The Carpetbagger Report: There have been rumors all week that Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) might hit the campaign trail with Barack Obama. I expected that might include a rally in Nebraska or something.
That’s not quite what these two had in mind.
The buzz this week that Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of
Nebraska is planning to join Sen. Barack Obama on an up-coming visit to Iraq is correct, two sources with knowledge of the trip confirmed Friday. […]While it is standard practice for such trips — known as CODELS, or congressional delegations — to be bipartisan, in this highly charged election year it is likely to raise eyebrows that the retiring Nebraskan senator — a prominent Iraq War critic — is the Republican expected to join the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee on what is sure to be a closely watched visit to the region.Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Sen. Hagel has not yet endorsed a candidate in the race, and he has offered kind words for both Obama and Republican rival Sen. John McCain, although the two Republicans differ greatly on the war. […]In a Tuesday interview with MSNBC, senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod also offered kind words for the Nebraska senator. “Sen. Hagel, I think, has been very courageous in speaking out on this issue of Iraq and the misguided policies that we’ve had from the beginning.”
Quite right. No Republican in America has been as solid or as reliable in his criticism of the Bush/McCain Iraq policy as Chuck Hagel. Plus, as Andrew Sullivan added, “How f*ck-you to McCain-Lieberman is that?”
Of course, this will probably renew speculation about Hagel joining the Democratic ticket. He said a few weeks ago that he’d “consider” such an offer, but I really don’t think it’s going to happen.