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Hagel is calling it quits

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2835&u_sid=10126829 Published Saturday | September 8, 2007 Hagel is calling it quits BY JAKE THOMPSON WORLD-HERALD
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 8, 2007
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      http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2835&u_sid=10126829

      Published Saturday | September 8, 2007
      Hagel is calling it quits
      BY JAKE THOMPSON
      WORLD-HERALD BUREAU, COPYRIGHT 2007 OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

      WASHINGTON - Chuck Hagel will announce Monday that he
      is retiring from the U.S. Senate and will not run for
      president next year, people close to the Nebraska
      Republican said Friday.

      Hagel plans to announce that "he will not run for
      re-election and that he does not intend to be a
      candidate for any office in 2008," said one person,
      who asked not to be named.

      Hagel has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m.
      Monday at the Omaha Press Club.

      According to one person interviewed, Hagel told Senate
      Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on
      Friday morning that he had decided to retire. Hagel's
      staff learned of his decision that afternoon.

      The North Platte native earned national recognition as
      perhaps the most vocal, at times angry, GOP critic of
      the Bush administration's Iraq policies.

      His outspokenness on Iraq and other key issues,
      including Social Security and foreign policy, fueled
      national interest in Hagel as he flirted with a
      possible presidential bid.

      His national profile reached its zenith in March, when
      he headed to Omaha to hold a press conference on his
      political future.

      But amid wide speculation that he was leaning toward a
      White House run, Hagel announced that he would
      disclose his plans later in the year.

      His pending retirement leaves another GOP Senate seat
      without an incumbent at a time when the Republican
      Party is struggling to stem potential losses and must
      defend more seats than Democrats.

      In Nebraska, the news will trigger a scramble among
      possible successors.

      Attorney General Jon Bruning has been campaigning for
      the GOP Senate nomination since spring. A second
      Republican, financial adviser Pat Flynn of Schuyler,
      also already announced his candidacy.

      Other Republicans who could enter the race are former
      Gov. Mike Johanns, now the U.S. agriculture secretary;
      former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub; and Columbus businessman
      Tony Raimondo.

      Former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey, president of the
      New School University in New York City, has voiced
      interest in returning to the Senate.

      Also mentioned by Nebraska Democrats are Scott Kleeb,
      who lost a race to Republican Adrian Smith in the 3rd
      Congressional District last year, and Omaha Mayor Mike
      Fahey.

      Hagel, 60, would leave office after two terms, ending
      a career in which he was a frequently reliable
      Republican vote - but unafraid to show a maverick
      streak.

      Armed with a deep voice and somber demeanor, Hagel
      rose quickly in the Senate, developing an
      international reputation perhaps faster than any
      previous Nebraska lawmaker.

      He has become a leading Senate voice on foreign
      policy, promoting a pragmatic approach of reaching out
      to allies and adversaries alike to build economic,
      social and political relationships.

      A decorated Vietnam combat veteran, Hagel drew the
      most attention for his break with the Republican
      president on Iraq.

      Early this year, his frustration erupted after Bush
      announced plans for a troop buildup to try to curb
      violence in Iraq. Hagel labeled it "the worst foreign
      policy blunder since Vietnam - if it's carried out."

      That and other criticism triggered a backlash from
      some conservatives, who viewed him as disloyal to the
      Republican president and potentially jeopardizing
      troops abroad.

      Hagel didn't relish the attacks. He explained how
      Vietnam had a big impact on his view of this war. He
      recalled Congress' silence during much of Vietnam, as
      well as the 58,000 Americans who died. He said he
      didn't want that history to repeat itself.

      "I'll be damned if I'm going to stand there and accept
      the status quo and let it all happen again," he said.

      Chuck Hagel never just stood there.

      Born in 1946, he was the oldest of four sons raised by
      Charles and Betty Hagel. He grew up in North Platte
      and in Rushville, Ainsworth and Columbus.

      Life changed abruptly when his father died of a heart
      attack on Christmas Eve in 1962. It thrust Hagel, then
      16, into the role of a father figure for his younger
      brothers, one of whom would die a few years later in a
      car accident.

      Sent to Vietnam in 1968, he served for a time with his
      brother Tom, seeing the violence of war up close. The
      brothers saved each other's lives, they saw friends
      die, they lived in fear.

      Chuck Hagel supported the war then, but changed his
      view later after hearing tape recordings of former
      President Lyndon Johnson saying he knew the United
      States couldn't win but didn't want to be saddled in
      history with defeat.

      In 1971, Hagel landed a job on Capitol Hill as an aide
      to Republican Rep. John Y. McCollister, who promoted
      him within two years to chief of staff.

      From the late 1970s to the 1990s, he worked as a
      lobbyist, Veterans Administration official, cellular
      telephone industry pioneer, USO official and
      investment banker.

