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Hagel: I'm Staying Out Of It

Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who was mentioned as a potential running mate for Barack Obama on the "Republicans For Obama" conference call today, has issued a statement making it clear he is not exactly angling for the job.

"Senator Hagel has no intention of getting involved in any of the campaigns and is not planning to endorse either candidate," the statement, first reported by USA Today, says. The Wall Street Journal reports more from the statement: "He will be in Central and South America during both conventions on official travel. Senator Hagel is focused on his job serving the people of Nebraska as a United States Senator."

As USA Today notes, Hagel is a close friend of McCain but sharply disagreed with the presumptive GOP nominee on the Iraq war. He is retiring from the Senate this year and was mentioned as a possible third-party candidate earlier in the campaign.