So I’m Flipping Channels…


And I came across Book TV / CSPAN-2 (just to show you how excited I am about the NBA Playoffs… though the LeBron/Pierce show was quite good today – okay, I’m rambling), and I catch quite a bit of Chuck Hagel talking about his new book, America: The Next Chapter (or something like that).

Okay, so Hagel’s going to be the next Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense, but what I’m really wondering is if there’s any chance that he could be Obama’s VP.

I suddenly have a new favorite Republican.

Is Urbino still awake out there?


11 Responses to “So I’m Flipping Channels…”

  1. urbino Says:

    I saw that, too. If you like Hagel, you may want to start reading Steve Clemons’s blog. He’s a Big Fan.

    I’m not so much. Hagel says a lot of the right things, but he’s never done anything to back it up. With one exception (and I can’t remember exactly what it was, right now), he’s voted to support the Bush administration right down the line — both in committee and on the floor.

    A further frustration is that if he really believes what he says and thinks these things are important, why is he retiring from the senate, where he has the seniority in his caucus and is enough of a media darling to actually do some good on these issues?

    Even Arlen Specter — the jedi master of the critical remark/supporting vote mind trick — has voted to rein in the administration more times than Hagel.

  2. Michael Lasley Says:

    Seriously, I’ve got nothing to add to this conversation, other than: a) you more or less got the title correct; b) the title — America: Our Next Chapter: Tough Questions blah blah, has not one but 2 colons in it, which must mean it’s a really good book; and, c) the customer reviews on amazon had lots of exclamation points, which is always a good sign.

  3. alsturgeon Says:

    See, now that’s interesting stuff (Hagel’s actual track record). I liked what I heard him “say” (well, now I’m sounding like a Hillary vs. Obama speech).

    As to the why he’s retiring from the senate, I understood that he promised 12 years ago that he would retire after two terms and has stood by his promise. Not sure why he made the promise… Anyhoo, I figure he’ll be President Obama’s Secretary of Defense (but then again, I’m just a fringe political observer who likes making predictions just for the fun of it).

    Two colons, huh? I’ve heard of that condition. Sounds painful.

  4. urbino Says:

    Good point about the self-term-limiting. (That’s why he made the promise, btw; he’s a fan of term-limits.) I’d forgotten about that.

    Others — notably the aforementioned uber-insider Steve Clemons — disagree with me, so maybe I’m too hard on the family Chuckster. I’m just not seeing whatever it is they’re seeing; and when I raise the point about his voting record, the response is always about something he said at this press conference or that cocktail party, or how his heart’s in the right place, all of which is highly unsatisfying.

    Exclamation points truly are a good sign in a book review. Like semis in a restaurant parking lot.

  5. Michael Lasley Says:

    A couple of the reviews also used bunches of words IN ALL CAPS in addition to the exclamation points. I didn’t find it necessary to include that in my brief analysis of said reviews. I include it now only to see how this might add to the semis / restaurant analogy.

  6. urbino Says:

    Hmmmm . . . I’d say all caps is akin to having an endearing misspelling of “country” somewhere on the restaurant’s sign, including the presence of misused quotation marks and/or apostrophes.

    BTW, will your contributions to the blog now consist of reviews of reviews of books? It’s very meta-rhetorical of you.

  7. Michael Lasley Says:

    That may be my lasting contribution to the world of letters.

  8. Michael Lasley Says:

    And continuing to hijack the thread to talk about punctuation and truck-stops, but, JU, what was the ranking system that William Least Heat Moon used for restaurants? Something involving calendars, but I can’t remember what it was.

  9. urbino Says:

    I have no recollection of that, senator. Seriously. Which book is that in?

  10. Michael Lasley Says:

    Blue Highways. Something about how old the calendar is, I think. And maybe something about what it’s advertising.

  11. urbino Says:

    That book didn’t make a big impression on me. PrairyErth was the one for me.

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