(Note: This is an official rumor, and has not been confirmed by either the Governor’s office or the Daub campaign.)
While it is somewhat unusual for the head of the state party to pick sides among Republicans in a contested primary (City Councilman Jim Vokal is also a Republican), this likely endorsement is not all that surprising.
Heineman was Hal Daub’s Chief of Staff in his Washington, D.C. Congressional office back in the 80’s. The two are considered to be close politically, if not personally, and if would nearly be a slap at Daub if Heineman didn’t endorse him.
You may also remember that Daub very suddenly dropped out of the Senate race back in 2007 to clear the way for Mike Johanns. At the time, former Senator Bob Kerrey was seriously thinking about renouncing his New York citizenship and attempting to become a Nebraska Senator again. The party big wigs very much wanted an easy race for Johanns and Daub, and Jon Bruning, dropping out made it so.
Daub ended his very brief run with a fair amount of grace and deference to Johanns. One wonders if there may have been any handshakes on who would promise to support Daub in future runs.
Nonetheless, an endorsement from the very popular Governor couldn’t hurt Daub in what could very well turn out to be a close race.
The other side of that rumor is that there are “other state office holders” who will also endorse Daub. That also goes as, “they will stay silent in the primary, but REALLY support Daub.”
We’ve heard that and are very suspect about it.
Would a, say, Attorney General Jon Bruning support Daub? Maybe in the General against Jim Suttle — but would he take sides against Vokal? And how about State Treasurer Shane Osborn?
It’s interesting to note that both Bruning and Osborn have been or will likely be clients of Vokal campaign manager Jordan McGrain. Now it’s not totally unlikely that they would go against another of McGrain’s clients. But the loyalties within the party can run deep (see Heineman and Daub) and we would be surprised if either of those office-holders sided with Daub — silently or publicly– against Vokal in the Mayoral race.
Speaking of McGrain, we heard from him after the “party-crashing” of Daub’s crime-plan announcement.
Some have expressed that it was a d*** move for McGrain to show up at the Daub announcement. We know that some of the Daub people were unhappy about his showing-up. (The thought is that at most he should have sent a subordinate.)
But McGrain’s side of it is that the Vokal camp had just done a release on the same subject and were planning commercials right away. McGrain says he knew that the TV stations and the paper would make a bee-line to Vokal after the Daub presser to get his reaction to Daub’s plan. So, McGrain figured the fastest way to actually be able to see what Daub’s plan was, was to go there himself.
We accept this reasoning, and as said before, don’t think it’s a big deal. But we also understand Brinker Harding’s (Daub’s manager) ire for McGrain showing up unannounced.
Annnd, McGrain also violated one rule of campaigning: Don’t make the story be about you. It should always be about your candidate.
But it does make for a more interesting race…