Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Wouldn't it be ironic if, after months of demonizing Senator Clinton as the centrist candidate, the progressive left turns out to have helped to nominate the real heir to Clintonism.

Paul Krugman poses the question of whose brand of change Obama is more likely to emulate, Reagan transformation or Clinton triangulation. Krugman leans toward the latter.

Like Mr. Clinton, Mr. Obama portrays himself as transcending traditional divides. Near the end of last week's "unity" event with Hillary Clinton, he declared that "the choice in this election is not between left or right, it's not between liberal or conservative, it's between the past and the future." Oh-kay.

Mr. Obama's economic plan also looks remarkably like the Clinton 1992 plan: a mixture of higher taxes on the rich, tax breaks for the middle class and public investment (this time with a focus on alternative energy).

Sometimes the Clinton-Obama echoes are almost scary. During his speech accepting the nomination, Mr. Clinton led the audience in a chant of "We can do it!" Remind you of anything?

Just to be clear, we could -- and still might -- do a lot worse than a rerun of the Clinton years. But Mr. Obama's most fervent supporters expect much more.

Indeed, the iteration of Obama we've seen the last two weeks is not the bargain progressives thought they were getting although the writing was on the wall, but I agree with Krugman that we could do worse if Obama turns out to be Clinton with working majorities.

Now, what would be a truly tragic result of the progressive movement's embrace of Obama is if Obama actually names a Republican to be the Vice Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. I used to think the Chuck Hagel talk was just for show, you know, that whole "see, I'm so down with Republicans that I'm considering one for VP" thing, but according to John Heilemann, Hagel is getting "a serious look in Chicago." If true, this should make every progressive's blood boil.

Is there an argument for Hagel? Sure.

He has enormous cred on national security while at the same time being loudly antiwar. And because of his status as a member of the GOP, Hagel as V.P. would be a vivid symbol of Obama's stated desire to reach across the aisle for the sake of national unity, the word made flesh with respect to the nominee's post-partisan positioning.

But, sorry, consider me unmoved.

The reasons he shouldn't even be on any Democrat's VP list let alone short list are far more compelling:

Hagel really is a Republican. An interesting, principled, non-doctrinaire Republican, but a Republican all the same -- a bona fide conservative, even. (His positions on social and economic issues are almost identical to Bush's.) Choosing him would surely send a powerful message, but it's one that few Democrats want to hear: that there's no one in their party whom Obama considered equally or more worthy. The prospect of a Republican a heartbeat away from the Oval Office would cause the kind of en masse conniption at Denver Democratic convention that no sane standard-bearer would ever want to subject himself to.

And a little perusal of Hagel's actual record reveals just how unacceptable he really is. Looking at Drum Major Institute's Middle Class scorecard Hagel scored a D in 2003, an F in 2004, an F in 2005 and an F in 2007. On the issue of choice, according to Project Vote Smart, Hagel consistently receives 0 ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood and receives 100% ratings from National Right To Life Committee. So, while he's certainly one of the best Republicans on the war, there are 8 Republican senators that get a more liberal rating than Hagel overall by The National Journal. In fact he's listed as the 18th most conservative senator on economic issues, tied with Lindsay Graham.

Wow, great choice, senator!

But where's the outrage? There was certainly plenty of angst about the prospect of Obama's picking Hillary Clinton, something about her betraying his brand, but now that, from the left's perspective anyway, Obama has betrayed his own brand beyond even their worst fears, perhaps Clinton is looking like a better and better option, especially post-unity.

Heilemann states the obvious:

But it's hard to think of anyone who would fit the change-AND-experience bill that Obama is trying to fill -- except, that is, for a certain lady in a pantsuit. Hillary Clinton, of course, has plenty of baggage. And she is nobody's idea of an outsider. But given her gender, it wouldn't take much doing message-wise to frame her as an emblem of change. And even her critics acknowledge that her cojones are more than capacious enough to qualify her as commander-in-chief. [...]

