Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel told “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he was “not happy with the Republican Party,” and hinted he might make an independent run for president, perhaps with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg by his side.

It’s possible Hagel’s antiwar conservatism and Bloomberg’s appeal as a Republican moderate could find traction among unenthusiastic Republican voters and spoil the election for the GOP.

Congressional Quarterly:

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., continues to weigh a 2008 presidential campaign, and he is hinting that he might run as an independent — perhaps in tandem with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In an interview Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Hagel, one of the GOP’s sharpest critics of the war in Iraq, said, “I am not happy with the Republican Party today. It has drifted from the party of Eisenhower, of Goldwater, of Reagan, the party that I joined.”

Hagel said he would decide by late summer whether to get into the presidential race. He also voiced support for the notion of a third-party or independent option in 2008, saying, “I think it shakes the system up. The system needs to be shaken up.”

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