Absolutely, Absolutely

Let us kick off this Thursday with the newest ad by Crossroads GPS targeting Ben Nelson’s vote for ObamaCare:

We are told that this spot will air in the Omaha and Lincoln markets for two weeks. In other words, whatever the DSCC can throw out for Ben Nelson, the opposing views can whack back.

Which leads us to…


Ben Nelson did a press call yesterday and the focus was obviously on whether or not he will run for re-election to the U.S. Senate. But also, whether Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s decision on whether or not to run will affect the Nelson’s decision. Nelson (who happened to have been born just 7 months before the 1941 Pearl Harbor attacks) responded:

“Absolutely not. Absolutely not.”

Huh. Well, that’s interesting, because that’s not what Nelson’s campaign manager — the reportedly smartest political mind in Nebraska — Paul Johnson said.

Johnson said part of Nelson’s decision on whether or not to run will be based on:

“Does he stand a reasonable chance of being reelected?”

Well, last time we checked, there was a poll that said Heineman leads Nelson 51% to 33%.

So if Governor Dave is saying he may run, you better bet your Capital One Bowl tickets that Nelson is not only paying attention, but weighing his decision with that in mind.

The funny thing is, everyone knows that. So the more Nelson protests, the more the eyes of everyone listening and reading just start rolling around in their heads.

Nelson even followed up with this line:

“Dave’s partisan showboating has no bearing on my decision.”

Partisan showboating? Heineman says others are trying to get him to run and that’s showboating? Or is he referring to Heineman’s suggestion that Nelson vote to repeal ObamaCare, like the majority or Nebraskans would like?

Showboating? If this were a basketball game, Dave Heineman is warming up by hitting every single solitary one of his layups. And Nelson is standing on the other side of the court yelling, “Showboat!!!”



In the mean time, Senator Jim DeMint is getting all hot and heavy about the prospect of Heineman getting in the race.

Freedomworks PAC — mind you a PAC based in Washington DC, run by Texan Dick Armey and supported by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina — sent out this email to supporters:

As you know, the Nebraska Republican Senate primary is critically important in our efforts to take back the United States Senate from Harry Reid and his tax-and-spend agenda. To do that, we need to fire Senator Ben “Cornhusker Kickback” Nelson!

But now the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the D.C. establishment political arm of the Senate Republicans, is trying to recruit a new candidate to run and water down the conservative vote!

Nebraska’s Senate Republican primary race should be decided by the people of Nebraska!

That’s why I’m urging you to call and email the NRSC with one message: “Don’t tell us who to vote for in the Nebraska Republican Senate primary. Stay out of our backyard!”

(DeMint’s official group, Senate Conservatives, has pretty much the same message on their website.)


Our backyard?”

By “our” are they referring to Steve Spurrier’s lawn or the courtyard of the Hart Senate Office building? Because those are the only places they have some influence in. It ain’t Nebraska.

It is somewhat amazing here that DeMint is outraged that the Governor of Nebraska is thinking of running for Senate, from Nebraska — when South Carolinian DeMint has already crowned Don Stenberg as his candidate. Politico called it “Faux NIMBYism”.

We have also heard that DeMint is miffed that Bo Pelini is thinking of changing up his defense when the Huskers face the Gamecocks — when South Carolina has already prepared for the Huskers’ other schemes. Doesn’t Bo know that DeMint already endorsed the aforementioned Steve Spurrier’s team???


And if you are a regular reader of our Tweets, you would know that Jon Bruning has his first ad of the political season up. See it here:

In the mean time, there is a great debate going on in the back, smoke filled rooms about whether Jon Bruning, Steneberg and/or Deb Fischer would clear out if Heineman gets in.

It really is sort of a moot point at least until Nelson makes his decision, as not too many think that Heineman will get in if Nelson is out. If for some reason Heienman DID stay in after Nelson got out, it would be pretty much game-on between all the challengers, we’d think.

But if Nelson stays in, things change.

Joe Jordan (and the back of his head, at a diner) tried his best to lean into Deb Fischer to get her to commit one way or another, though she declined to play Jordan’s “what if” game.

Obviously Stenberg and his gang would like Don to stay in. One would think they would see the writing on the wall, but we have no doubt that there are calculations that show Heineman would split votes with Bruning, and then Stenberg could slip in, and blah blah blah.

