would be more suited to Sec of Defense. I could see him in that.
I like Obama's approach of reaching out and finding the best people for the job.
by KathyM 2008-04-01 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

To choose a Republican as Secretary of Defense just perpetuates the idea that Democrats are weak on defense.  That is one thing that bothered me about Clinton's choice.

How about someone like Wes Clark, who had been NATO Commander in Europe, ran for Pres as a Democrat, and has helped many Democrats get elected????

by Dave B 2008-04-01 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Wes Clark would be a good VP for Obama.

Having an anti-war Republican as secretary of Defense Minister would be a good idea the way I see it, even if it's only from the point of view of reminding people that condemning the war isn't a partisan position, it's simply the intelligent position.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-04-01 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

I am adamantly opposed to putting in a Republican as Secretary of Defense.  

Clinton did that too, and I think it just feeds into the idea that Republicans are better on national security and military issues.  That narrative just needs to be killed, not fed more.

I'm all for a bipartisan cabinet, if you can find a sane competent Republican you can fill any position with them, but not SecDef.  

by bawbie 2008-04-01 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Hagel for Education Secretary

by mikeinsf 2008-04-01 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

I think that the only cabinet position appropriate for any member of Congress who enabled Bush is the Department of Cleaning up Their Own Freaking Messes.  

But seriously, any Republican who is reasonable enough to be considered for an important administration position should be spending their time taking back their hijacked party, weeding out neocons, and generally restoring some semblance of sanity and respect in that party.

by joanneleon 2008-04-01 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

I agree with your point to a certain degree. Except that Wes Clark has a Republican past. He endorsed Bush in 2000 at a speech. We are going to need somebody Bluer.

by xodus1914 2008-04-01 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Clark voted for Gore in 2000.

by durendal 2008-04-02 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Sure, ignore Hagel's voting record always with the gop and Obama's lies too.

About as dumb as Clinton for governor of NY.

Clinton/Obama is a winner but lets lose three in a row.

Amazing.  

by gotalife 2008-04-01 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Hillary Clinton and John Edwards is the ticket.

by stefystef 2008-04-01 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

 I would not support Hagel as VP but I do like the idea of him as somebody to be a surrogate for Obama on defense issues. And it doesn't hurt that Hagel and McCain have been aligned from time to time on high profile issues. This could play both as a validation of Obama and a diss of McCain should Hagel endorse him. I would welcome the endorsement and hope it does not lead to a VP offer.

by wasder 2008-04-01 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Isn't Hagel buddies with McCain?

by Bob Beard 2008-04-01 10:46AM | 0 recs
Not always

On the war issue: Not so much.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-01 11:21AM | 0 recs
ESS vote

So Obama thinking about going for the ESS vote?

Seriously, is it too much to ask that the VP be anti-torture? 'cause Hagel voted for the Military Commissions Act.

Of course so did Sen. Lugar (along with bringing Clarence Thomas to Washington), and Obama is talking about making Lugar Sec of Defense.

So I guess Obama WANTS to aleinate the women's vote.

by Alice Marshall 2008-04-01 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Many things COULD happen.  This seems like a non-story, though perhaps we could use a turncoat Republican supporter for our own purposes.  It would offset the awesome Joementum from the other side.

by rfahey22 2008-04-01 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Is this a joke?  Chuck Hagel backed the war resolution.  In fact I think he introduced it.  His position on it was exactly the same as Hillary Clinton's.  If Obama wants to keep making the (utterly ridiculous) claim that he is wiser on war than Clinton, he certainly can't line up with Hagel.

Hagel has said Bush personally assured him that he would exhaust diplomatic avenues before committing troops to Iraq and that he voted for the war resolution based on those assurances, but regrets the vote because it's now clear that lawmakers were presented with lies and wishful thinking.

That's pretty much identical to HRC, except that she was briefed by the Administration but not necessarily personally by Bush.

by PlainWords 2008-04-01 11:05AM | 0 recs
The difference

Hagel seems to admit that it was a grevious error.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-01 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

right becuase HRC's involvement in war torn bosnia and northern ireland have given her oodles of experience.

by edhula3 2008-04-01 01:43PM | 0 recs
Ridiculous idea

I respect Hagel's open contempt for the conduct of the occupation but does anyone seriously think that any Democrat would put a Republican in a position to run for President in 2016?  Or, God forbid, a Republican assuming the Presidency between 2009 and 20013?  

by gchaucer2 2008-04-01 11:06AM | 0 recs
Hi, gchaucer!

I'm so glad to run into you here!  I want to thank you for the diary you wrote on the occasion of my GBCW at DKos.  I thought about posting my thank you on that thread, but I didn't want to cause a stir by coming back just hours after I had left!  

I hope you are well and weathering the primaries with your usual grace and aplomb.  It's really nice to find you here!

by Radiowalla 2008-04-01 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Not the VP spot because it is next in line to the presidency, on principle it seems like it should stay one party.

But I think his endorsement would be fantastic, and I don't see why he could not play a part in an Obama administration.  He's been pretty courageous in standing up against his party.

by mady 2008-04-01 11:10AM | 0 recs
Not going to happen.

The MSM speculation is like when they do the entertainment news.  Somebody was seen talking to somebody, or having lunch with them, and suddenly they're an item.  Sometimes a conversation is just a conversation and a lunch is just a lunch.

Obama will pick a Democrat as a running mate.  

by GFORD 2008-04-01 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Sorry but I have to add that the words "Obama administration" just sound so good.

by mady 2008-04-01 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

It doesn't it. President Obama.

by KathyM 2008-04-01 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

I saw that exchange this morning, and what I took away from it is that Chuck Hagel was saying pretty clearly that he did not plan to endorse Barack Obama, and that Chuck Hagel has no intention of being Obama's VP running mate.

