Thursday, February 22, 2007

Time: Lieberman May Change Parties - Update and Bumped

But don't get too excited; sounds like Hagel might as well.

Seriously - these are the most unwelcome comments I've seen from Chuck Hagel in memory. And that's saying a lot:

Asked if the war would have gone better if Kerry had been elected in 2004, Hagel says: "Well, I don't think you can go back and undo those kinds of things."

Asked if he is going to run for president, Hagel answers: "I'll let you know."

He says Sen. John McCain is still a friend, but calls his recents stand on Iraq resolutions in Congress "duplicitous."

He notes that having people with a military background is important, and the only one with that in the Bush administration was Colin Powell, "the one person they listened to least."

If Chuck Hagel actually thinks that John Kerry might have done a better job on Iraq - the clear implication of his comment - then he's not a Republican in any more than name. Worse than that - he's too stupid for Senate service.

Which is also saying a lot.

On a more substantive note, this does raise an interesting question should Hagel actually decided to run for President: whom would he hurt more - the Republican or the Democrat?

I'll preface this by saying that we can't really make a guess until we know the nominees.

If the GOP nominates someone who is basically conservative - Mitt Romney version 3.0, or (more or less) John McCain, then an anti-war Chuck Hagel might take more votes from an anti-war Democrat than from the Republican candidate. Indeed, while I've argued that President Bush will be forced to draw down forces in Iraq by the end of the year, a 3-way Presidential race with Hagel as the third candidate might even allow a Republican to be more pro-Iraq.

That's a long way down the road, though.

Update: The Politico (via HotAir) provides more detail. Lieberman says that the issue of Iraq funding could cause him to switch parties:

"I have no desire to change parties," Lieberman said in a telephone interview. "If that ever happens, it is because I feel the majority of Democrats have gone in a direction that I don't feel comfortable with."

Asked whether that hasn't already happened with Iraq, Lieberman said: "We will see how that plays out in the coming months," specifically how the party approaches the issue of continued funding for the war.

He suggested, however, that the forthcoming showdown over new funding could be a deciding factor that would lure him to the Republican Party.

"I hope we don't get to that point," Lieberman said. "That's about all I will say on it today. That would hurt."

I suggested this would be the case a little while ago. And I've been saying for months that Lieberman will ultimately have to switch parties.

Also note this recent statement by Lieberman, which attracted little attention.

Update II: HotAir properly notes that it is not at all certain that the Senate would change hands if Lieberman switched parties to give the Republicans a majority. I had forgotten that sad fact.

Interestingly, blogger Tim Chapman - then of the Heritage Foundation - warned in December that Senate Republicans were making a grave mistake in the negotiations on the organizing resolution, specifically for this reason.

What is Tim Chapman doing now? He works in the Senate minority - and apparently will continue to. At least he has a good boss.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Remember when Bush declared he was going to clean up what the administration of Clinton had done.
Has anyone ever presided over a more duplicitous bunch. They act as though it hasn't come out over and over how they have lied to the public.
Doesn't seem to clean to me. Being either Democratic or Republican does not guarantee honesty.