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Senator Mike Johanns (NE) listens to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s responses during Secretary Vilsack’s testimony on “Healthy Food Initiatives, Local Production and Nutrition,” before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 in W
So freshman Sen. Mike Johanns didn't even need a full term in the Senate to decide he was bored and wanted out. The former two-term governor, who cruised to a relatively comfortable 58-40 victory over Democrat Scott Kleeb in 2008, has announced his intention to retire at the end of his first and only term, and has communicated that intent to Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.

Interesting, because Heineman is number one with a bullet in terms of Republican choices to replace him. Heineman has been a wildly popular vote-getter, so much so that he beat a true Nebraska legend—former congressman and Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Tom Osborne, a man revered for bringing three national championships to Lincoln—in a 2006 gubernatorial primary, before crushing two hapless Democrats in the 2006 and 2010 general elections with over 73 percent of the vote in both cycles.

Will Heineman run? He passed up a shot at the Senate in 2012, so maybe he's not that interested, and he's not exactly a kid (he'll be 66 years old in 2014). True, 2014 may be an easier race—the Democratic field will be weaker this time out without former Sen. Bob Kerrey running—but Heineman is sufficiently popular that he doesn't really have to worry about who the Democratic nominee is, and never did; he'd have skated in 2012, and he'll skate now, if he wants the seat.

If he doesn't run, Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith might seek to succeed Johanns, as might State Treasurer Don Stenberg (who has now run four times for the United States Senate, so who would put it past him?) Of course, in a truly open primary it's hard to know who might be competitive; current Sen. Deb Fischer, after all, was a little-known state senator two years ago but managed to win a wild three-way Republican primary.

On the Democratic side, Bob Kerrey is out, which pretty much leaves the number of well-known, well-funded Democrats on the bench at zero. There are, of course, a number of enterprising Nebraska Democrats looking at a statewide race, but chances are, most of them will opt for a potentially winnable gubernatorial race (Heineman is term-limited) rather than a suicide mission against Dave Heineman.

There is, of course, one Nebraskan who could conceivably run as a Democrat and win—a conservative with success in the private sector and a long record of service in Vietnam, in the Reagan administration, and two terms in the U.S. Senate, including a 2002 reelection bid when he won 81 percent of the vote.

That's Chuck Hagel, and perhaps Senate Republicans should think twice about blocking his nomination for secretary of defense.

3:48 PM PT (David Jarman): As for whether Heineman actually will run, we won't know right away; Heineman says he will take "a few days" to mull it over, though he did add a postscript to that, that he has never "indicated that being in the Senate is my dream job." Rep. Jeff Fortenberry also floated his name, saying "I will consider a run for the United States Senate" (though I suspect Fortenberry wouldn't get in if Heineman entered, since Fortenberry would have to give up his lifetime sinecure in NE-01 for a long-shot primary battle).

Roll Call also points out a few other GOP possibilities, in addition to the above-mentioned Heineman, Fortenberry, Smith, and Stenberg: one is ex-state Treasurer (and ex-naval aviator) Shane Osborn; another is businessman Pete Ricketts, who lost the 2006 Senate election to Ben Nelson (and son of Super PAC-funding, Cubs-owning Joe Ricketts). AG Jon Bruning is another possibility, though he still carries baggage from his 2012 GOP Senate primary loss to Fischer. Finally, they mention Nebraska's other Rep., NE-02's Lee Terry, who gave Politico the rather vague promise that "I will think about it at some time."

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (25+ / 0-)

    Contributing editor at Daily Kos and Daily Kos Elections, member of three-time NN pub quiz champion Sea Org.

    by Arjun Jaikumar on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:45:53 AM PST

  •  Awesome ending (22+ / 0-)

    "There is, of course, one Nebraskan who could conceivably run as a Democrat and win—a conservative with success in the private sector and a long record of service in Vietnam, in the Reagan administration, and two terms in the U.S. Senate, including a 2002 reelection bid when he won 81 percent of the vote.

    That's Chuck Hagel, and perhaps Senate Republicans should think twice about blocking his nomination for Secretary of Defense."

    I think that wins quote of the month in my book.

