Ok, I’ll admit, that I’d be a little uncomfortable having a President named “Chuck” but, hey, we had one named “Jimmy” and he didn’t work out so bad….

The thing about Senator Chuck Hagel is that he’s been a consistent critic of administration policy in Iraq and the neocon press and White House chickenhawks haven’t been able to lay a glove on him. Unlike the Presidentissimus, Senator Hagel actually fought in Vietnam and came home with a chest-full of medals.

He has a direct style, but he doesn’t bludgeon and bloviate. He speaks his Red State mind (the guy is from Nebraska) without reference to the polls (he was WAY out in front on Iraq). And he pulls off that difficult admixture of “regular guy”- cum – “senatorial dignity” very well.

Here’s a recent home state news item that has the Senator opposing Bush’s decision to reinforce Baghdad with 5,000 additional troops:

With Iraq exploding in sectarian violence and “moving closer and closer to a straight-out civil war,” Hagel said, the Bush administration’s decision to transfer nearly 5,000 additional U.S. troops into Baghdad is “only going to make it worse for us.”

In the end, Hagel said, “feed(ing) more American troop fodder into the fight” could result in “even a worse defeat.”

And, yeah, he’s been spotted in New Hampshire…