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RUSH: Are you ready, ladies and gentlemen, for Hagelmania? Do you know what Hagelmania is? Well, no. I’m not joking. I’m actually asking if people are ready for Hagelmania. Senator Chuck Hagel said yesterday that he’s going to ‘announce his political future’ on Monday. Everybody thinks that he’s going to announce for the presidency, but there’s been no word on whether he will say he’s running for president or for reelection.

“The Omaha World-Herald writes that ‘Hagel acts like he’s already running’: For a guy who hasn’t announced a presidential bid, Sen. Chuck Hagel’s schedule next week looks a lot like that of a candidate. He’s slated to appear with nine declared presidential hopefuls — including John McCain, Rudolph Giuliani, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama — before a national firefighters’ group. He’s meeting with his political action committee’s steering committee. He’s scheduled to attend a Nebraska GOP fund-raiser in Washington. … With his solid conservative credentials, opposition to the Iraq war and disgust with President Bush (‘Before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment,’ he just told Esquire), some ‘observers’ believe he could surge to the head…”

Who is saying this? Who in the world is saying this! This is from the USA Today blog. Who’s telling the bloggers at USA Today that ‘some observers believed he could surge to the lead’? You know, there’s an old saying out there that every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president looking back. It just suggests how self-important they think they are as Senators. It’s also why they’re rarely elected president. They’ve never governed. They’re not executives. They’re basically delegators. They have all this staff to go do all the reading and all the writing, and prepare the questions for the hearings and so forth. If something tough comes up, they just give it to the staff, “I’m busy. I’m in Vegas, you understand, sailor?” And they move on and then they show up at the right time, make it look like they’re all prepared and so forth. The Senate doesn’t prepare people for the rigors of executive governance such as governorships do. I don’t know. I must maintain my composure here. (I seem to be trying to do it more and more.) Chuck Hagel is, perhaps, announcing for the presidency on Monday.

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