Unity. Brand equity. A fighter's mettle. An ass-kicking ability as a debater. What more could you ask for in a veep? It's a question that, I bet, will be plaguing Obama in the days and weeks to come.

Do I think his picking Clinton is likely? Not especially, although it's probably far more palatable to the anti-Clinton forces today than it was just a couple of weeks ago. Nor do I actually think Obama will go with Hagel. The slap in the face it would represent to his base would be earth-shaking. But then why even entertain the notion and put out the message that he's a serious candidate? And where is the progressive movement's voice when it comes to pressuring Obama to actually choose well?

Tags: 2008 presidential eelction, Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, Hillary Clinton, VP (all tags)



Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

I agree. Hagel is a Republican who is conservative on many issues. If something bad would happen to Obama, Hagel would become president, and the Republicans would steal the White House again.

Moreover, the Constitution was changed so that the second place finisher in the election would no longer become president because the threat of assassination became too great. The last time the president and vice-president was of a different party was in 1865, and we all know what happened then.

by Zzyzzy 2008-07-01 02:31PM | 0 recs
Obama is a longtime smoker

with a family history of cancer.

My own mother (a non-smoker) died of cancer at age 49.

With six of the Supreme Court justices to be at least 70 years old as of next January, no Republican should be in line to become president. Period.

by desmoinesdem 2008-07-01 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

by Zzyzzy 2008-07-01 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Getting a serious look? Bull. I don't buy this story...not even a little bit.

by Elise 2008-07-01 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

This is a repost of a comment made on an earlier thread, but it is more appropriate here.

Obama never promised strength and fight back. He always promised "post partisan", "talk with your enemy" (as though that hadn't already been tried countless times by people of good will, but no, his inexperienced arrogance has it otherwise), "it's not left or right, it's the past against the future...", he always promised weakness and capitulation on core Democratic Party principles like universal health care, so now you Obama supporters have him trashing MoveOn, trashing Wesley Clark, supporting the rape of privacy and civil liberties on wiretapping, and hiring fewer women and paying them less, etc., and you are stuck with your spineless candidate capitulating on everything you hold dear. Don't say we didn't warn you. True Progressives would have stood against Obama, but no, they rather indulge in a fantasy.

Clinton was the true liberal/progressive candidate, and she proved it by saying what she meant and standing by it. So you twisted her arm behind her back, demeaned and denounced her with flagrant lies about who she is, and now you are stuck with buyer's remorse. What crap.

You can TR me here, HR me here, ban me here. It makes no difference regarding the truth of the damnable, childish disregard for fact and wisdom that this insane American Idolatry over BO has been. You will have to face the consequences of that self indulgence when nothing you believe in is honored by BO, and you get trashed by him in the end. That's what you get for star worship, instead of honoring the quality candidate you had begging for your reasoned, mature support. Grow up. Obama told you all exactly what he would do, just look at his past. Now he is laughing at all your votes, donations, and slavish devotion.

I don't bother to read any replies after I post here, so don't expect any continuation of a discussion. I've had too much of pointless responding to stupidity here. You know where I stand, and I know where you stand, and whatever bonds once united us as Democrats are long gone, those bridges burned forever. And every day that you Obama supporters slander Clinton supporters as racists (so many of us are lifelong civil rights workers who have sacrificed untold costs for the cause) sets that division ever more in stone. Trashing us  with lies and garbage reconfirms that in fact, we are enemies, and will never work together again.

by 07rescue 2008-07-01 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List


by falseintellect 2008-07-01 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Buh BYE!

by skohayes 2008-07-01 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

If a candidate speaks in a forest and there is no leftist progressive to hear him is it still an ideological betrayal of everything we believe in?

by Shaun Appleby 2008-07-01 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Well if its our presumptive nominee speaking to the Petrified Forest of the Village; then yes, it probably is.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2008-07-01 02:52PM | 0 recs
Aaah yes, the Petrified Forest...

the woodpecker's nightmare.