    Registered in NY-02, College CT-01, Spent most of the rest of my life on the border of NY-08 and NY-15

    by R30A on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:52:30 AM PST

  •  Hagel as a Democrat? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betelgeux, Involuntary Exile

    don't make me puke. It's bad enough having him nominated as a Republican for a cabinet office BY a Democrat. But actually run AS a Democrat? Fuck that.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:00:21 AM PST

    •  Consider the alternative (17+ / 0-)

      Also, consider how he's apparently grown since his last stint. Would it really disgust you so much to have an independent thinker who's reviled by his former party, opposes all kinds of military adventurism from a personally moral standpoint as a Vietnam vet, strongly supports large needed cuts in military spending, and has apparently become a supporter of gay rights at least to some degree? I would welcome him into the party, also keeping in mind Nate Silver's analysis of party-switchers, which showed that they moved a considerable degree toward the center of their new party, on average, after they switched.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:11:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, the Democratic Party needs to be inclusive (7+ / 0-)

        If we're going to be a more tolerant and less combative pary than the Republican Party, we need to show it.  There are moderates and conservatives who do believe in Democratic causes.

        Besides, Nebraska is a red state so we unfortunately need to start building our base rather than just hoping for the best.  

      •  Which is why I am agnostic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JBraden

        about his being Defense Secretary.

        And I am a big supporter of being a "big tent" party. But being a party also needs to have meaning and if he was to be the democratic nominee he would have to change far more than he has so far. The guy is a right winger.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:40:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, pistolSO, R30A

        OTOH he WILL be SoD and therefore not available.

        •  Someone on another thread called Hagel a (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, jolux, R30A

          "warmongering teabagger."

          Look, the guy is a Republican and his Senate voting record wasn't great, but in terms of the military and foreign policy I'm totally fine with Hagel.

          He criticized the surge and at least the way the war in Iraq was fought. From what I understand he voted "for the war" but wasn't a fan of actually going into Iraq, although I need to research that.

          I'd be way happier with someone like Hagel winning Nebraska as a Dem than having someone like Feinstein in a totally safe seat in California blocking Filibuster Reform.

          When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

          by PhillyJeff on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:28:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, Hagel wrote a rather detailed screed (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, Odysseus, jolux, R30A, kman23

            about why Iraq was a bad idea, and then ended it with "but I'll vote in favor".  Easy to criticize now, but at the time for a Republican to vote against Teh Decider would have required humungous brass testicles.  I'd like to think Hagel is now on the "won't get fooled again" team, but who knows.  He is probably the best we could hope for from Nebraska.

            http://www.esquire.com/...

            I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

            by Russycle on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:39:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I remember the "warmongering teabagger" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, jolux, R30A

            I thought it was silly and uninformed and said so in my reply.

            As to Hagel's feelings about Iraq before voting for it, they were very, very cautious. If you have the time, look for his Senate speech on he topic before the vote, it's very interesting I think. Difficult to understand how after giving such a speech he still voted yes....

      •  Also, in his worst of days as a Repub, he (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        R30A, MichaelNY

        managed to occasionally take on some of the nutty excesses of his party, notably going against the prevailing Republican sentiment on Elian Gonzalez and keeping Terri Schiavo on life support

        "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

        by Leftovers on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:35:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, fuck that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MetroGnome, MichaelNY

      That attitude is what gave us Deb Fischer but by GOD we kept the Democratic party by defeating Bob Kerry.  Yeah, fuck that and just sit back and watch Deb Fischer.  Yeah fuck that.

      The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

      by bgblcklab1 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:44:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, fuck that (0+ / 0-)

        If we're just gonna run Republicans we may as well BE Republicans. Fuck that.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:31:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How bad a Democrat was Specter (0+ / 0-)

          after he changed back a few years ago? A very good one, actually. But if you'd rather be a reverse DeMint, have fun.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:35:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gimme a break (0+ / 0-)

            Spector is not Hagel. Hagel is and has been a very right wing Republican. Spector was a Democrat before he was a Republican and was a very liberal Republican. You're talking apples and oranges.

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:01:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

              I'm talking about the results of party-switching. If Hagel moves as far as Specter did, he would end up being a right-of-center Democrat. And that would be great for NE, if he could actually win.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:42:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  IF... Hagel moved that far... (0+ / 0-)

                for Spector it was a few steps to the left. For Hagel it would be quite the hike.

