Hagel run a safe bet

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Will Sen. Chuck Hagel run for president?

Let's look at the evidence.

He votes a consistent Republican party line, but he's been an outspoken critic of an increasingly unpopular war.

Hagel has had plenty of national television exposure, thanks to his positions on the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, and has been profiled in national magazines and mentioned in the same breaths with the likes of Sen. John McCain.

He's writing a book that will hit the shelves, just by coincidence, during the 2008 presidential primary season.

His office has sent an announcement that he'll be making an announcement about his "future plans" -- does anyone plan for the past? -- at precisely 10 a.m. Monday.

And, just by coincidence, he's scheduled to appear two days later at the International Association of Fire Fighters' annual meeting -- along with nine other speakers who just happen to be declared presidential candidates.

We're not betting types, but the safe money is on a presidential bid.

And why not?

The last time the state had this type of excitement was in 1992, when Sen. Bob Kerrey ran for the Democratic nomination.

Will Hagel fare any better that Kerrey, who dropped out after failing to win much attention in the primaries, except for South Dakota?

As fellow western Nebraskans -- Hagel was born in North Platte -- we naturally want to see him do well.

But there is a lot more to it than that.

A decorated Vietnam veteran, former radio personality, entrepreneur and Reagan Administration Veterans Administration official, Hagel is more than qualified to aspire to the highest office in the land.

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