(Should Hagel decide to run for President, this would be a map-changing event for Senate Democrats' 2008 battle plans. For months, I've assumed that Hagel was disinclined to run for President, but perhaps he sees an opening for a solid conservative challenger to the Romney/McCain/Giuliani triangle that's been giving grief to so many conservative activists. We're just reading tea leaves here, for now. - promoted by James L.)
Originally posted at UNO Democrats
[The rumors are flying fast now in Nebraska, and it seems like
in the next couple of weeks we're going to see some real movement on Hagel's plans. I thought I'd repost this here to pass along the info for all of you - Dave.]
WASHINGTON - For a guy who hasn't announced a presidential bid, Sen. Chuck Hagel's schedule next week looks a lot like that of a candidate.
He's slated to appear with nine declared presidential hopefuls - including John McCain, Rudolph Giuliani, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama - before a national firefighters' group.
He's meeting with his political action committee's steering committee. He's scheduled to attend a Nebraska GOP fund-raiser in Washington.
And speculation was running high among key Nebraska Republicans that Hagel might announce something Monday.
Follow the money, they say. If Hagel is indeed gearing up for a run, he's got to start raising money and fast. So, this item from the same World-Herald article is noteworthy:
The day before that speech, Hagel is expected to attend a Nebraska Republican Party fund-raiser in Washington. Then, on Thursday, he's to sit down with the steering committee of his Sandhills PAC.
For months, Hagel's fundraising had been all but dormant. But he held two fundraisers in the last week, including one Friday in New York City, raising $80,000 for his Senate and PAC campaign funds.
While the money from his Senate campaign account can be transferred into a Presidential account, it is the PAC activity that would hint strongly at a run for President. This article adds a bit of fuel to the months of speculation about Hagel's political future, and its potential impact on the Nebraska political scene. Hagel's decision - whether or not to run for re-election, whether to run for President - is going to impact the U.S. Senate race, possibly the race for our Congressional seat, all the way down to the Omaha city elections in 2009. But it seems that Hagel's starting to mobilize. He's running for something - the only question is what he's running for.
UPDATE (3:53 PM CST) by DaveSund: The New York Times reports that Hagel will hold a press conference Monday to "discuss his future plans."
UPDATE (4:42 PM CST) by DaveSund: The press conference will be on Monday at 10 a.m. at UNO's campus, according to the AP.
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