The Great Paleocon Hope?

[Ross] Two articles in The American Conservative wonder if it might be Chuck Hagel. As a card-carrying Hagel-skeptic, I'm inclined to agree with Jim Pinkerton, who writes that "what remains to be seen is what Hagel would truly do about Iraq that’s different from what has been done and is being done. Even as he was non-announcing, Hagel seemed at pains to reassure his audience that he was not going to offer any starkly divergent choice to Americansnot then, not ever."

As Pinkerton notes, there's plenty of room for a Republican politician (particularly from the Midwest) to champion what's become a forgotten tradition in American politics - a sober-minded foreign-policy realism that's oriented around offshore-balancing rather than the pursuit of hegemony. Becoming the tribune of such a worldview wouldn't get Hagel the 2008 GOP nomination by any stretch of the imagination, but it would make him a voice worth listening to. Everything I've seen, though, suggests that he's more interested in basking in the media attention that comes with being a Bush-basher than articulating a serious alternative to the interventionist consensus that got us into the Iraq War in the first place.