                I stand by my contention that it is a self-defeating proposition as running a right wing republican as a Democrat is an admission of defeat up front and a capitulation of everything Democrats stand for. It is faaaaar better to build the party brand in such a place so that actual Democrats can win. And if that actual Democrat is a Manchin or Tester or McCaskill or Donnelley or whoever else that's fine by me. They do not harm the party and while they may be more moderate or conservative then me they are good for the party and build the party brand. They do not work aganst the party. Lieberman worked against the party despite being quite liberal in many ways. Hagel is a right wing Republican even if he isn't a batshit crazy teabagger. If Hagel wants to show that he is now Arlen Specter then my attitude might change but he hasn't. He is a right wing Republican not a Democrat and would be very bad for the party, more bad then good.

                "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                by Andrew C White on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:38:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree about Specter (0+ / 0-)

                  He moved quite a bit and hadn't been so liberal at all, just in the context of the Republican Party. And the major thing this ignores is the fact that no-one else has a ghost of a chance of winning as a Democrat in NE.

                  Forget Lieberman. He's from Connecticut. Not relevant, as that's a blue state.

                  Also, calling Hagel a "right-wing Republican" in the context of today's Republican Party is really ignoring what a right-wing Republican really is now. The differences between Hagel and a Rand Paul are quite marked.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:05:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, this... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MichaelNY
                    The differences between Hagel and a Rand Paul are quite marked.
                    ... is very true. But it doesn't make Hagel a Democrat or anything close to it.

                    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                    by Andrew C White on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:29:11 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And now it's all moot (0+ / 0-)

                      As Senator Shelby has announced his support for Hagel's nomination for SecDef, so apparently, that gives him enough votes to win appointment despite the filibuster.

                      I think he has a chance to be a great SecDef.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:30:33 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Because party purity is working out so well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          for the tea bags, the Democrats should adopt the same failed philosophy.  BRILLIANT!

          The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

          by bgblcklab1 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:10:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So we should adopt the failed policy (0+ / 0-)

            of being Republicans? That worked so well for us during the Bush years didn't it?

            I've no problem with running moderate or even conservative Democrats when that is called for but let's at least run Democrats.

            Seriously... if we're going to run conservative Republicans, and make no mistake, Hagel is a Conservative Republican, then what is the point of being a different party at all?

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:55:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  backwards (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bgblcklab1, MichaelNY

              We're not being Republicans.  We're seeing if Republicans like Hagel and Specter can adopt the policy of being Democrats.

              What's the difference between a conservative Democrat like Manchin and a moderate Republican like Hagel or William Weld?

              •  Weld is a moderate Republican (0+ / 0-)

                Hagel is a right wing Republican.

                Manchin is a Democrat... a conservative Democrat but a Democrat.

                Specter was a Democrat who became a moderate Republican who then became a moderate Democrat.

                Hagel is a right wing Republican.

                If Hagel changes and becomes more like Specter or Weld then I might change my tune but he hasn't. He's still a right wing Republican. And running right wing Republicans as Democrats is bad for the party.

                "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                by Andrew C White on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:41:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Specter as a Democrat (0+ / 0-)

                  He was just slightly right of the dead center of the Democratic Party after he switched parties. That might be what you mean by "moderate Democrat," but it's pretty liberal, overall.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:32:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Moderate republican (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          I wonder if there were Republicans who refused to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980 because he once was a Democrat, ignoring the fact that the Dem party even in 1980 was much different from Reagan's idea of the Democratic party.  The GOP of 2013 is similarly different from the Hagel version of the GOP.  I think Dems should consider presenting themselves as a safe haven for any Republican getting chased out of the GOP because they're not a teabagger nut.  

          If Hagel withdraws from the Defense post and commits to both switching to the Democratic party and running for the Senate in 2014, I'd be pleased with that plan.  

          Hmm, maybe Hagel should switch parties anyway.  If he's confirmed, he can then be a Democrat running the Defense department, belonging to a more welcoming party.

    •  Please (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      R30A, MichaelNY

      This is Nebraska, buddy.  This isn't a place like Massachusetts where a good liberal has the political capital to dick around with purity tests.  Hell, I'd vote for Hagel in a hot minute if I lived in Nebraska.  There is such a thing as a lesser of two evils in a deep red or deep blue state.  Strategic voting.  Try it sometime.  

