We’re wondering what is going on in
The LJS reports that Tony Raimondo, CEO of Behlen Manufacturing in Columbus has made the decision that if Chuck Hagel does NOT run for re-election, he will run for the REPUBLICAN nomination (Raimondo: I’m running if Hagel isn’t – LJS – 5/10/07).
Now we speculated here on
Well, with Raimondo coming out specifically as a Republican, now we’re wondering what the king-maker was doing in all of this. And who is that? Well none other than Senator Ben Nelson, of course. Our sources tell us that it was Nelson who was encouraging Raimondo to make this bid. (And even if our sources aren’t “in the know”, Nelson HAD to be involved in his business associate, political buddy, and jet-provider’s decision.)
So, back to our original question, what was Nellie thinking encouraging Raimondo to do this?
Let’s put it in the worst light first: Hagel doesn’t run. Raimondo runs, along with Bruning, Hal Daub and…say…Kermit Brashear. So while Bruning is the current supposed darling, he has burned bridges with every Hagel supporter. Daub has staunch support, but high negatives as well. Brashear gets another cease and desist order from the Children’s Television Workshop for ripping off their frog. And that leaves Raimondo, who has lots of cash, a successful business career, and a political nomination from President Bush. So let’s just say, for this argument, that he slips in and WINS the GOP nomination.
But then, who is he running against? Mike Fahey, who got in because Hagel dropped out. So now Fahey is running against Raimondo who’s in at the behest of Democrat Ben Nelson, and Raimondo has the tacit endorsement of Nelson – and no way Nelson does any negative ads against Raimondo. So Raimondo wins, and Mike Fahey’s political career is over, all because of Ben Nelson. Hmmm…
Or let’s get a little more dastardly. What else could motivate Nelson to push Raimondo in? Is it so his wealthy friend can get in and bloody-up the GOP primary? A weakened Bruning, if he won the nom, would be a much easier target for a Fahey in the general election. And then Nelson DOES get the credit for the Democrat win.
So maybe Nelson figures it’s a win-win. Either his guy gets the job, or he gets the credit for the Dem win. Either way, it’s all about him.
But ya gotta ask, even if these pseudo-conspiracy theories are outlandish: What was Ben Nelson thinking in pushing Raimondo to run?