Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 21, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

HAGEL HEARTS OBAMA....Chuck Hagel (R–Neb.) sure does seem to like the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. Not too surprising given their personal relationship, I suppose, but I wonder how many other Republicans secretly agree with him? More than few, I'll bet.

Kevin Drum 11:43 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (27)

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Any guy who calls a female reporter "sweetie" can't be all bad in Republicans' eyes.

Posted by: josh on May 21, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Hagel is going to be Obama's running mate. Mark it down.

Posted by: Dave on May 21, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

He won't be Obama's running mate, but I bet he'll be his Secretary of Defense, and I even more strongly would bet on him having a prime speaking slot at the Democratic Convention, to counter Lieberman's at the GOP Convention.

Posted by: Dr. Victor Davis Handjob on May 21, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

He's just expressing his inner Maverick. When the time comes, he'll fall back in line. The Dems need to ignore him. If, come November, he has refrained from turning around and attacking Obama, he should be considered for a post in the administration. Remember how McCain thought about being Kerry's running mate. These guys are all talk, no action.

Posted by: JZ on May 21, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that there are many more racist Dems than thoughtful Reps. Various folks in PA who voted for Kerry and Gore forward me the most absurd and offensive stuff about Obama.

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on May 21, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't Hagel a McCain supporter in the 2000 presidential race?

McCain abandoned his independent Republican supporters in favor of inheriting the Team Bush infrastructure.

With judgment like this, how can we not put this guy in charge?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on May 21, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with JZ. Hagel reminds me quite a bit of Arlen Specter. He likes to play nice whenever he is in front of a television camera, wringing his hands and worrying about this or that, but when push comes to shove, he votes with the Republicans, so all the face time is basically preening for the camera. He has this tough guy image, but whatever ... he's a camera whore. You can almost always find him in front of one somewhere.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on May 21, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - I'm not a betting person, but if I was I'd put money on you being correct about the Repubs.

Posted by: EvilPoet on May 21, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"I wonder how many other Republicans secretly agree with him? More than few, I'll bet."

That must be a comforting thought for you.

Posted by: david on May 21, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Did you notice in that link that Hagel, unlike Nancy "Off-the-Table" Pelosi, is still willing to use the I-word if Bush-Cheney try to gear up to attack Iran?

"And when asked to respond to rumors circulating within political circles that the Bush administration was ginning up the possibility of war with Iran, the Senator even raised the specter of impeachment.

"You've got the power of impeachment, now that is a very defined measure if you are willing to bring charges against the president at all. You can't just say I disagree with him, let's impeach him," said Hagel. An attack on Iran without Congress' consent, he added, "would bring with it... outstanding political consequences, including for the Republican Party."

Posted by: nemo on May 21, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Every Orange County Republican I know hearts Obama.

(That would be a total of one.)

Posted by: skimble on May 21, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

If Hagel does end up being the Dem response to Lieberman, I'll take that trade off. Hagel, after all, comes off as serious and responsible, unlike Lieberman, who seems to have taken up permanent residence in the Twilight Zone.

Posted by: gf120581 on May 21, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

As I have posted before, McCain is going to get annihilated in November - absolutely drubbed. Obama is going to kick ass and leave a footprint on the geriatric old fool. Zogby already has Obama winning by double digits.

Unless the media has rock-solid proof (with color pictures) that Obama has had sex with a goat, McCain and the Republican Party are history....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 21, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Zogby already has Obama winning by double digits.

Zogby is worthless.

Posted by: goethean on May 21, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

"As I have posted before, McCain is going to get annihilated in November - absolutely drubbed. Obama is going to kick ass and leave a footprint on the geriatric old fool."

TCD:

And as I have posted before, I don't see how Obama gets to 270 to win the Electoral College.

It's going to be interesting to see who's ultimately proven right on election night.

Posted by: Chicounsel on May 21, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

With respect to my earlier post, here's a link to a story in Salon entitled "How Does Obama Get 270"

http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/05/16/270/print.html

Posted by: Chicounsel on May 21, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

In the linked article Hagel says "I think he is going to have to put together a very wide, smart, experienced, credible, bipartisan cabinet. And that is going to be required absolutely".