      •  He's a Republican (0+ / 0-)

        it's got nothing to do with purity tests.

        He's a Republican. He's even a right wing Republican.

        If all we're going to do is run Republicans why should we even bother existing as a party?

        Fuck that.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:33:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, fuck that (0+ / 0-)

          because liberal Democrats are so strong in Nebraska.

          Even he probably couldn't win as a Democrat, but you'd rather fuck the only chance. As you say, fuck that!

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:36:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No one is saying anything about liberal democrats (0+ / 0-)

            I would not advise running Teddy Kennedy in Nebraska. I'm fine with running conservative Democrats in conservative states... but the emphasis in that statement is on running conservative Democrats.

            If we are going to be republicans... then why bother?

            Seriously, I think this is an incredibly bad losing strategy. We aren't going to win every race. That's a given. And Nebraska US Senator is probably one of those we aren't going to win in the current environment. What you do under those circumstances is build the brand and you do that by running a strong Democratic candidate appropriate for the state but also strongly espousing Democratic values and viewpoints.

            By running a Republican or by running Democrats that run against the Democratic Party, and I'm not talking about being conservative or moderate here but rather running against the party, is you devalue the Democratic brand and make it so that Democrats can never win in that state. It is a self-defeating approach.

            So yes, fuck that.

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:59:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you want to give up on all constituencies (0+ / 0-)

              where a majority voted for Romney, you condemn the Democrats to a long-term minority in the House. Have fun!

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:44:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are busy arguing points (0+ / 0-)

                I am not making and ignoring the one I am Michael. What's up with that?

                "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                by Andrew C White on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:31:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your point in a nutshell, as I read it (0+ / 0-)
                  We aren't going to win every race. That's a given. And Nebraska US Senator is probably one of those we aren't going to win in the current environment. What you do under those circumstances is build the brand and you do that by running a strong Democratic candidate appropriate for the state but also strongly espousing Democratic values and viewpoints.
                  The way I read this is, run some generic Democrat and lose by 30. And that's called a surrender, if Hagel is blocked from being SecDef and wants to run as a Democrat and have a chance to win. You don't "build the brand" by running an obscure generic Democrat who has no chance of even coming within 15-20 points of victory.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:09:09 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ok, then you read some extra into it (0+ / 0-)

                    because I emphasized building the brand not "run some generic Democrat." Running Hagel is short sighted. Run a Democrat that is appropriate for Nebraska. We've done that well on places like Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, West Virginia (though i think we've probably run out the string there), Colorado, Nevada, etc. Running a right wing Republican does not help us and in my opinion is actually counter productive to building up a Nebraska Democratic Party that can win. It tells Nebraska that actual Democrats suck and aren't worthy to be on the ballot. That costs the entire party.

                    Running someone like Hagel is surrender. Running a Democrat is competing.

                    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                    by Andrew C White on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:24:28 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Hagel couldn't win in NE running as a Republican. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Andrew C White

      He sure as shit can't win running as a Democrat. He's already considered a traitor to the Party and he's still a Republican.  A switch to Democrat would make him radioactive.

      "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

      by Involuntary Exile on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:55:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To put it mildly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Andrew C White

      We don't have a deep bench in Nebraska.

      •  I understand that (0+ / 0-)

        and here I think is the critical point.

        In my view running Hagel would be very shortsighted. Yes, he might give us the best opportunity to win... though I doubt he would. But it would destructive of the Democratic Party brand in Nebraska and set us back in any attempts to build the brand and a bench there.

        During the 90's and 00's the Democratic Party tried a method of shying away from being Democrats and running as Republicans only just more competent. It didn't work. The question poised was always, if they are both Republicans why shouldn't I vote for the real thing? And we lost regularly. We lost not only elections but credibility.

        During these last few years Democrats have started coming on strong and winning in places we wouldn't normally be expected to win. We've done so by running strongly and proudly as Democrats. That doesn't mean "liberal" Democrats just plain Democrats. Montana provides a very good example of that. I think the same needs to be done in Nebraska. Build a strong Democratic Party that is appropriate to Nebraska and stand strongly as Democrats. People respond to that and they respond well. They want choices in their elections and a choice between 2 Republicans is just going to cause those who might be open to us to stay home and allow the crazier part of the Republican constituency to gain ground.

