Stand-up Comity: Chuck Hagel vs Lambchop for Vice-President

It is rumored that Chuck Hagel, the departing senator from Nebraska, one of the only Republicans to oppose strenuously George W. Bush's illegal, immoral and counter-productive occupation of Iraq and his authorization of the use of torture in interrogations, is under consideration for vice president by Barack Obama as well as, more predictably despite their differences over Iraq, John McCain.

If picked by Obama, Hagel would bring to the Democratic ticket the experience of a seasoned Washington insider (he has served on senate committees overseeing banking, foreign relations and intelligence) and the requisite record of service in Vietnam. As a bonus, his vigorous opposition to the Iraq war would reassure Democrats worried about how seriously Obama will pursue withdrawal. The very junior senator from Illinois plans to pack his cabinet with Republicans anyway, so why not start at the top?

McCain, on the other hand, who agrees with the conservative Cornhusker on virtually every other issue, can, by choosing a running mate anathematic to the White House, further distance himself from the most unpopular president in history without otherwise alienating his base.

While unorthodox, the best outcome might be for Hagel to be nominated for vice president by both parties simultaneously. Not only would McCain and Obama get to underscore their commitment to bringing a new era of comity to the nation's politics, but the rest of us would get to enjoy the spectacle of a debate between a U.S Senator and his sock puppet.

See, And Obama's Veep is...a Republican? by Mike Madden (Salon) and
Hagel would ‘consider’ joining Democratic ticket by Steve Benen (The Carpetbagge Report, 2008-06-21)

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