“I said after I was elected in 1996 that 12 years in the Senate would probably be enough. It is…I will not seek a third term in the United States Senate, nor do I intend to be a candidate for any office in 2008.” Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) announces his retirement, which may just mean a return to the Senate for Bob Kerrey. (So, he’s not running…I guess the trial balloon popped.) In any event, I thought Hagel maddeningly buckled to party pressure more often than not when the heat was on, and I still hold his attempted poison-pill amendment to McCain-Feingold back in 2000 against him. But, he also possessed a definite maverick streak on the war and a penchant for speaking-truth-to-power every so often that’ll be sorely missed on his side of the aisle. So, farewell, Senator Hagel, and please give yourself at least a few weeks off before commencing the fundraising for 2012.