        It is for this very reason that I think running a Hagel in Nebraska is a short-sighted, huge and self-defeating mistake.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:49:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is why its so crucial to knock off Lee Terry (13+ / 0-)

    in the 2nd.  There's such a big gap between the constituencies of a state legislator and statewide offices such as Governor and US Senator in Nebraska that its almost impossible these days for a Nebraska Dem to have the name id to compete statewide for votes and money.  If we can capture the 2nd Congressional District seat that can go a long way to bump up your statewide prospects.

  •  I still think that farmer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GayHillbilly, jolux, Leftovers, betelgeux

    whose name escapes me but whose complaints that the Keystone XL threatened the aquifer his livestock rely on led to the blocking of the project could be an interesting dark horse candidate.

    If the Dems convince him to run...

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:15:16 AM PST

    •  Think he's a Republican, but that's probably (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CF of Aus

      the only issue, Heinemann's vulnerable on.

      "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

      by Leftovers on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:47:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lots of Dems used to be Republicans (0+ / 0-)

        and changing parties is becoming ever more attractive to sane Republicans.

        Let's say he is a Republican.  A concerted effort could convince him to switch.

        When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

        by litho on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:03:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  hard to believe this seat was once held by JJ Exon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Involuntary Exile

    anyways, I see someone like Adrian Smith running for this seat.

    RRH expat (known as AquarianLeft). Also known as freepcrusher on leip atlas forum

    by demographicarmageddon on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:22:24 AM PST

  •  Eric Crouch? (0+ / 0-)

    Okay, no idea what his politics are but he did a couple of campaign appearances for Rick Kolowski who I believe is a Democrat?

    #ConstructNotObstruct http://polliticstoday.wordpress.com

    by RVKU on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:29:02 AM PST

    •  Checked Nebraska votercheck (0+ / 0-)

      Eric Crouch is a registered Republican. Kolowski was the principal at Crouch's high school, thus Crouch helped his campaign out a bit.

      The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

      by RBH on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:22:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I actually went to Crouch's high school too, (0+ / 0-)

        but Kolowski was the principal for Millard West HS, not Millard North (Crouch's school).  So I guess maybe Crouch lives in his district?

        Yeah, okay buddy.

        by jtb583 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:23:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

          apologies there... Votercheck says Crouch is in the 39th District (Beau McCoy)

          gotta love a voter lookup system so concise that it only requires first/last name and county of residence

          The Republican Party isn't a party of small government, it's a party of a government for the few. @bhindepmo

          by RBH on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:30:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Jane Kleeb? (3+ / 0-)

    I know they are raising their young kids so it may not be the right time.

  •  Kerrey was the last Democrat who could win? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BB Jam Fan

    Why, again, did we not lift a finger for him in 2012?

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:49:17 AM PST

  •  As a registered voter in Nebraska (9+ / 0-)

    I am throwing my support to former Regent Chuck Hassebrook or State Senator Steve Lathrop. I know Steve wants to make a run for Governor, but I think he would do much better as a Senate nominee. I think Hassebrook is our best hope against anyone for the Governor's mansion.

    Mind you, both pickups are long shots, but don't count anyone out just because Nebraska is a conservative state. If Bruning or Stenberg run and get the nod, Democrats stand a good chance. If Smith or Fortenberry run, it'll be tougher, but nothing is a foregone conclusion. Anything can happen :)

    •  My sense... (0+ / 0-)

      ...is that Heineman is not popular so much as he is just there. What do you think?

      Outside of Fremont (where I have relatives and used to work), I have never heard a single Nebraskan, GOP or Dem, say a nice word about the man. In the cesspool that is Fremont, he is much admired, but those voters also elected Charlie Jansen to the legislature twice.

      Heineman has won because of money, getting the position before he had to run for it, and because he was the Republican in races where the Dems were silent and disarrayed.

  •  Looks like a primary for Karl Rove to spend money (4+ / 0-)

    on to me.  

  •  "perhaps Senate Republicans should think twice" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, emops, MichaelNY

    Oh, wouldn't that be delicious!