But more seriously... the reason I would not want to see Hillary on the ticket is that I would not want her to be saddled with Obama's legacy after the first four years. I think Obama should choose a Democrat who can bring experience to the ticket but also one who really has no chance of being elected president... someone like Joe Biden of Deleware, for example.

by weltec2 2008-07-01 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

If after all that Obama has done in the past couple of weeks, it is obvious that Clinton would have been the more progressive choice.

I think he needs to put someone more progressive on his ticket.

If he continues down the road he is on, he will really piss people off.

I hate Hagel as a VP candidate, I hate Sam Nunn as a VP candidate, I hate Jim Webb as a VP candidate. Joe Biden, Dodd, Edwards and the best one, Clinton are good choices. But Nunn is a gay-basher, Hagel is a Repug, and Jim Webb has written blatantly misogynistic essays during his military years. His writings had a huge impact on women in service and he has never apologized for that and unless he does some profound mea culpa I will not accept him as a valid choice.

by ajain 2008-07-01 02:50PM | 0 recs
Clinton Supported the War!

She never apologized for it. Therefore she was unacceptable from day 1.

Her husband is a total loose cannon whose many shady dealings since leaving office were all being quietly chronicled by right-wing hate groups for massive attack ads. Now those ads are useless and you see the Righties desperately trying and failing to come up with an attack meme against Obama that anybody will care about in 2008.

Is he a "Librul! Librul! Librul! The most librul member of the Senate!" or is he just another "flip-flopper! Just like Kerry with a tan?" They can't decide and the voters aren't impressed with either attack.

You can't have it both ways. And their confused message reflects their lack of a theme for this election and lack of confidence. Pickens, the Texas right-wing scum who funded the Swift-Boaters is sitting out the election.

The Reich Wing has been gearing up so long for a hate-fest against Hillary that they still can't get themselves to believe that she's not going to be the target. They're not finding anything that is really hurting Obama.

This is a one-man race. It's Obama versus Obama with McCain as a spectator. Good Obama- the change candidate of hope v. Bad Obama - the "librul" "muslim" "we don't know what he stands for."

All Obama has to do is talk to voters in debates and campaign commercials and it's over. He's far more eloquent than McCain. He has charisma and McCain doesn't.

Hillary doesn't have any different position on FISA than Obama, so that too is a wash. Whatever our disappointment with Obama, Hillary is no better on any issue.

by Cugel 2008-07-01 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Supported the War!

name some "shady dealings" being chronicled by the Republicans.

by slynch 2008-07-01 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Supported the War!

You're aware that they put together a Hillary Clinton movie, right? Not JUST an attack book, an attack film. Not that it would have been shocking, but they were REALLY, REALLY ready to attack.

by vcalzone 2008-07-01 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Supported the War!

There were ethics issues raised about funding for the Presidential library, and allegations of sexual incidents around Clinton's entourage.

The rumors don't have to be true you know. People will believe almost anything about Bill Clinton if it involves allegations of shady fund-raising and/or partying with loose women.

Don't think that if Hillary had won or if Obama were stupid enough to pick her as VP (which he won't), every single possible thing that Bill has done the last 8 years wouldn't suddenly be on FOX News, MSNBC and CNN 24/7.

That would be in addition to the endless discussion of every so-called "scandal" (true or false) of the entire Clinton administration! Get ready for another "Fox Retrospective" about Hillary Clinton's Rose law firm billing records, Hillary's role in the impeachment saga, Vince Foster's "mysterious" death, "Travelgate" and the Rich pardon, all of which would suddenly again be "relevant" because the Clintons were heading back to the White House.

And to be honest, who can be confident that Bill hasn't done anything hideously embarrassing the last 8 years that would suddenly come out and cause a media firestorm sometime around the middle of October?

by Cugel 2008-07-01 08:40PM | 0 recs
Great post

Look, Obama is not perfect, no candidate is.   So stop with the I told you so, unless you are just here to troll.

