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Meet Chuck Hagel, Republican Senator from Nebraska.

Quotes from Connie Bruck, The Odd Man Out: The New Yorker, 3 Nov 2008

Hagel is a realistic Republican--in the mold of Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Goldwater in that he looks for and sees reality. Hagel also has the guts to state facts as such and call them for what they really are.

I don't believe she is qualified to be president of the United States. The first judgment a potential President makes is who their running mate is--and I don't think John made a very good selection... There is no question that this candidate is arguably the thinnest-resume candidate for Vice-President in the history of America.

She knows her audience, and she's going right after them. And I'll tell you why that is dangerous. It's dangerous because you don't want to define down the standards in any institution, ever, in life. You want to always define standards up. If you start defining standards down--'Well I don't have a big education, I don't have experience'--yes, there's a point to be made that not all the smartest people come out of Yale or Harvard. But to intentionally define down in some kind of wild populism, that those things don't count in a complicated, dangerous world--that's dangerous in itself.

There was a political party in this country called the Know-Nothings, and we're getting on the fringe of that, with these one-issue voters--pro-choice or pro-life. Important issues, I know that. But my goodness. The world is blowing up everywhere, and I just don't think that is a responsible way to see the world, on that one issue. And interestingly enough, that one issue stopped McCain from picking one of the people he really wanted, Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge.

Irony? You bet.

And so we have it from that rare Republican who still represents the foundations that brought the party to pre-eminence in the first place: Think Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

That Palin is astute enough to read what appeals to voter's guts is beside the point when that very point, as policy, would surely destroy both America's place in the world and its self-image.

Of course that could never happen here.
Or could it?

See Colin Powell for more.

Hagel also happens to agree with Obama on the conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is only being realistic.


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