Hagel & Bloomberg, sittin’ in a (Palm) tree…

As the spring political winds continue to swirl in the Nebraska U.S. Senate race, a few strange items to note:

First is the OWH’s report about Tony Raimondo considering a run for Hagel’s seat (Raimondo testing waters for Senate – OWH – 5/3/07). Now word has it that Raimondo buddy Sen. Ben Nelson is the one trying to get Raimondo to throw his lid into the ring. And if you read the OWH article carefully, you’ll note that it says that Raimondo is a Republican. It goes on to note the other GOPers and Dems who might run. But it never specifically says that Raimondo would run as a Republican. And you’d have to think it would be much easier for him to get the Dem nomination than it would on the other side.

But the other strange item is that Raimondo says that he would “probably not” run if Hagel stays in. Well, right now Hagel is raising money and bringing Senators in for fund raisers. He sure seems like he’s planning to run. If so, why would Raimondo even bother?

Well here’s another odd note, courtesy of the Washington Post today. At the very bottom of the Reliable Source column, you see the following:

HEY, ISN’T THAT . . . ?
Mike Bloomberg and Chuck Hagel dining together last night at the Palm. The New York mayor had a New York strip steak, the Nebraska senator had wild halibut, and each polished off a glass of merlot and mixed berries for dessert. They were deep in conversation for two hours; since both are mulling presidential bids, who was courting whom?

Now for those of you who aren’t aware, Bloomberg and Hagel are the top two in the strange little idea called “Unity ‘08”, the third-party plan for a bi-partisan ticket for President. People have been throwing this idea out to Hagel for a while now, and he generally swats it away with a laugh. But in the recent Salon.com article, Hagel said this:

“I’ve been briefed on what it is … I think that that could end up a very credible effort. It would be a ticket. The American people, whether Democrat or Republican, are so fed up with Washington. They think both parties are in the pockets of big labor, big government or some big entities and the little guy doesn’t have as much of a voice. The lobbyists, the lawyers, the special interests are huge. This place is entangled with the web of special interest in both parties. It’s gotten worse.”

Now that’s hardly laughing it off, and with Hagel’s dinner-date with billionaire Mike Bloomberg, you wonder a little where Hagel’s head is these days.

The winds are still blowing…


  1. The Little Guy says:

    Hagel’s conern for the little guy is what is laughable. He has voted with the special interests consistently. (think US Chamber, NRA,Insurance Companies).

    When the “little guy” gets wind of HAgel’s vote against raising the minimum wage (I think 25 times now), against health care access, against Medicaid, against children’s health care, against meth funding, against overtime protection,…you get the idea.

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    Way to stay on point…

    (And as long as you’re on the topic, you forgot to mention that Hagel hates puppies and Grandma.)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Look at the NDP doing their best National Democratic Party imitation…hedging every possible bet.

    “This guy’s in trouble but the guy putting him in trouble isn’t too strong, so he is in trouble too.”

    Problem is, there is no statewide dem to put anyone in any trouble.

  4. coccopuffpal says:

    I enjoyed the post on Hagle and Bloomberg but the Raimondo stuff seems a bit far-fetched and stupid. I don’t think it’s even plausible…just because some dude says he’s “thinking” about running for office doesn’t mean it should make the papers. I’m thinking about eating an Arby’s right now but you won’t find that in the Omaha paper. The media needs a better BS filter.

  5. Street Sweeper says:

    I’d simply say that I’m in favor of more news over less. Really, the best place for this is in a mention by a political columnist (such as the LJS’s Don Walton), but, alas, the OWH does not have such a columnist.

    But again, that’s why we think Raimondo could run as a Dem. He could get the nom easily, and then could have a puncher’s chance of beating a Bruning (though not Hagel).

    (and you’ll be tempted to go with the Beef n’ Cheddar, but I’m telling ya, that cheese “sauce” just doesn’t cut it…)

  6. Monty says:

    Hagel has breakfast monthly with Greenspan. Does this mean he and Alan plan to take over the Fed. Reserve? Quick, Johnny Gottschalk — git yer boys on that one…

  7. coccopuffpal says:

    More news over less news is fine, but it should at least have a semblance of credibility to back it up with.