Also, he is not going to pick Hagel, so calm down.  Why are you getting so bent out of shape over something that is not going to happen.

by monkeyga 2008-07-01 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Clinton is my first choice for VP and I will be pissed if she's not on the ticket but I'll still vote for Obama, reluctantly.

I love Webb but we need him in the senate. He has backed away from his earlier writing and I think most people will give him a pass on it because it was years ago and he has grown since then. But, leaving Clinton off and puting Webb on would be problematic. On the other hand, it could gin up the male vote, but I wouldn't recomment it.

by mmorang 2008-07-01 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

As a good politician, Obama is aware of the shitstorm this would cause.  He is still only the "presumptive nominee" after all.  I think I can say that no Republican will be nominated for VP at the convention in Denver.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2008-07-01 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

I have some Nigerian businessmen who would like to meet with anyone who thinks Hagel will be the VP.

by rfahey22 2008-07-01 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

I just inherited a bundle from one of them.  I didn't even know that I was related to the guy!  I quit my job and told my boss off!  Woo hoo!

by futbol dad 2008-07-01 03:30PM | 0 recs
I know those guys!

They send me an e-mail almost every week telling me that I've got $500,000,000 coming my way (sometimes alas it's only $10,000,000 but in Euros) if I just give them my bank account ID!

I'm going to be soo rich! Whoo! Hooo!

by Cugel 2008-07-01 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

It was never going to be Hagel.

I'm still expecting a dark horse such as Schweitzer.

by barath 2008-07-01 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List
When was Hegal ever on "The list"?
May I suggest...instead of debating pretend things...tap yer toes...
one of the best Blues guys you never saw or probably
never heard....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLhdS-8-Y S8&feature=related
by nogo postal 2008-07-01 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Obama is going to pick either Hillary or Webb.  Either one will be tough.  Even Clark is still on his short list.  I thought Clark was boring, but in the last day or two he is starting to get more lively.

by Spanky 2008-07-01 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

You forgot Biden. HUGE chance he might pick Biden.

by vcalzone 2008-07-01 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Oh yeah...my pick?

Wexler....for a lot of reasons...
(Think the MY/FL thing)

by nogo postal 2008-07-01 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List


by linfar 2008-07-01 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List
Blech. He's almost as conservative as Hagel.
I'd go for Biden or Dodd. I think it's becoming obvious that we need somone more progressive than Obama at this point, not less.
If Obama were to pick a Republican (I don't think he would), that would be the one thing he would do that would cause me not to cast a vote for president in this election.
by skohayes 2008-07-01 03:12PM | 0 recs
Two Weeks and a Rumor

And we're wringing our hands over how pure Obama is to the progressive cause?

The guy can't be the most leftist senator and a centrist at the same time.

by iohs2008 2008-07-01 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Dodd has a mini scandal in the housing market.  I think he is out. Too risky.

by Scotch 2008-07-01 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Along with Jim Webb and Sam Nunn. Anybody who is a social conservative cannot be voted in by the progressive left.

by louisprandtl 2008-07-01 06:49PM | 0 recs
Fake far right and go left to the center

Obama needs to soften the blow to his supporters. Many of them won't understand why he chose the mean old lady who said bad things about him. So, he fakes hard-right with Hagel and then chooses Clinton.

Hagel would be a good choice as Secretary of State. He could help bring an end to the Iraq war and provide political cover for the Dem's who were hurt badly for decades after they forced an ending to the Vietnam war. But VP should be out of the question for him.

by mmorang 2008-07-01 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Fake far right and go left to the center

To claim that Hillary is more of centrist than Obama is simply silly. If the events of the last 2 weeks tell you anything its that Obama will shift anywhere and he is certainly no progressive.

by ajain 2008-07-01 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Fake far right and go left to the center

Did I say she was more of a centrist? I did not. She is perceived as more of a centrist but that wasn't even my point. I was comparing Clinton with Hagel. Hagel is far right IMOP and Clinton is a center-left centrist.

by mmorang 2008-07-01 03:16PM | 0 recs
How can you say Obama is not a progressive?

