Recently Iraq War critic and retiring Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) revealed that he would not flat out dismiss the idea of endorsing Democratic Presidential contender Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois), who also sits on the U.S Senate Foreign Relations Committee with Hagel.
Hagel, who briefly mulled a run for the 2008 Republican party presidential nomination, says that Obama’s youth and the fact that he both appeals to younger generations and is of a different generation then many in Washington,that in his view is the best candidate to help heal the partisan and political wounds of the recent past.
Hagel has in the past week been making rounds on the news talk show circuit to promote his new book America : Our Next Chapter (in which amongst other things he said to criticize the current strategy being employed in Iraq, the President’s handling of the war in Iraq, and raises the need of a third major political party in U.S politics).
Hagel also stated that he believes the inventory of problems the next President will face is unprecedented and that is why it is so important that the country be brought together so that it could really solve problems. Although Hagel did not endorse Obama, he did not rule out the possibility.
MY TAKE: Obviously with an incumbent Republican President staunchly in favor of maintaining the occupation forces in Iraq, Hagel’s endorsement would not add much to the party and would likely deliver little more then vitriolic criticisms and ridicule to Hagel. Not to mention it would run counter to all the statements Hagel has made in opposition to the Bush/Cheney/McCain position on Iraq, that stands in stark contrast the 100 year occupation stance of the Iraq war.
However, if Hagel were to endorse Obama, he might be able to bring with him the support of some of the more moderate elements of the Republican party as well as those who don’t subscribe to the more neo-conservative elements in foreign policy that Bush, Cheney, and McCain embrace.
The crossover would likely be minimal, but it would give credence to Obama’s claim that he can bridge or at least narrow the partisan divide. The country needs a return to a newer and updated foreign policy of realism. The Democrats appear to be heralding that banner and it is good to see that at least a bit of that logic remains in some alcoves on the conservative side of the isle.