Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chuck Hagel's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

by Kyle Michaelis
It's safe to say that Sen. Chuck Hagel had a tough week. After falling on his face with Monday's major announcement of nothing and insulting a national conference of professional firefighters on Wednesday, he still couldn't catch a break when Attorney General Jon Bruning upstaged him on Thursday just by making an actual announcement regarding his own 2008 plans.

While kissing Hagel's ring with obligatory promises not to challenge Hagel if he runs for reelection, Bruning's announcement of an exploratory committee for a Senate campaign was a definite shove - attempting to push Hagel into making a decision and to position Bruning as the frontrunner of those waiting in the wings. Bruning also made clear that he won't necessarily let Hagel control the clock if he waits too long before making up his mind.

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports:
Bruning acknowledged he might have reservations about stepping aside at the last moment if Hagel waits until his filing deadline next Feb. 15.

One course available to Hagel is to pursue the GOP presidential nomination and still have the option of meeting the Senate filing deadline if he does not fare well in a front-loaded series of presidential caucuses and primaries that peak on Feb. 5.

Would Bruning still stay out if Hagel waited that long?

“I don’t know if I can answer that,” the attorney general said. But, he said, he’s sure Hagel will make his decision about a Senate race well before that.

That, my friends, is called chomping at the bit.

Meanwhile, the fun continues at Chuck Hagel's expense at Hotline. First, they compiled some of the choicest quotes responding to Hagel's non-announcement:
FNC's Hume: "It takes a courageous man to decide he's undecided" ("Special Report," 3/12).

MSNBC's Carlson: "Hagel looks like he just went bankrupt and just woke up at the same time" ("Tucker," 3/12).

Washington Post's Milbank: "This is the political equivalent of Geraldo opening Al Capone's vault" ("Countdown," MSNBC, 3/12).

CNN's Bash: "It was the political version of kicking the can" ("Situation Room," 3/12).

Then, even more fun, Hotline sent out an e-mail sharing the proposals they'd received for new definitions of the term "pulling a Hagel" - an insult that has apparently been all the rage with Capitol Hill Republicans:
We asked you to define "Hagel." You said:

(1)to cause a hoopla that deserves neither "hoops" nor "las";

(2)to negotiate with one's own ego or to "haggle" internally;

(3)to heavily arouse then abandon ("I had a date last night, but she Hageled");

(4)to sustain life on weekend show green room food;

(5)to downward spiral into insignificance, like a toilet flush ("That giant sucking sound? That's Hageling");

(6)to light a firecracker with no gun powder;

(7)to know everything about everything, but not tell anyone anything;

(8)"in Danish Hagl means small balls of ice falling from the clouds";

(9)to turn from media darling to media punching bag so fast Alberto Gonzales is saying, "Glad I'm not him";

(10)to invite people to your home for a feast and then serve only corn waffles;

(11)to submit NCAA brackets anonymously to avoid publicly deciding;

(12)when an individual with a speech impediment says "hey girl";

(13)to simultaneously be deleted from Russert and Broder's speed dials; and

(14)"I'm writing today to announce my family and I will make a decision on what Hagel means later this year."
Those are pretty damn priceless. I can't completely explain it, but - personally - I think the "corn waffles" (#10) do the best job of capturing what Chuck Hagel is really all about.

If any clever NNN readers want to take their own crack at defining "Hagel", this is the place. Shoot me an e-mail or submit a comment, and I'll happily post the best of them on our frontpage.

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Anonymous Turner said...

Atb first it seemed the presser with no news didnt hurt Hagel much. Then the week continued - Kyle you forgot the Tuesday NEGOP breakfast in DC where republicanswere openly mocking Hagel and the OWH ran this headline: Hagel Takes Another Opportunity to Announce Nothing. By week's end, including Hagel's five alarm disaster at the IAFF it seemed he was finished for good. But leave it to the New York Times to revive their favorite Bush-basher. See Sunday front page.

As far as "pulling a Hagel": Hagel's done it for years - say one thing on Sunday vote the opposite on a weekday.

Anonymous randy said...

Hagel, to me, is the perfect example of what a republican is. Party over everything else. I remember a report card issued by IAVA for all members of congress. The grades were based solely on how they voted for veterans issues. Hagel (and McCain for that matter) scored no higher than a "D".
social programs, even those designed to help his fellow veterans, conflicted with his conservative sensibilities. You know, the notion of a fiscal conservative, which is a complete contradiction in terms.
I never had any hope invested in Hagel so I never felt as though he let me down. However, that report card has cost him the respect I did have. While it doesn't taint his actual service, it does show, that he doesn't look back on it very much.
Hagel's the perfect republican, completely free of a conscience.

Blogger Howard Davis said...

You don't think Pete Ricketts would run again, do you? That guy is 100% creep.


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