      In the 1996 Senate race, he upset then-Gov. Ben
      Nelson.

      In 1997, he teamed with Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., to
      lead the Senate to a 95-0 vote opposing the Kyoto
      Protocol, a global warming treaty that was intended to
      curb the effects of greenhouse gases from developing
      nations.

      He played a key role in reauthorizing the
      International Monetary Fund, which helps emerging
      economies worldwide.

      Hagel-authored provisions to allow more easily
      traceable political contributions were included in
      major campaign finance reform legislation that
      Congress passed.

      During Hagel's first year in the Senate, Washington
      Post columnist David Broder referred to him as "the
      freshman who probably has made the deepest impression
      on his colleagues."

      He won re-election in 2002 with 83 percent of the
      vote.

      Among second-term achievements were energy bill
      provisions promoting the development of clean-air
      technology to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

      He worked on a number of Nebraska issues, including
      community banking, air service to rural areas and
      health care.

      With a telegenic personality, Hagel has become a
      fixture on the Sunday TV talk show circuit, racking up
      more than 100 appearances. The topic often was foreign
      policy, Hagel's strongest passion.

      As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations
      Committee, he has traveled widely overseas, building
      relationships with foreign leaders that have given him
      a personal and independent view of foreign policy
      matters.

      Hagel always freely expressed his opinions, often in a
      provocative manner. His temper can flare as it
      frequently has against the Bush administration over
      Iraq. Friends say that passion, coupled with his
      intelligence, have made him unusual in Washington.

      "Chuck is one of those political leaders who marches
      to a drummer of his own," Colin Powell, former
      chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former
      secretary of state, said several years ago. "He
      decides what he believes, then he speaks out."
    • Gregory
      I am sorry to read this morning that Senator Hagel is set to retire from the U.S. Senate. His determination to bring sanity to the Republican Party, and his
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 8, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        I am sorry to read this morning that Senator Hagel is set to retire
        from the U.S. Senate. His determination to bring sanity to the
        Republican Party, and his work to steer the nation away from the
        flawed Iraq War was brave. He proved what a leader should look
        like. Had he run for President in 2008 his voice and views would
        have been refreshing. But on Monday the Nebraska Republican will
        retire from the Senate, and reportedly will make a statement that he
        is not seeking the White House. It is America's loss.

        I have a fondness for brave folks in politics that swim upstream, not
        because it will draw attention to them, but because they know there
        is no other path that their conscience will allow them to proceed
        on. The type of leader that Hagel was in Washington is a rarity, and
        one that any aspiring young mind hoping to launch a political career
        might try to emulate.