He may have phrased it in a cordial way, to avoid the inevitable soundbite coming back to bite him in the butt on Hardball tonite. But it was pretty clear Hagel has no intention of becoming a Democrat, or helping the Democratic Party nominee, or running for office with a Democrat.

Chuck Hagel is a Republican, and while he may differ with some Republicans leading the party these days, he doesn't strike me as an opportunist, which he'd have to be if he ran as Barack Obama's VP.

Sheesh. This diary is truly a stretch, if you ask me.

by Tennessean 2008-04-01 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel
jeez. Can the senate's Dem caucus trade Hagel for Lieberman? That might help get Joe off my teevee screen.
by xtrarich 2008-04-01 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

I'd rather have him in the VP spot than an important office like Secretary of State.

by Drummond 2008-04-01 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

At this point, with the level of vitriol in the race (mostly amongst the supporters rather than the candidates themselves), Obama-Clinton seems like an almost inevitable ticket.

by NJIndependent 2008-04-01 11:21AM | 0 recs
April Fools

I guess it's a measure of this primary season that all posts today are reading to me like April Fool's jokes, including my own.  I think we are in a truly "Through the Looking Glass" political season.  

by mady 2008-04-01 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

I'm thinking about endorsing Obama. Would that automagically get me on the VP consideration list?

by tysonpublic 2008-04-01 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

It could work. Hagel's among the best of a bad lot, and has been one of the few Goopers to actually stand up to the Bush League.  McCain is trying to pretend to be where Hagel really is.

Also, it seems to me Obama is in a position to fight the GOP for the farm belt this year. States like Kansas, the Dakotas and Indiana could be in play. Adding a Nebraskan to the ticket would be a sign that Obama would commit to those states. One reason we haven't done well in the prairie is that it's hard to justify the amount of time and energy it would take to try and move, say, North Dakota's 3 EVs, which are usually considered immovably Republican.  It might be worth while, though, if we were making a play for several prairie states at once.

I would expect Hagel to change his party affiliation to at least Independent, though. Calling the Democratic ticket the "Unity" party would be a bit hard to swallow.

by admiralnaismith 2008-04-01 11:41AM | 0 recs
I can't think of a worse idea

than choosing a Republican for the VP slot.

Let Chuck Hagel prove himself first with a solid voting record.  Let him change parties if he wants to run as a Democrat.

God, I can't believe Obama would even consider this.    And I can't believe how incredibly stupid this party can be at times.  Of all times in history!  You have to be kidding me!  The Republican party has thoroughly disgraced itself and nearly ruined this country.  So the first time we get a chance to take the White House we do what?  Put a Republican on the ticket???  They can't raise money, they can't find a decent candidate for their party.  We've been fighting for eight years against this completely hijacked and rotten, compromised Republican party.  And at the first opportunity, we're going to put them back in the administration??

It's utter, absolute insanity.  Or worse.  If this happened, I would have to believe that we've been betrayed all this freaking time.

God help us.  I'm really, really angry right now, but I'm thinking, if that happens, I'm outta here.  I am about to absolutely give up on this party and this country.

< end of rant>

by joanneleon 2008-04-01 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I can't think of a worse idea

You shouldn't get so worked up over baseless gossip.

by rfahey22 2008-04-01 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: I can't think of a worse idea

You're probably right.  It's just that it seems like more than baseless gossip to me.  It seems like testing the waters.  But thanks :)

by joanneleon 2008-04-01 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I can't think of a worse idea

P.S.  And if they are testing the waters, this test deserves nothing less than a torpedo.

by joanneleon 2008-04-01 12:42PM | 0 recs
Uprated for your passion!

There is NO way Obama is going to pick Hagel for VP.  It is just too otherworldly to happen.

Let's all keep in mind that Hagel is 100% anti-choice.  No sentient Democratic woman would vote for a ticket with Hagel on it.

by Radiowalla 2008-04-01 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

If any Republican were ever on a Democratic ticket I could not vote for him or her. It would be a deal breaker for me as someone who has voted straight Democratic in every election since 2002. And it also couldn't be someone who just switched parties from R to D. It has to be a true Democrat.

by Christopher Lib 2008-04-01 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

No Republicans, please. A Republican as a vice-presidential candidate is a choice that makes me seriously consider voting third-party, which I have resisted for several decades.

I'm already seriously disappointed in Obama. This would just about kill any remaining enthusiasm I might be able to muster.

by Coral 2008-04-01 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

What about Colin Powell. He needs to redeem himself after Bush Bush-whacked him. Maybe as Secretary of Defense or State or even VP. (Maybe two Black men are too much).

The military establishment has its own ideas about its own power and any administration without a respectable military person, preferably a general may face major problems - ask Hillary's husband - "gay's in service" "don't ask don't tell".

by benjaminsp 2008-04-01 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

No, no, no

Why on earth, this of all years, does the Democratic nominee need a Republican on the ticket with him?

Just insane, no matter how happy it would make David Broder.

by ocli 2008-04-01 06:19PM | 0 recs
I think the only ones...

...talking about or excited about a Hagel VP spot is the media.

they're suckers for this kind of story.  I doubt anyone in the obama campaign is even considering it.

by DawnG 2008-04-01 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel

Obama would need the Powell endorsement more.  Hagel could be given the SecDef spot so he could put his money where his mouth is on Iraq.

by Bob H 2008-04-02 02:25AM | 0 recs

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