But apparently the question for Raimondo isn’t if he’ll run, but for which party’s nomination.
You may have noted that the recent Bruning poll did not include Raimondo’s name. Well, word has it that Raimondo’s internal polling shows him with no chance in a GOP primary. But Raimondo, no spring chicken, definitely wants to make a go of it. And with Bob Kerrey still flittering in the undecided column, Raimondo figures he may have a better shot on that side of the aisle.
Remember that one of Raimondo’s best political friends is none other than Nebraska’s junior Senator, E. Benjamin Nelson. If Bob Kerrey were to win, Nelson would stay as junior Senator – as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised Kerrey that he would keep his seniority built up from his last go-around. Is the prospect of going from juinor to senior enough for Nelson to encourage Raimondo to run?
Well, we can’t imagine that Raimondo would have any kind of a shot against Bob Kerrey. But if Kerrey doesn’t really have the embers in his gut, he might be convinced that Raimondo could carry the torch – especially if it looks like Mike Johanns could win in a rout. This could disappoint Scott Kleeb, but keep in mind that Raimondo has plenty of cash to make himself a decently viable candidate.
Would Democrats rally around Raimondo? Probably about as enthusiastically as they did for Republican/Democrat Auditor candidate Kate Witek. But with Nelson’s backing they may be able to stomach him a little more. Of course this all depends on Kerrey. But God (and possible Ernie Chambers – see below) only knows what he will do.
And what would Raimondo’s exit mean for the Republicans? Well, unfortunately for Hal Daub, it probably lowers his chances. Daub needs to peel off more votes from Bruning or Johanns, and Raimondo could help with that. If he doesn’t get in, it makes Daub’s job that much tougher.
But the most comical thing of all is the AP “file photo” from Nati Harnik that the Omaha World Herald decided to run with the story (right). Now THAT’s some comedy…
VIEIRA: And now let’s get the rest of the morning’s stop stories from Ann Curry at the newsdesk. Ann, good morning to you.
CURRY:Meredith, thanks. Good morning, dear. Good morning.