If Obama doesn't get elected he can't move the country to the left and he can't get us out of Iraq. So, if he moves to the center on a few issues that does not mean he has abandoned all his progressive principles. It's called being politically pragmatic.

I would rather him get 80% of the progressive agenda done then none at all. We've only won 3 or the last 10 presidential elections. The "real" progressives who ran and lost the presidency have not gone on to move the country to the left.

The first rule in politics is to win. Then you can try to enact your agenda. Franklin Rosevelt campaigned as a centrist/concervative, but once elected he moved the country way to the left. He promised the county that he wouldn't take us into WWII and then did just that and defeated the facists. God bless him for lying through his teeth and making the country a much more progressive one.

by mmorang 2008-07-01 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: How can you say Obama is not a progressive?

it's interesting.  what you call "political pragmatism" for Obama is what many people call "triangulation" when it is applied to Clinton.  Oh, the hypocrisy.  

by slynch 2008-07-01 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: How can you say Obama is not a progressive?

It's rich isn't it? I'm watching this all unfold and wondering to myself why anyone is surprised. Maybe I'm too cynical, but people never fail to disappoint me. :-)

by Dari 2008-07-01 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: How can you say Obama is not a progressive?

I love the Clinton's and think Bill Clinton was one hell of a president. I completely agree with you.

If Reagan had Bill Clinton's economic record they would have carved his face on Mount Rushmore.

I was considering leaving the Democratic party based on the treatment of Bill and Hillary Clinton. I came to my senses, but it still pisses me off.

by mmorang 2008-07-01 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: How can you say Obama is not a progressive?

Obama's already hedging on Iraq.  It's the only issue on the left he's got now, and he's getting ready to be 'pragmatic' about that one too.

by searchforsolidarity 2008-07-01 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: How can you say Obama is not a progressive?

I do not know what "progressives" are thinking. No one is going to just pull out of Iraq. The situation is far to unstable and complicated. But we will get out much sooner with Obama than McCain. But it won't be tomorrow either way.

I really wish the left would grow up and be a little more pragmatic. Hillary is not the devil and Obama is not going to get us out of Iraq next year. But he will get us out of there as soon as the conditions allow.

by mmorang 2008-07-01 05:47PM | 0 recs
I think that Hagel will be in Obama's cabinet

but will NOT be his VP.

I see Hagel as either Secretary of Defense or Secretary of Veteran Affairs.

by puma 2008-07-01 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

As disappointing as many of us may find Obama's actions lately, don't for a second believe Hagel will be chosen.

The Hagel VP rumors are more strategic than anything.  The Obama campaign is dying for his endorsement, and apparently believe this can be achieved through flattery.  Maybe they're hoping chatter about a VP spot will push Hagel to endorse before Obama announces his decision.

If Obama were ever crazy enough to give the nod to someone like Hagel (or even Bloomberg- a persistent press fantasy), It'd be more than appropriate for the delegates to ding it in Denver.

by enr37 2008-07-01 03:10PM | 0 recs
Negating the leftist meme

McPain had been trying to paint Obama as leftist in the early stages.

And low and behold, Obama brings out all this stuff that gives a real good illusion of being centrist, some of which is real, some of which is smoke and mirrors.

Hmmm.... Maybe, just maybe, he's more clever than we are?

by iohs2008 2008-07-01 06:19PM | 0 recs
I have outrage

Picking a Republican is very distasteful to me.  If I wanted to vote for a Republican, then I'd do so.  I was very disturbed by the John Kerry flirtation with MCCain 4 years ago (whoever broached the idea - it doesn't matter), and it's still a bad idea today.  There are just too many excellent Dems out there for this to be considered.

by Denny Crane 2008-07-01 03:11PM | 0 recs
Hagel and Nunn...