This doesn't make any sense to me. I understand why a "maverick" Republican with less than 8 yrs remaining in his political life might say such a thing. But Obama also seems to think that this is true; he's floated Hagel and Lugar as possible cabinet choices.

What is gained by having Republicans anywhere near the levers of power?

Posted by: rk on May 21, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Because not all Republicans are of the brand that presently infest the White House and the Congressional leadership. Some of them are thoughtful, respectful people who prefer fiscal conservatism. Nowadays, neither party has a home for them, but traditionally, that would make them a Republican. If we didn't have such a rigid two-party system, then they probably wouldn't even be Republicans. If a Republican is smart, experienced, and non-ideological, I have no problem with their being in a Democratic cabinet.

Posted by: Brock on May 21, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK
If a Republican is smart, experienced, and non-ideological, I have no problem with their being in a Democratic cabinet.
Non-ideological may be a stretch, at least as a blanket definition. But any intelligent well-meaning Republican who is willing to reach across the aisle in order to substantively address a serious issue, say - securing nuclear and radiological materials in the former Soviet Republics(I'm looking at you Sen. Lugar,) is a person whose input and cooperation should be welcomed, at least in certain policy areas. Posted by: kenga on May 21, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think that I know why Republicans love Obama.

I only know two rich people—both Republicans. One is an in-law. The other I have known since we were in first grade together 60 years ago. Both of them hate Hillary and Bill. But, their enthusiasm for Obama has puzzled me, especially since my friend absolutely loathes unions. When I asked the friend why she hated Hillary so much, she couldn’t explain it, but dated it back to 1993.

Isn’t that (August 1993) when Bill Clinton raised taxes on the rich to balance the national budget and create the huge surplus that George W. Bush has since spent in Iraq and given back to the rich with huge tax cuts? The Republicans have hated Bill ever since, and have attacked Hillary mercilessly to prevent her from becoming President.

The Republicans know that a Democrat is going to win this year and they don’t want it to be Hillary. They know that she would probably raise taxes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama has already cut a deal with the Republicans to preserve the Bush tax cuts. Also, he has promised to sit down with the Republicans to fix Social Security. (Even Kevin Drum has said that Social Security is solvent.) Dismantling Social Security has been a dream of Republicans since the death of FDR.


Posted by: emmarose on May 21, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama has already cut a deal with the Republicans to preserve the Bush tax cuts.

Hilarious.

Posted by: Lucy on May 21, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I love the way you morons assume Obama's gonna be president - not gonna happen! Iraq will be a on forward path come October so McCain constantly repeating how if Obama were president we woulld not only be out of Iraq but on the verge of going back in to quell a civil war will not play well for your liberal buddy. Plus his vote on the farm bill undermines his whole campaign ethos and McCain will milk that til it's dry. Wake up Obama automatons: he ain't gonna win.

Posted by: ogg on May 21, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the threat of impeachment over an attack on Iran caught my eye, too. Impeachment is off the table because, at the moment, there aren't enough votes for conviction in the Senate.

I think Hagel is pretty clearly stating that in the event of an unauthorized attack, that would change. It would take, what, 16 votes?

So, I expect military shennanigans in Iraq this September, but not in Iran.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on May 21, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hagel and Obama have in common total corruption on illegal aliens. I'm not quite sure what Hagel's motive is. In the pocket of agribusiness?

Posted by: Luther on May 22, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq will be a on forward path come October

Of which year? 2013? 2108?

Posted by: rea on May 22, 2008 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraq will be a on forward path come October "

what a joke. With retaining walls in Baghdad, and ethnic cleansing nearly complete there still needs to be 140,000 US troops to keep a lid on the place...that's progress?

this is not sustainable and the electorate knows it.


Posted by: jvf on May 22, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

"Iraq will be a on forward path come October "

what a joke. With retaining walls in Baghdad, and ethnic cleansing nearly complete there still needs to be 140,000 US troops to keep a lid on the place...that's progress?

this is not sustainable and the electorate knows it.


Posted by: jvf on May 22, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK
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