As the 2008 presidential election gets underway (I know, I know... I'm a little late with this), there will be plenty of small entertainments to go around. Right now we're in the "Great Mentioning" phase of the campaign, although in reality that started back in 2001. One of the names occasionally mentioned in the Great Mentioning is that of Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.
So here's the first entry in our new game, called "Count the Qualifiers." People who take part in the Great Mentioning, both the mentioners and the mentioned, want the mentioned to display some level of coyness, or perhaps modesty, about the exact nature of their ambitions. You can't just come right out during the Great Mentioning and say, "I'm running for president!" That's so... hackneyed. It makes you seem like an overeager ten-year-old trying to get picked first for a team in P.E. Instead, you have to play it coy. Is he running? Who knows! This week, it's Senator Hagel's turn. Here's a quote from today's Lincoln Journal-Star.
"I hope to be in position to have the option of entertaining the possibility of running for president."
Hagel has set the bar pretty high with this one, but we'll see if any others of the mentioned can beat him.