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Hagel Says He'd Consider An Obama VP Offer

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said in an interview with the Associated Press that he would consider accepting an offer to be Barack Obama's running mate, if asked.

Hagel, who has been a vocal critic of the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, added that he doesn't expect to be on a presidential ticket. Still, the Nebraska senator's non-denial of interest is sure to add fuel to the fire of those calling for Obama to pick a Republican to balance the ticket.

"If it would occur, I would have to think about it," Hagel said. "I think anybody, anybody would have to consider it. Doesn't mean you'd do it, doesn't mean you'd accept it, could be too many gaps there, but you'd have to consider it, it's the only thing you could do. Why wouldn't you?"

In his book, "America: Our Next Chapter," Hagel said that the decision to go to war in Iraq was "the triumph of the so-called neoconservative ideology, as well as Bush administration arrogance and incompetence."

Hagel, a Vietnam veteran who hasn't endorsed either Obama or McCain, told the AP he hasn't thought about who he'll vote for in November.
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    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.