A few quick hits on this Friday, mainly about the Hatfields and McCoys of Nebraska – Chuck Hagel and Jon Bruning!
First, for our readers who don’t make it out of their own media market, The Lincoln Journal Star published a Don Walton interview with Bruning yesterday. (Bruning vows Hagel’s power won’t deter him – LJS – 5/3/07. ) In it, Bruning continued his scorched-Earth attacks on Hagel – this time hitting with “Hagel doesn’t live in Nebraska” and “Hagel is for amnesty”. We’d only point out that these issues didn’t seem to bother Bruning when he announced he was a “Hagel-guy” a month ago. Also, we’d note that (for what it’s worth) Bruning’s immigration position is identical to that of one Senator Ben Nelson. Today the OWH addressed Bruning’s immigration comments as well (Bruning calls Hagel’s citizenship proposal ‘amnesty’ – OWH – 5/4/07.).
And we’ve got to say, we’re a little curious on Bruning’s strategy. He’s lashing out at Chuck Hagel at every opportunity, but where does that get him? He fires up Hagel’s base of supporters, he fires up Hagel himself and he comes off as overly negative very early. His obvious intention is to drive up Hagel’s negatives within the party, but should that be his main effort at this stage? We’ll listen to the arguments. Of course if his goal is to drive Hagel out of the race, we’re still persuaded that Mike Johanns waltzes in and takes the nomination.
The other issue that caught our eye was a story regarding the Hagel-Mike Bloomberg dinner at The Palm in Washington, D.C. The OWH quizzed Hagel about this and gives it a short mention (Hagel dines with Bloomberg at power-broker eatery – OWH – 5/4/07). We’d also say, interesting that they chose The Palm. This is the equivalent to having a private meeting on the median at 72nd and Dodge during rush-hour. They may as well have had a sign over them that said, “We’re talking about BIG things.”
In any case, the New York neo-conservative daily, “The New York Sun” ran an editorial today telling Bloomberg to stay away from Hagel because Hagel is “weak on terrorism.” (Bloomberg-Hagel? – The New York Sun – 5/4/07.) They base this mainly on a couple of Hagel votes and a recent speech. We note this because you gotta bet Bruning will be jumping all over this in the very near future. You’ve been warned.
Finally, you may not have heard that the Nebraska Democrats commissioned a poll (well, PUSH-poll) recently asking Nebraskans what they thought about…Republicans. Well, particularly Chuck Hagel and Jon Bruning. (Nebraska Democrat Party Offers Advice to Bruning Campaign – Southwest Nebraska News – 5/3/07.) Their conclusions? Not everyone loves Hagel and not everyone knows Bruning. So there you go Democrats! Happy with the way your party elders are spending your contributions? We’ll assume that this poll is intended to get some Democrat candidate juiced up to run. Fahey? Kleeb? Kerrey? (Raimondo???) Help us out here.
Maybe next time they can pay for a poll that asks which asks who gave a better speech: Eisenhower or Reagan.