Too early, you say?
Not if you plan to run for office in 2008!
So then, who WILL (or may, or should) run in 2008?
Well, Leavenworth Street takes a look at who the players are for the 2008 Senate seat.
This is Hagel’s seat as we speak. He may run for President, he may not. But if he does run for Prez, he may still try to keep his Senate seat (at least we’re pretty sure this is allowed in Nebraska — feel free to weigh in on this, as we don’t feel like doing the research at the moment). Now Hagel’s support in Republican circles in Nebraska is waning. Many are unhappy with the way he hasn’t supported the President. Dems love this and many love him for it. But they won’t be voting in this primary.
Many felt that the popular former Governor and present Secretary of Agriculture could have been the one to knock off Ben Nelson had he desired to run. And many feel that if Hagel drops out, this is Johanns seat for the taking, if he wants it. It is likely that if he decided to get in, no one else would bother him in a primary. But the longer he would wait to make a decision, the more likely others would jump in. However many believe that Johanns doesn’t have the interest for another combative statewide election. But he’ll be done with President Bush in January 2009 in any case, so he’d be looking for something to do. What that is will keep everyone interested.
So the word is that whether Hagel tries to keep his seat, or not, Bruning is going to challenge in the GOP primary. This would really set up an interesting fight, but just because Hagel has angered the base, doesn’t mean Bruning would waltz in. Bruning has soured many with his seemingly over-eager career plans. He reportedly has poor relationships with both Hagel and Governor, and new political gorilla, Dave Heineman. He has made it clear that he is in for 2008 (though what he would do if Johanns jumped in is unknown) and every move he makes from here on out will be calculated towards that goal.
We don’t know what Ricketts aspirations are after the thumping he took at the hands of Earl Benjamin Nelson. One would think that GOP voters would be leery at giving him another shot with the nomination after the showing he had. There have been suggestions that if the 2nd District House seat opened up he could be interested. On thing is obvious: he wouldn’t run the same kind of campaign as he did against Nelson. And we all know that he still has the cash to decide how that campaign would be run.
Many have suggested that Terry has been setting himself up for a Senate run since he got his House seat. Others suggest that Terry is comfortable in the House and would rather build up his seniority there than try to make the Senate gambit. Since it’s all about seniority in the House, it wouldn’t be a bad move for Terry, and it would benefit the state if he chose to do so as well. But Terry has also been in the majority during his entire stay there, and being on the other end of the stick may sour him just enough to reach for the brass ring in the Senate. Also, others suggest that Terry has a few conservative credentials that need shaping up (tort reform being one) before he could break out of a crowded GOP primary field. And finally there’s, of course, the fact that Terry has never run statewide and may have a more difficult time getting footing west of Omaha. We guess that it will be a little while before Terry makes his decision here.
Some said that the day after he lost to Pete Ricketts, Don Stenberg was gearing up for the 2008 primary. All we can say is, Good Luck Don. Let us know if you’re going to debate this time.
Many have said that it would have been great if Dave Kramer had had Pete Ricketts money to go up against Ben Nelson this time around. Of course, this is like the second string quarterback who is always more popular than the first stringer who is having problems. Kramer surely benefited from the primary run where he was able to get his name out amongst the GOP crowd – and his stint as MC at the Bush event in Grand Island left many finding him a more likable guy. If this is a battle between Bruning and Kramer, it would be interesting to see who the party apparatus would back. But without an elected office, Kramer will have to find a way to stay in the public eye for at least the next year to build up his credentials beyond party-chair and attorney.
The Lieutenant Governor and former Hastings Mayor could have a bright political future in Nebraska, but honestly we have no idea, and doubt he’d bet it all on a Senate run this time. But who knows? We’re open to more info here.
We doubt Daub will take another crack at the Senate – it would be his third try after losing to Dave Karnes and Jim Exon. Daub is still considered the heart of the Reagan Republicans in Nebraska. But as everyone knows, he doesn’t always have the smoothest political style, and it cost him the Omaha Mayor’s job. As the outstanding and effective Omaha Mayor, Daub would probably be the same in the Senate. But alas, he’d have to get elected first, and that has shown to be a problem.
One interesting factor would be if Hagel decided to run for President or something else came up, and he decided to quit his seat before it was up. Then Dave Heineman would get to appoint someone to the seat. While were not sure if this is likely at all, it’s always a fun parlor guessing game. Who would it be? We’d say Daub, for his patriarch of the party status, and the fact that Heineman was his Chief of Staff in the House. Kramer? Maybe if he wanted to give him a head start. Sheehy? If he wanted to give him a huge jump.
The Omaha Mayor’s is the name most Dems like to throw out because, well, who else do they throw out? But many wonder if Fahey has the interest to take on such a bid. Heck, some wonder if he hasn’t just given the keys to the mayor’s office to CoS Paul Landow already.
Patrick Bourne-Maxine Moul-Scott Kleeb- Matt Connealy-Kate Witek or some other Dem who lost a race recently.
The Democrat’s cabinet is otherwise bare. We’ll throw out State Senator Bourne’s name because he’s expresed some interest in some higher office. House is more likely.
Did we miss anyone (I’m sure the Dems must have some other names we didn’t think of)? Put it up on the comments board and if it’s a glaring omission we’ll update the post.
Now start your campaigning!