        Gregory

        --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2835&u_sid=10126829
        >
        > Published Saturday | September 8, 2007
        > Hagel is calling it quits
        > BY JAKE THOMPSON
        > WORLD-HERALD BUREAU, COPYRIGHT 2007 OMAHA WORLD-HERALD
        >
        > WASHINGTON - Chuck Hagel will announce Monday that he
        > is retiring from the U.S. Senate and will not run for
        > president next year, people close to the Nebraska
        > Republican said Friday.
        >
        > Hagel plans to announce that "he will not run for
        > re-election and that he does not intend to be a
        > candidate for any office in 2008," said one person,
        > who asked not to be named.
        >
        > Hagel has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m.
        > Monday at the Omaha Press Club.
        >
        > According to one person interviewed, Hagel told Senate
        > Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on
        > Friday morning that he had decided to retire. Hagel's
        > staff learned of his decision that afternoon.
        >
        > The North Platte native earned national recognition as
        > perhaps the most vocal, at times angry, GOP critic of
        > the Bush administration's Iraq policies.
        >
        > His outspokenness on Iraq and other key issues,
        > including Social Security and foreign policy, fueled
        > national interest in Hagel as he flirted with a
        > possible presidential bid.
        >
        > His national profile reached its zenith in March, when
        > he headed to Omaha to hold a press conference on his
        > political future.
        >
        > But amid wide speculation that he was leaning toward a
        > White House run, Hagel announced that he would
        > disclose his plans later in the year.
        >
        > His pending retirement leaves another GOP Senate seat
        > without an incumbent at a time when the Republican
        > Party is struggling to stem potential losses and must
        > defend more seats than Democrats.
        >
        > In Nebraska, the news will trigger a scramble among
        > possible successors.
        >
        > Attorney General Jon Bruning has been campaigning for
        > the GOP Senate nomination since spring. A second
        > Republican, financial adviser Pat Flynn of Schuyler,
        > also already announced his candidacy.
        >
        > Other Republicans who could enter the race are former
        > Gov. Mike Johanns, now the U.S. agriculture secretary;
        > former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub; and Columbus businessman
        > Tony Raimondo.
        >
        > Former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey, president of the
        > New School University in New York City, has voiced
        > interest in returning to the Senate.
        >
        > Also mentioned by Nebraska Democrats are Scott Kleeb,
        > who lost a race to Republican Adrian Smith in the 3rd
        > Congressional District last year, and Omaha Mayor Mike
        > Fahey.
        >
        > Hagel, 60, would leave office after two terms, ending
        > a career in which he was a frequently reliable
        > Republican vote - but unafraid to show a maverick
        > streak.
        >
        > Armed with a deep voice and somber demeanor, Hagel
        > rose quickly in the Senate, developing an
        > international reputation perhaps faster than any
        > previous Nebraska lawmaker.
        >
        > He has become a leading Senate voice on foreign
        > policy, promoting a pragmatic approach of reaching out
        > to allies and adversaries alike to build economic,
        > social and political relationships.
        >
        > A decorated Vietnam combat veteran, Hagel drew the
        > most attention for his break with the Republican
        > president on Iraq.
        >
        > Early this year, his frustration erupted after Bush
        > announced plans for a troop buildup to try to curb
        > violence in Iraq. Hagel labeled it "the worst foreign
        > policy blunder since Vietnam - if it's carried out."
        >
        > That and other criticism triggered a backlash from
        > some conservatives, who viewed him as disloyal to the
        > Republican president and potentially jeopardizing
        > troops abroad.
        >
        > Hagel didn't relish the attacks. He explained how
        > Vietnam had a big impact on his view of this war. He
        > recalled Congress' silence during much of Vietnam, as
        > well as the 58,000 Americans who died. He said he
        > didn't want that history to repeat itself.
        >
        > "I'll be damned if I'm going to stand there and accept
        > the status quo and let it all happen again," he said.
        >
        > Chuck Hagel never just stood there.
        >
        > Born in 1946, he was the oldest of four sons raised by
        > Charles and Betty Hagel. He grew up in North Platte
        > and in Rushville, Ainsworth and Columbus.
        >
        > Life changed abruptly when his father died of a heart
        > attack on Christmas Eve in 1962. It thrust Hagel, then
        > 16, into the role of a father figure for his younger
        > brothers, one of whom would die a few years later in a
        > car accident.
        >
        > Sent to Vietnam in 1968, he served for a time with his
        > brother Tom, seeing the violence of war up close. The
        > brothers saved each other's lives, they saw friends
        > die, they lived in fear.
        >
        > Chuck Hagel supported the war then, but changed his
        > view later after hearing tape recordings of former
        > President Lyndon Johnson saying he knew the United
        > States couldn't win but didn't want to be saddled in
        > history with defeat.
        >
        > In 1971, Hagel landed a job on Capitol Hill as an aide
        > to Republican Rep. John Y. McCollister, who promoted
        > him within two years to chief of staff.
        >
        > From the late 1970s to the 1990s, he worked as a
        > lobbyist, Veterans Administration official, cellular
        > telephone industry pioneer, USO official and
        > investment banker.
        >
        > In the 1996 Senate race, he upset then-Gov. Ben
        > Nelson.
        >
        > In 1997, he teamed with Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., to
        > lead the Senate to a 95-0 vote opposing the Kyoto
        > Protocol, a global warming treaty that was intended to
        > curb the effects of greenhouse gases from developing
        > nations.
        >
        > He played a key role in reauthorizing the
        > International Monetary Fund, which helps emerging
        > economies worldwide.
        >
        > Hagel-authored provisions to allow more easily
        > traceable political contributions were included in
        > major campaign finance reform legislation that
        > Congress passed.
        >
        > During Hagel's first year in the Senate, Washington
        > Post columnist David Broder referred to him as "the
        > freshman who probably has made the deepest impression
        > on his colleagues."
        >
        > He won re-election in 2002 with 83 percent of the
        > vote.
        >
        > Among second-term achievements were energy bill
        > provisions promoting the development of clean-air
        > technology to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
        >
        > He worked on a number of Nebraska issues, including
        > community banking, air service to rural areas and
        > health care.
        >
        > With a telegenic personality, Hagel has become a
        > fixture on the Sunday TV talk show circuit, racking up
        > more than 100 appearances. The topic often was foreign
        > policy, Hagel's strongest passion.
        >
        > As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations
        > Committee, he has traveled widely overseas, building
        > relationships with foreign leaders that have given him
        > a personal and independent view of foreign policy
        > matters.
        >
        > Hagel always freely expressed his opinions, often in a
        > provocative manner. His temper can flare as it
        > frequently has against the Bush administration over
        > Iraq. Friends say that passion, coupled with his
        > intelligence, have made him unusual in Washington.
        >
        > "Chuck is one of those political leaders who marches
        > to a drummer of his own," Colin Powell, former
        > chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former
        > secretary of state, said several years ago. "He
        > decides what he believes, then he speaks out."
        >
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