The Man Who Hijacked The Straight-Talk Express: Why Chuck Hagel is the new John McCain


The old straight-talking, damn-the-talking-points John McCain, it is now clear, ceased to exist in the summer of 2004, when he put an emphatic end to four years of well-grounded chatter that he’d abandon the Republican Party and mount a Teddy Roosevelt–style Presidential bid as an independent.

Instead, Mr. McCain threw himself headlong into an effort to re-elect President George W. Bush—the same man he once charged with “twisting the truth like Clinton.” (And this was before the President had ever uttered a word about W.M.D. or uranium enrichment.) Public courtships of Jerry Falwell and creationism enthusiasts soon followed.

Mr. Hagel, meanwhile, has taken up where Mr. McCain left off, scorning his party’s high priests and relieving himself in their sacred temples. Now, the 60-year-old Nebraskan—like Mr. McCain, a decorated Vietnam veteran—is edging toward parlaying that appealing independence into a Presidential bid.


Related: The Anti-War Republican Presidential Candidate? (politricks.mnp)

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