Before we dive into our conjecturist post today, let us have a little Separated at Birth, shall we?
Former Lieutenant Governor Kim Robak, and the 1986 version of Betty Crocker!
So why the Robak SAB today?
Well, we have been fishing around a bit on the rumors of Senator Ben Nelson choosing not to run for re-election next year. And then who would go for the nomination.
(We should note that the rumor we originally heard was a primary challenge. But that makes little to no sense. Run to Nelson’s right, she can’t win the nomination. Run to his left, she can’t win the general. So we are instead looking at the retirement route. In any case…)
Some refuse to believe that Nelson will not run. Mainly because…
1) He is raising cash.
2) He has hired a campaign manager.
3) He is running commercials.
4) He is acting like a candidate.
And all of those things are true.
5) We are little more than a year out and he has not said for sure whether he will run.
6) All of his ads so far have been paid for by the State Party / DSCC, even though he has tons of his own campaign cash.
7) All general signs still point to him losing.
8) Maybe 46% approval is a decent number — but is it a great number? A re-election in a Presidential year number?
9) Would Nelson roll the dice on the chance he goes out a loser? Democrats Jim Exon and Eddie Zorinsky both went out winners (though Zorinsky, less by choice, as it were). How does he want to be remembered?
10) Even Don Walton of the LJS keeps asking whether he will run.
All interesting points, yeah?
And then consider as a Democrat candidate, to replace Nelson, former Lieutenant Governor Kim Robak…
11) She was Ben Nelson’s Chief of Staff and his Lt. Gov — who better for him to hand off to.
12) If she is going for higher office, which she has said she wants to do, she would want a Federal office, as opposed to state office which would kill the current lobbying practice for her partners.
13) Her kids are all in college now.
14) She could be a good candidate against Jon Bruning, especially if he goes overboard and she stays calm.
15) As a woman, she would negate any advantage that Deb Fischer would have on that point.
16) She’s arguably better looking that Don Stenberg.
So for Ben Nelson, and Kim Robak and the Dems, what’s not to like in that scenario?
As Charlie Sheen might say, there’s the whole “#winning” part.
Nebraska Dems, Nelson included, may feel that their best hope is …still Ben Nelson. A Kim Robak would, in theory, have to run to the RIGHT of Nelson in order to win. So…
17) Would she vote to overturn ObamaCare?
18) Would she turn against the President and his stimuluses?
19) Would she vote against his liberal Supreme Court nominees?
20) Would she suddenly turn Pro-Life from her current Pro-Choice stance?
Maybe these aren’t issues that are totally insurmountable. But in 2012, if Barack Obama is falling apart (especially in Nebraska), are you going to bet on that candidacy?
The Don Walton said the other day in his column:
If Nelson ultimately opts out, the Republican Senate primary contest in May will name Nebraska’s next U.S. senator.
And that could be the final answer on that point.