  8. Street Sweeper says:

    What’s so un-credible (or incredible) about this? Raimondo is a friend of Nelson’s. Nelson wouldn’t want Bruning to stroll into the seat. Nelson talks Rai into giving it a shot. They want to toss it out, see if there’s any interest. It’s frankly not all that different from what Hal Daub has said. And if doesn’t happen, really, what does it hurt? Just another someone who’s not running for office.

  9. Coccopuffpal says:

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with the rationale. I don’t think being Nelson’s friend makes Raimondo any more credible or electable than if he was the store manager of a Blockbuster Video in North Platte. It doesn’t change the fact that he is Mr. Obscurity. I just think reporters should show a little more restraint before they start publishing nonsense.

    As for your comparison with Hal Daub, these instances have absolutely nothing in common. Daub is a former elected official who is still very active in his Party so it’s not a stretch to believe that he still harbors political ambitions. AND…the OWH reported not so long ago that Daub has pieced together a small staff for his Exploratory Committee. This Raimondo rumor is just so ridiculous.

  10. Street Sweeper says:

    I’m not dying to pursue this much longer, so feel free to have the last word if you want, but…

    We heard about the Raimondo rumor at least last week, and that Nelson was pushing him to run. And then the OWH story confirms this, with Raimondo saying he’s thinking about running. If the guy is being backed by Nelson (particularly if he runs as a Dem) he would have as much or better chance than, say, a Scott Kleeb coming out of nowhere.

    Also keep in mind that Raimondo was pushed by the Bush Admin to be the U.S. Manufacturing Czar. That’s just a few steps up from your Blockbuster counter guy. And as far as the obscurity goes, not only was the manufacturing czar issue there, but if you’ll remember, Raimondo also became an issue (by Ricketts) in last year’s Senate race. (Going on the theory that any press is good press.)

    Now none of this is to say that he would win. But it’s a stretch to say he COULDN’T win — depending on who he’s running against, in what party primary, etc. A rich guy, with heavy political connections, saying he’s interested in what could be an open race, IS news.

  11. Jason L. says:

    SS — If ever you get bored with Hagel, Nelson, Raimondo, Bloomberg, et al., consider a post on the grammar used on the floor of the Nebraska Unicameral. It verges on embarrassing. The top three offenders:

    1.) LeRoy Louden

    2.) “Crazy” Norm Wallman

    3.) LaVon Heidemann

    4.) Mark Christensen

    Listening to any of these guys talk is absolutely painful, but a good reminder what $12,000 a year will get you.

    By the way, remember your politician of the year selections? The runner up (Ernie Chambers) has certainly made more impact than the Governor in the first half of 2007, has he not? And sadly, Ernie isn’t finished reeking his havoc yet. He’ll get his way on the OPS issue, too.

  12. Anonymous says:

    how about Kopplin? talking about bratwursts, onions, mustard, and the drain tank that is the state fair…..


  13. snowBLWR says:

    Check out Don Walton’s latest story. Mushroom clouds are on the horizon.

    Here are excerpts:

    * Bruning said “Hagel is out of touch with the views of most Nebraskans on critical issues like the war in Iraq and immigration reform. But, he suggested, that may be because the senator has ‘lived in Virginia his entire adult life except for a couple of years’ when he worked in Omaha.”

    * “’When he’s done with politics,’ Bruning said, ‘Hagel will live in Virginia. ‘When I’m done, I’ll live in Nebraska and be putting around on some golf course in Lincoln wearing a goofy hat,’ the attorney general said.”

    * “Some Hagel contributors already have informed him they’ll be giving him campaign money, too, the attorney general said. ‘I’d rather be respected than feared,’ he said.”

    * Hagel political director Kevin Chapman said, ‘Senator Hagel has lived more years in Nebraska than Jon Bruning has been alive.’ Forty-four years compared to 38 for Bruning, he said.”

  14. jason l. says:

    Dwite Petersen and Russ Karpisek butcher the language, too. By the way, I can’t count (see above) because I’m a page at the Legislature!

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