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:00:00 PM PST

  •  The mention of Hagel is appropriate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, MichaelNY, R30A, kman23

    Hagel was a self made multimillionaire when he decided to run against a popular incumbent governor, Ben Nelson, in 1996 and won in an upset.

    Today, Dems' best chance may be a self made multimllionaire who is willing to go against a popular incumbent governor, Dave Heineman. A win would certainly be an upset.  

  •  Don't know about Dems (0+ / 0-)

    but Todd Akin is willing to relocate...

    http://abcnews.go.com/...

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:12:54 PM PST

  •  Hagel winning the Senate seat as a Dem would be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mangusta, MichaelNY, R30A, JBraden

    a beautiful thing, although I doubt he'd want back into that zoo.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:17:11 PM PST

  •  I need a napkin as I'm drooling at the thought... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    of Hagel running as a dem and beating the pug for the Nebraska senate seat. Wow, that would be icing on a five tier wedding cake!!!!

    While not all republicans are bigots, all bigots are republicans.

    by Maximilien Robespierre on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:30:44 PM PST

  •  I'd think that would make them filibuster (0+ / 0-)

    their scared little tushes off!  Last thing they want is to have him run in 2014 with the visibility and gravitas being Secretary of Defense would provide!  

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 01:33:41 PM PST

  •  outside the box (3+ / 0-)

    Let's face it.  It's Nebraska.  We will not get someone who is great on all fronts.  So what is possible there?  

    As one who knows very little about Nebraska politics, let me know out the name of a non-politician; and who probably has no interest in running.  

    Howard Graham Buffett.  Warren Buffett's son.  On the board at Berkshire and Coke.  Was once on the board at AMD (bad in my book, but perhaps good in NE).  An expert in agriculture and even has a farm.  Major philanthropist and world class environmental photographer.  

    Per Wikipedia:

    Howard G. Buffett grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has been active in business, politics, agriculture, conservation, photography, and philanthropy. In August 1977, he married Marcia Sue Duncan.[1] Also in 1977, he began farming in Tekamah, Nebraska.[2] His father purchased the property for $300,000 and charged him rent.[3] He currently farms 400 acres (1.6 km2) of farmland in Nebraska. He later married Devon Morse, and they had a son, Howard Warren Buffett. Buffett currently resides in Decatur, Illinois and operates a 1,240-acre (5.0 km2) family farm in Pana, Illinois.[4] He is an advocate of no-till conservation agriculture.[2]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Also per Wikipedia:

    Buffett serves or has served on the National Geographic Council, World Wildlife Fund National Council, Cougar Fund, Platte River Whooping Crane Trust Advisory Committee, Illinois and Nebraska Chapters of the Nature Conservancy, Ecotrust, De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust, and the Africa Foundation. Buffett founded the Nature Conservation Trust, a non-profit Trust in South Africa to support cheetah conservation, the International Cheetah Conservation Foundation, and was a Founding Director of The Cougar Fund. In October 2007, Buffett was named an Ambassador Against Hunger by the United Nations World Food Programme.[11] In March 2010, Buffet became a member of the Eastern Congo Initiative founded by Ben Affleck. "I joined Ben in this effort because I believe strongly in investing in sustainable solutions to humanitarian challenges," he said.
    I'm willing to bet he could even self-fund.  
  •  All politics are local (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Christopher Walker

    I am from Omaha, Ne and I can tell you it had nothing to do with popularity that beat Tom Osborn. It was local school politics. The OPS school district was tired of having all the poor kids, and little funds, and the Millard school district, where all the white flight happened, had money. So OPS made a land grab to take over large portions of MPS and get the money. Of course the MPS parents did not want to give up their golden education, so they fought it hard. Courts, unicameral, and the govener's race. Heinaman came in out in full support of MPS and promised as govener to stop it. Osborn was silent on the local issue. The rest is history. Heinaman got eleceted and we now have a board that covers all districts in the area,but really does nothing and all the better off kids dont have to mix with the poor ones.

  •  How about John Cavanaugh? (0+ / 0-)

    He was a Democratic Congressman from Omaha from 1976-80, & didn't run for reelection because he wanted to return to Nebraska. He's now 67, & head of a nonprofit in Omaha.

    http://buildingbrightfutures.net/...

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