Loyal Republicans

A few notes about the impending visit from President Bush for Mike Johanns.

It was certainly interesting that Omaha City Councilman and Bruning supporter Chuck Sigerson decided to get out in front of this one on behalf of Bruning, using the “don’t meddle in our primary, Washingtonians!” line.

Except that you don’t use that when talking about the President of the United States (from your party).

Not to mention that the President will likely choose his words very carefully when talking publicly about Johanns. Count on him to say something along the lines of what he said at Johanns’s retirement announcement like “Mike would make a great Senator”. He’s not going to say, “Nebraska Republicans should vote for Johanns” or “Jon Bruning sucks eggs.”

The more level headed (official) Bruning camp had a better response when Jordan McGrain said, “Lets’ wait and see what the President has to say.” They will then likely pounce on the non-endorsement, for what that’s worth.

But look at the big reasons Bush is showing up for Johanns in the first place. First, Johanns was his Secretary of Agriculture. He was a loyal cabinet member and didn’t make waves.

Second, and very importantly, the entrance of Mike Johanns into this race kept out Bob Kerrey.

You can argue all day long about whether Kerrey would have been the favorite in the race (as Bob Novak wants to), particularly if it had been a Bruning-Daub match up in the GOP primary. But make no mistake that Kerrey would have made it a difficult fight for Republicans. The Bush trip may have even been a promise Johanns got out of the national party if he entered the race. The visit isn’t so much an endorsement (even though it is) as it is a “thank-you” to Johanns for getting in and scaring off the Democrats.

And while Bruning supporters may want to cry foul on this visit during the primary, Bruning may also have brought a bit of this on himself. Remember when the wrath of Bruning came down on Chuck Hagel for not supporting the President on Iraq? Well that same wrath came down on Hagel…and Johanns…for supporting the President’s immigration bills.

And then there was the line from Bruning about Johanns being the President’s “lap dog”. These are the little things that can come back to haunt you when you’re not being judicious in your language.

Of course the biggest boost Johanns will get from the visit will be cash into his campaign coffers. Any advantage that Bruning had money-wise will soon dissipate. Can the Bruning campaign counter this? What will their strategy be? We wait.

***
And for Creighton basketball fans, 2 ½ words: P’Allen Stinnett.

9 comments

  1. I wore a t-shirt... says:

    I went to the Mellencamp concert last night in omaha. Bruning was there. He looked incredibly out of place with his freshly pressed oxford and “ben nelson” hair. I’m sure he enjoyed JCM’s anti-war themes…

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    Please tell me you got a camera-phone shot of JB rockin’ to The Coug! (Maybe he’s really just a Los Lobos fan and stuck around to see The Coug “Paint the Muther Pank”.)

  3. OmaSteak says:

    All the Bruning campaign has to do to beat Johanns is keep playing clips of Johanns public statements in support of the amnesty “immigration reform” bill. Unfortunately, Bruning isn’t really any better on the issue than Johanns.

  4. Slingblade says:

    Listen up and listen good. There are three points here to be made…

    1.) The dwindling crowd in the Bruning camp are akin to the IDIOTS in Memorial Stadium who actually root for the Huskers to loose because they want a coaching change. (Yes, I called you IDIOTS, but TRAITORS would have been a better choice of words.) Bruning supporters are knowingly screwing the team because they’re to backwards to admit they picked the wrong guy early on.

    2.)Sigerson hasn’t been taken seriously since the “feeling-up-the-birdy incident.” As for Johanns on immigration, his word now is better the “Daily Nebraskan Jonny’s” word any day!

    3.) Bruning knows he can’t retreat gracefully; he’s burned all the bridges behind him. He reminds us of another young Jon (Christensen) whose head got too big too soon and made the race all about him. Bruning needs the frank counsel of one Mark Mangino Mark Mangino

  5. jons brother wally says:

    Johanns did more than “scare off” the Democrats. He ran off a Medal of Honor winning former Senator and presidential candidate.

    Johanns may be stronger than Bush in Nebraska.

    If Bruning doesn’t wise up soon and quit gracefully, he will slit the belly of his own political future. His problem is, he’s a magnet for damaged politicians.

    Bruning is being encouraged by residents of the political trash heap. If he listens to these has beens, then he has an ego bigger than his brain and everyone is well served if Bruning never holds office again.

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