Are dealbreakers for me, or very close to it. Sorry, I don't want homophobes or pro-lifers in the Observatory, or close to the White House. I will vote Green or not vote at all if he picks one of those two as VP. I know Hagel's excellent on the war, but even a blind squrell finds a nut every once in a while...

by zcflint05 2008-07-01 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: vote green or not at all if

Yes, I know what you mean. Paul Krugman has said that the election is Obama's to lose. I do believe that putting a Repug on the ticket would lose it for him.

Dems... we're always looking for new and clever ways to lose elections.

by weltec2 2008-07-01 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: vote green or not at all if

Well, involving a Republican in the disaster would support my theory that the Dems' electoral woes are always really Republican shenanigans...

by Endymion 2008-07-01 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

What fascinates me about McCain lately is that he is trying to woo Clinton supporters by praising her.

So, if she runs with Obama....then what?

Her supporters run away from McCain and then he gets aggressive with her, I guess.


by mjc888 2008-07-01 03:19PM | 0 recs
McCain Can't Attack Clinton

I don't know what kind of attack McCain would have for Clinton; he probably would expect his VP nominee to wage some battle with her by proxy.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-07-01 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

I don't seriously think her supporters will go for McCain as much as just not vote.  There is nothing that says he is really that attractive to them, except as a protest vote.  And a lot of Dems really couldn't pull the lever for McCain, myself included.

by Scotch 2008-07-01 07:41PM | 0 recs

by SocialDem 2008-07-01 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Even I will draw the line at Hagel. I am not sure I could over that.

by Hollede 2008-07-01 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Indeed, the iteration of Obama we've seen the last two weeks is not the bargain progressives thought they were getting although the writing was on the wall>

It takes unmitigated gall for any former supporter of the DLClintons to make such a baseless claim about Obama. Just what in the hell are you talking about?

I'm opposed to nominating Hagel, Clinton, or ANYONE who supported Bush's unholy crusade into Iraq, but I'm not going to condemn Obama for doing it unless and UNTIL he does it.

Isn't there anything REAL for some people to whine about?

by Beren 2008-07-01 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

It's been so bad these past two weeks that unless there is a change I am done both with voting and with this country.  i am  tired of having hope in Amerika only to have it crushed.  This isn't much of a nation anymore.  The world knows it, it's time Americans woke up and realized it.

George Carlin was right.  Garbage in garbage out.

by scytherius 2008-07-01 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

"Wow, great choice, senator!  But where's the outrage?"

Can you please link to Obama making this "choice?"

I don't get outraged about VP rumors, and I am surprised you do.  I would expect this sort of thing from Jerome.

by deepee 2008-07-01 04:07PM | 0 recs
He was never ON the list
Other people who need to come off the list:
Winston Churchill - ineligible
Keith Olbermann - too latte
Jar Jar Binks - very unpopular
by PantsB 2008-07-01 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: He was never ON the list

Agreed about Jar Jar.

by InigoMontoya 2008-07-01 05:32PM | 0 recs
I'm new to this...

...but I wish I could make replies like that. I laughed out loud.

by iohs2008 2008-07-01 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Can we at least respect the guy for his stance on the Iraq War?  He served, with his brother, in Vietnam in the infantry.  He learned hard lessons there, and he hasn't forgotten what it feels like to be the tip of the spear on a boneheaded war.

I say put him in the cabinet.  It would be a good message, and I think he'd do very well there.

You guys can say Hagel has no business on the ticket and I would probably agree.  Doesn't mean we can't acknowledge he's an honorable man who's probably doing the best he knows how.

I rather like Chuck Hagel.  The Senate will be poorer for his retirement.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-07-01 04:14PM | 0 recs
This is dumb.

Wow, great choice, senator!


