Meet Chuck Hagel, former Republican senator from Nebraska, Vietnam veteran and military advocate, and head of the Atlantic Council, a NATO-focused think tank.

“Hagel has long enjoyed a reputation for being a level-headed, smart mind on foreign affairs and national security issues, which means that he’s been a darling of the Democratic caucus and a thorn in the side of conservative Republicans. This year he told The Cable the Republican party had veered too far right.

In 2007, Hagel announced he would not run to keep his Senate seat, after a long spell of criticizing the Bush adminsiration and Republican Party over the Iraq war. Hagel was so widely regarded the time that headlines called it a “conditional retirement,” believing Washington had not heard the last of him. It also immediately fueled speculation of a presidential run. He passed on that effort, but in 2008 Hagel’s name was kept afloat as Obama’s possible running mate.

Instead, Hagel became chairman of the Atlantic Council, where his duties have kept him front and center with the likes of Bono and Bill Clinton and other global dignitaries and military leaders. The group’s annual awards dinner is a who’s who of military and international affairs glitterati.”


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