Former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey is leaving the door open for a bid to replace Sen. Chuck Hagel if the Nebraska Republican decides to retire, Politico's Ben Smith reports.
"It's a fairly simple decision," Kerrey told Ben on Wednesday. "There's no mathematics involved, presuming Sen. Hagel doesn't run. I may say yes, I may say no, but it's not going to take long.
Kerrey is a former Navy Seal and Vietnam veteran who served on the 9/11 Commission, He has served as the intellectually independent president of the New School in New York City since retiring from the Senate in 2001.
Hagel's retirement coupled with a Kerrey candidacy would make the seat even harder for Republicans to defend.
"I'm the happiest of all if Chuck Hagel runs," Kerrey said. "Case closed. If he's not going to run for reelection then I have to make a decision, and I'll make it quickly."