You're ripping on Obama for a decision he hasn't made and probably won't make just because some guy says he may make it?

by Bush Bites 2008-07-01 04:25PM | 0 recs
It makes for good hand wringing

What ever would us defeatocrats do if we weren't facing impending doom?

by iohs2008 2008-07-01 06:20PM | 0 recs
Oh come freaking on Todd

I will personally transfer my entire bank account and all my assets to you and walk from Minnnesota to California in bare feet if Chuck Hagel is the Vice Presidential nominee.

There is not a chance in the world it will happen. Just beacuse the Hagel loving media thinks he might be on the short list (by the way I seriously doubt he even has a long list yet) doesn't mean it's true.

I would be shocked if Hagel was vetted and I can guarantee you Hagel will not be Barack Obama's vice president. Not, going, to, happen.

by Populista 2008-07-01 05:00PM | 0 recs
It's all been smoke and mirrors

Obama ran a smoke and mirrors primary campaign
--mostly mirrors where young people especially could see themselves when they looked at him.  It's harder to maintain in a general election, where less highly political folks determine the outcome of the election.  I think Obama is in trouble because every week he will have to define himself and his candidacy more clearly--and I don't think he really knows what is at the heart of his candidacy.  The consideration of Hagel is great evidence of this.  It would be bold, new, daring....and bankrupt.

Voting for FISA, war funding, agreeing with the minority on capital punishment for rapists....each vote is a repudiation of progressive values in a clear effort at triangulation.  Remember when he said Hillary Clinton would do and say anything to get elected.

Fucking amazing.

by Thaddeus 2008-07-01 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: It's all been smoke and mirrors

Voting for FISA, war funding, agreeing with the minority on capital punishment for rapists....each vote is a repudiation of progressive values in a clear effort at triangulation.

And how would Hillary have voted or stood on these issues... I'm afraid you won't find much difference.  The big difference is that you knew beforehand what she would say, how she would say it, and what she would do.  Obama's stances were a bit more surprising, but smart politics nonetheless.  Most Americans feel child rapists deserve death more than simple murderers... Imagine the GOP attack ads against Obama if he sided with the minority opinion?  They're already trying to attack him for saying that Ginsberg is a "sensible" judge...  

by LordMike 2008-07-01 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: It's all been smoke and mirrors

You said:
"Obama's stances were a bit more surprising, but smart politics nonetheless.  Most Americans feel child rapists deserve death more than simple murderers... Imagine the GOP attack ads against Obama if he sided with the minority opinion?"

His abandonment of his earlier positions indicates "smart politics"? I think it indicates something else.

Changing positions so as to avoid Republican attacks? What kind of backbone does that show? What kind of candidate, what kind of new politics?

As for them being surprising -- wrong word; they were stunning in their turnabout.

by cuppajoe 2008-07-01 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Obama has to put some effort into closing the deal with Hillary Clinton supporters and progressive Democrats that have not bought his "hope and change" shtick.

I have been wavering back and forth since HRC made her great concession speech.

I'd never vote McCain, but then, I'd never vote for a presidential ticket with a republican on it.

I am seriously considering third party in November. The vice-presidential choice could be a make or break for me.

by Coral 2008-07-01 05:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Hagel won't get picked. Obama has to pick someone with a strong social/economic record in addition to foreign policy. Why? Because the surge has currently bought some stability to Iraq and running a VP solely based on opposition to the war (as with Hagel) is a bad idea. The stability is not likely to last, but that matters not.

Even if Obama doesn't change his stance on Iraq, he damn sure can't double down on it. Hagel's out. Webb might be too. Go Clinton, Biden, Edwards!

by vcalzone 2008-07-01 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

I don't think the Hagel rumors are serious although they have been going on for months now.

Should he be chosen as VP, then I'll have to find someone else to vote for. And Hagel shouldn't be in any position which is in the line of succession to the Presidency -- not in a Democratic administration.

