The recall campaign said it is not making as strong of a push in the final week because it feels it got their message out when they collected petition signatures.
On the other hand, Forward Omaha is pouring all of its resources into these final days hoping to keep Suttle in office
– KETV last Tuesday
That idea pretty much sums up what happened last night.
You had a rookie campaign, split into several pieces, haphazardly funded, without a true spokesman going up against a fairly well-oiled machine.
And they got wooped.
Now, we would prefer to let this campaign sink in a little before the Wednesday-morning quarterbacking, but frankly today is the day everyone reads, so let’s have at it.
The numbers in this race show that, give or take a paid-homeless man or twenty, it was pretty much the same as the 2009 race when Jim Suttle beat Hal Daub. We will be interested to break down the precincts, but in the mean time, let us just say that it was a repeat of 2009.
And you want to get the voters kind of pissed off for that? There you go.
Because people who signed the recall petition and then went out to vote and donated money figure that if they are making that effort then the recall better damn well happen. It is
Machiavelli’s Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “kill the king” mantra (look it up before you get your panties in a wad), and the recall campaignS, blew it.
Ah, that plural noun. “CampaignS.”
Tell us again who the spokesman for the recallers was? Was it Jeremy Aspen?
Or was it Dave Nabity?
Who should volunteers call?
Where do they get literature?
Who does the press call?
Who should I give money to?
Who is getting out the vote?
Who is advertising?
If you can’t answer these simple questions you have very, very basic problems with the campaignS.
In the mean time, the Suttle camp knew it was going to be very close — and likely had polling showing exactly that.
So what did they do? They threw their ground game into 10th gear. They were scouring the city for every last vote they could find.
How do we know this?
Well, just ask the brand new voters from Siena-Francis House.
But should it have come to this?
Or did we see it at the start?
Political unknowns running the show.
At least three or four spokespeople (for the recallers) at the start.
Volunteer signature gatherers.
Last minute donations.
Somewhat iffy paid-gatherers.
More last minute donations.
Utter lack of a visible ground game.
You get the picture.
Side note: We don’t think that Leavenworth Street is the end all, be all of political discussion in Omaha and Nebraska. But we would argue that we have a fairly decent readership, and players like to read this blog.
So, you would think that those running a campaign would make an effort — however slight — to reach out to us to attempt to get our readers involved at some level.
Well, we made many efforts to reach out to the Mayor Suttle Recall Committee. Yet we were lucky to get press releases — and were usually sent them second-hand, if we got them at all.
When Jeremy Aspen’s first campaign video went up on YouTube, we happened to see it minutes later, purely by chance, and posted it on L.St. And from there it received a large chunk of the hits that it got. But again, we only saw it by chance. No one from the campaignS sent it to us.
No one ever sent us locations for signatures gathering, volunteers or anything else. Again, there may be better places to get your people or your message out. But one would think you would make a swing at talking to what may arguably be your base.
We asked a few local veteran campaigners — who weren’t asked or weren’t involved in the recall at all — their thoughts.
First was shock — utter shock — at Aspen’s comments noted above from last week. That should have been the point where things were humming like crazy. Instead they were coasting on their old message?
In any case, one politico put it this way:
1)The money came in too late, they should of had a more concentrated early vote program.
2) Cluster f*** of messaging – Aspen and Nabity were never on same page.
The political operative then went on note that Dave Nabity probably was not the ideal spokesman for the campaign (to put it much more gently). One reason is that he came off as motivated by wanting to replace Suttle himself. And he was all over the board on issues, proposing all sorts of different plans for how he would run the city in the future — none seemingly thought out.
And that may have been fine for the next campaign. But it wasn’t what was going to hammer out a simple message for a recall victory.
You could probably argue that Homeless-Voter-Gate made this race much closer than it otherwise would have been. Suttle was cruising along at a certain point, and put a severe bump in the road — visibly shown by his backtracking hours after saying it was no big deal.
But the latest budget numbers probably sealed the deal for him. Whether they are the real final numbers is another story, but they at least allowed him to claim a fiscal victory that he needed for many to say, “Screw it.”
Looking at this now, we have to say this is probably adios to the elective-office career of Hal Daub, no?
While many believed Daub was absolutely going to run if the recall went through, we have it on good authority that that was not the case. Oh he was considering it very seriously. But it was not a done deal by any means. If he didn’t think he could win, he wasn’t going to run.
But now, we would be surprised if a 72 or 73 year old Daub would take another shot at City Hall, or any other office out there. We doubt he would jump to admit that, but that is the way it looks.
And Dave Nabity? He probably isn’t done.
But after taking over and becoming the face of the campaign, his stock will plummet.
People gave it to him — or he took it — to take out Suttle, and he failed, arguably miserably. He wanted control, and he got it. Voters and donors may ask why he should be trusted to win again.
We may expand or change in the next few days — and we will eat several hats if 70% of the votes left to count are pro-recall.
But these are our thoughts this morning.