Sen. Chuck Hagel is retiring

Not particularly shocked, but it’s reported that Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is retiring from the Senate and won’t run for president. This is good for the Democrats because it means that the GOP will not only have to field a candidate in the district, but also throw lots of money at a seat they thought was pretty safe.

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.

The GOP’s field of presidential candidates must be breathing a sigh of relief. On the face Hagel seems like your old-school non-extremist Republican. You know, the rare sane kind. The kind who didn’t accuse you of treason because you disagreed with him. The Republican Independent voters probably would have flocked to him if he decided to run for president, not to mention the surprisingly large number of so-called progressives who think Hagel is the cat’s pajamas for whatever inane reason.

From MSNBC

Hagel, 60, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and would be up for reelection in 2008.

Hagel, a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, has emerged on the national stage as a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.
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