Webb would be a really poor choice given the sexist tenor of the primary campaign and his sexist history (even with his  crocodile-tearful apology). Again, I'd have to reconsider my vote.

Nunn, as someone pointed out, is a gay basher from way back and conservative on far too many issues. Couldn't vote for that ticket.

by cuppajoe 2008-07-01 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Just b/c Obama is being a schwantz doesn't mean HRC would be less of a schwantz.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-07-01 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

"Clintonism" means means things.  Obama may be the heir to Clintonism in the "centrism" sense -- I hope not, but we won't know until it's too late.  However, only Hillary was the true heir to Clintonism in the "power by whatever means necessary" sense, and I'm glad she's safely quarantined in the Senate.

by username 2008-07-01 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Oh please, Hagel's name is dangeling just so the rumor mill can go crazy while Obama does some REAL vetting on the side.  Just like having the media board his plane and take off while he goes to meet HC alone.  You know, that little trick alone should let you know that Obama, Hillary, and the Dem leadership is ON THE BALL.  I think a lot of things are being dangled so as to obsfucate the real intention and THAT will give teh Repubs MUCH less time to deal with what is really happening.  Obama really has the Media and the Repubs "Stepping and fetching like their heads were on fire and their a$$es are catching..."  

People, this is going to be a great SHOW!  Obama is going to run circles around McCain and the Repubs and we are all going to be standing there in typical defeatist fashion wondering why he just does not seem to be loosing.  

And so he is campaigning more to the middle?  He wants to show that he will WORK with people, not just talk to them.  And when you convince people to WORK with you, it is much easier for them to accept new ideas becasue they get to see them WORK, rather than just all talk and theory.  This is where Obama's Community Service will be a trump card...he knows how to get people to DO something, not just talk about it.

Now, as for VP's, where does someone like Colin Powell stand?  I know he was  Republican, but where does he really stand now?

I think Clark is a Truly viable candidate, and I think he would be the best.  Two senators in the White House...eh, no.

Hillary would be fine, but not the best in my book.

Dodd, Webb, Biden...probably not.

I think there may be a "ghost" candidate in the mix...

by Hammer1001 2008-07-01 07:25PM | 0 recs
Wouldn't it be terrible if.....

Obama/Edwards or Obama/Dodd won the election, presided over the country for eight years, repaired our economy, restored our image in the world, and implemented a sensible Mid-East/terrorism strategy?

If that happened, it would deprive so many people from being able to say "I told you so!"

I can't bear to think of it-

Let us never speak of this possibility again. Let us only think ahead to other scenarios in which we can proudly say those ego-building words while our nation falls apart.

by glopster 2008-07-01 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

Obama seems to be eliminating any real choices one by one.  Take Clark for instance.  I don't care if he did backtrack today, the damage is already done, and their have been many more. Obama is so freaking amateur at this it's scary.  He might end up with Hagel because all the potential democrats will be under the bus. But if it is Hagel, then it will be our turn to do the throwing.

by Scotch 2008-07-01 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

heh heh, I think we all know there is one democrat who he cannot throw under the bus; she may be the one left standing.

by Blazers Edge 2008-07-01 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

I think that's the problem with running a campaign the essentially puts you "above" politics. If people buy into it, you are left standing alone unless you find someone with zero political experience and very little ties to corporate America.

No one will be considered "good enough" for Obama's veep position because somehow people bought into the fact that he was so different.

Some of us did not and would be fine with some of these choices, but people who put him on that pedestal are going to have a heck of a time rationalizing any choice at this point. That's too bad because this should not be such a huge issue, but don't blame me or other voters who did not vote for him for making it so. That can only lay at the feet of Obama.

by Dari 2008-07-02 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Hagel Needs To Come Off The List

So, no Edwards then?  Seriously, at this point, I'd go for either one before anybody else.  

by Endymion 2008-07-01 07:46PM | 0 recs


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