Bloomberg, Hagel Dine In Manhattan

Lest the presidential ticket rumors begin to subside, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel reunited for dinner in Manhattan on Wednesday.

The pair caused a stir last spring when they found friendship as like-minded maverick Republicans, sparking speculation of a Bloomberg-Hagel ticket in the 2008 race. Then, Bloomberg dropped his GOP affiliation to become an independent and Hagel announced he would not seek re-election for his Senate seat.

Bloomberg denies having any plans to run for president but gives his aides and supporters free reign to promote the idea.

After Bloomberg and Hagel shared another not-so-secret dinner in Washington last May, Hagel said in a television interview that it was time for a third-party candidacy to shake things up. He also mused about the idea of him and Bloomberg running together.

"We didn't make any deals. But I think Mayor Bloomberg is the kind of individual who should seriously think about this," Hagel said. "It's a great country to think about - a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation."

Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser declined to say what Hagel and the mayor discussed Wednesday evening.

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