Nebraskans are continuing to stay busy on the Presidential politics scene. As Don Walton reports in the LJS, Jon Bruning was trucking along on the Huckabee bandwagon in South Carolina. He’s apparently going to do a few more ride-alongs in Florida as well.
Our angry comrades at Nebraska Blue also found this MSNBC story that shows Bruning up on stage with Huck in SC (above). We’re not real sure what value the Huck camp found in having JB up on stage, but ya know, rock on.
Of course, Bruning’s timing couldn’t be worse as Huck is fading in the polls, and has now cut staff and travel expenses. Bruning may have looked more clairvoyant had he jumped on before Huck’s rise in neighboring Iowa.
So why did JB jump on the Huck-mobile? Well, for one, they share the same consultant, Dresner Wickers. Conventional wisdom would have JB supporting McCain, who endorsed Bruning-backer Tom Osborne for Governor. But we assume McCain’s amnesty (AMNESTY!) bill means JB had to take another path. Heineman takes Romney, so that leaves Thompson, Rudy or Huckabee. And that’s where the consultant connection comes in. JB – have fun in Florida, and ask him to let you speak a bit!
The Kleeb camp said the Hot Ranch-hand will be traveling to Washington, DC to find out what the party-elders think about his election chances, and will finally announce something within the next two weeks. Or something. It’s getting to be “drop the kids off at the pool” or get off the pot time for Kleeb.
We’re sure Tony Raimondo is enjoying twiddling his thumbs in his Behlen lair, waiting for Kleeb to make up his mind.
And what do we here at Leavenworth Street think of the Presidential race these days? Well, here’s our take (after much internal debating, mind you):
First, Thompson and Huckabee are done. Thompson got in too late and never showed enough fire for the average folks to jump onto his bandwagon. The CW was that he wasn’t really interested in running, and he has reinforced that notion with his lackluster effort on the trail. Right on the issues, but no fire in the belly. (Update at 1:45pm: Note that this was posted BEFORE Thompson dropped out today…)
Huckabee came out of the gates as an interesting populist and was a funny and logical sounding guy. However, once he gained a little traction people expected him to start expanding on serious policy positions, and he never delivered. His foreign policy gaffs didn’t help either. Then in Iowa he became the fundamentalist Christian candidate, and he’s turned into something of a one trick pony. Now every time you hear him it’s only about abortion, gay-marriage and God. Being the Christian Coalition candidate isn’t going to give him the nom without having serious policy positions on matters of national security and the economy.
Giuliani has rapidly faded and may have to finally reap what he planted in Florida, which may have been too many resources. Some of us here on L St still think Rudy’s the guy, but coming in last in all of the other primaries has hurt him. Can he take a win or strong showing and make the jump in Uber Tuesday? We’re not so sure.
Romney still has the backing of many of the party conservatives (such as Rush), but the other GOP candidates generally hate him. Huckabee in particular sees it as his mission to take him down. Many think he’s too much of a slick opportunist. An then there’s the Mormon thing, which we’re still not sure he’s done with answering.
Finally there’s McCain. He came in with the Bob Dole-esque backing of “he’s next in line.” As the fall-back candidate, he’s become somewhat of a “I guess I could vote for him” kind of guy. This is mainly because he has emerged (arguably) as the candidate who can beat Hillary in November. Watch how strong his conservative speech becomes this week as Florida approaches.
After Florida, it’ll be a two-man (maybe 2 and half-man) race, with McCain and Romney, or possibly Giuliani, going into Feb 5th National Primary.
As for the Dems? Barrack Obama will become the Hart, Tsongas, Bradley, Dean of 2008. A political footnote in the Hillary nomination annals.
But if 45% of the electorate will NOT vote for Hillary, and McCain is seen as too old or too mainstream, will that encourage a Bloomberg run? Only if he thinks he could actually win. It could be a weird year…
OK, let’s hear it partisans!