Mark Lakers started his Nebraska Gubernatorial campaign last week, and immediately hit the radio airwaves and the coffee shops.
So what have we learned?
Well, first there was his interview with Coby Mach on KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln.
You can hear it here:
We are hearing that Lakers has a real plan for this campaign and job and has thought about it, etc, etc. (More on that below.)
But, let’s just say that’s not the impression one gets from his discussion with Mach on KLIN.
And in need of a few sessions at Toastmasters to get rid of the “umms” in his speech.
We’re sure he is a knowledgeable guy about his business. But a hog farm financier does not a political candidate make. At least not automatically.
Which gets us to the LJS’s Don Walton caffeine sit-down with Lakers.
Here is Walton’s assessment:
Smart, confident, organized, soft-spoken.
Hmm. Let’s take ’em one by one.
1) Smart: Can the man rip apart an SAT if need be? We wouldn’t put it past him.
But diving into a statewide race without a campaign plan or maybe some talking points? Not sure we’d call that “smart”.
2) Confident: You listen to that radio interview and let us know if you think Lakers exudes confidence.
Maybe we’re missing something from the one-on-one or face-to-face, but we just didn’t hear it. And he is confident of what? That he can take down Heineman? Well, based on what? (We’re getting back to #1.)
3) Organized: Now we’re just calling B.S. here.
Sure maybe Lakers showed up to the java house with an accordion file folder, alphabetized with color dividers — like George Costanza handling the Penske file.
But here’s what he didn’t show up with: A campaign manager. A campaign plan. Talking points on what he hopes to achieve. Breakdown of positions on different issues. Detailed knowledge of various bills before the legislature and Governor.
These are all things that shows that one is “organized” for a political race. We saw none of them on display on Friday. Oh, and by the way, he has until March to file. Why not wait a few days, get one’s sh*t together, and THEN announce that you’re going to announce?
What was the rush? Did the state party and a certain U.S. Senator convince him that he needed to get out there “right now!” so as not to further embarrass the party? Hmm.
4) Soft-spoken: Well, Don nailed that one anyway. But frankly that brought us back to #2.
But a commenter here on Leavenworth Street made a great point:
Unless you’re just a sacrificial lamb, why, if you really think you have a good chance to be Governor, would you be running now? Why not cool your heels for a few years, then run when it will be an open seat? You would have a much better chance in four years, and in the mean time could build your political base, get better known, etc. etc. (And don’t tell us a loss helps for 2014.)
Again, it seems pretty obvious that Lakers was pushed into this race because no one else would do it.
Of course, maybe someone thinks this challenge will soften up Dave Heineman for a 2012 Senate run.
But who would think such a thing? Who…who…?