We just don’t see it. Nebraska Republicans are pretty shrewd. They already KNOW that they like Dave Heineman. They know that Independents and many Democrats like Dave Heineman. And, maybe most importantly, they know that Dave Heineman would have the best chance of any candidate to knock off Ben Nelson. Sure the others could too, but why take a chance?

And is there REALLY some argument that Don Stenberg or Jon Bruning are more conservative than Dave Heineman? That would be digging deep.


And and why don’t you dig deep and give that special one of yours something nice for Festivus, huh?

But don’t fight the crowds at the miserable malls! Go to Amazon.com, via Leavenworth Street’s Amazon links, to find the best deals on the web! And, at no extra cost to you, you’ll send a little anonymous love back Leavenworth Street’s way.

It’s another Festivus Miracle!


  1. Go Away Don says:

    “Last year, when I was asked about the US Senate campaign, I said that I thought Governor Heineman would be the strongest Republican candidate to run against Ben Nelson. And I would support him if he ran.”

    Don Stenberg’s announcement speech, March 7 2011

  2. PACs says:

    DeMint’s PAC is Senate Conservatives. They also sent out a piece bashing on Heineman. The one you posted is from Freedomworks.

    Why are these so-called “tea party groups” bagging on one of the most conservative governors in America? Seems disingenuous.

  3. Macdaddy says:

    PAC, maybe because Heineman added unnecessary drama to the Keystone pipeline? Maybe because he supports Romney who has doubled-downed on his blueprint for Obamacare? I agree that DeMint is just protecting his endorsement, but it’s not like Heineman hasn’t given people reason to go “Hmmm.”

    On another note, I liked both commercials. Bruning’s was pretty good. If he can comport himself the same way for the rest of his campaign, serious and mature, he will blow out Nelson, not just beat him.

  4. TexasAnnie says:

    There are “tea parties” and there is DeMint’s Tea Party. Tea parties which seek tax reform, first and foremost, are only to be trusted; not, socially conservative advocates masquerading as The Tea Party.

    Heineman did help to flatten Nebraska’s income tax rates. Thus his economic conservatism has worked to the greater good. But Heineman evidently does not believe in tax equity, given his generous penchant for approving “economic development” schemes whereby the tax burden has been shifted from corporate Nebraska to the people. If everyone had to pay their taxes we could all enjoy lower tax rates. And besides, only the flat tax (or substituted consumption tax replacing the IRS) is ethically viable because of the manner in which the Congress (and legislatures at the state level) use the people’s money to reward campaign donors.

  5. omahaskyline says:

    Let me try to be a little like Newt –

    Republicans stop fighting each other. All announced candidates would be better than Nelson and if Gov. Dave gets in, let the best Republican win. Let’s keep the focus on Ben Nelson.

    Does anyone see sometimes in common w Senator Ben Nelson and ex-Ill Gov Blago?

    Nelson tried to sell his tie-breaking Senate vote for the national spolight, making Nebraska exempt, helping get federal support for a new VA hospital, “Cornhusker-kickback”

    Blago tried to sell Obama’s old Senate seat for political favors…..

  6. SoWhat??? says:

    I hope whoever ends up running against Senator Skunk, they just pound him over and over to release detailed financial statements for all the years he’s been in the US Senate. They will show that the Benator has made himself one of the wealthiest elected members during that time and he’s an expert at feathering his own nest.

  7. Gimmeabreak says:

    As for Republicans saying anyone is better than Nelson, that’s what the current gaggle of GOP wannabes have said since the beginning. I hear the same silly comment about Obama. Anyone is better than Obama. Really? America is drowning and any life guard one iota better than the worst is good enough? The Democrats push to keep a clueless Obama and unethical Nelson in power, they who have given us rotten government, and Republicans say anyone is a good enough alternative.

    Frankly, NO, not anyone. We’d better start reading the resumes, folks. Because we need to hire the most competent Senators we can get. The most experienced, most able, not “anyone”.

    In case you haven’t noticed, Dave Heineman has a combination of military experience (the Senate does military oversight) and chief executive experience in governing the complexity that is an entire state, that is more than either Obama or McCain came with to the Presidential race. It is more pertinent experience than any of the Republicans running for Senate in Nebraska have.

    Sure we want ethical, etc. people in office. But as in hiring anyone for any job, you start out by determining which is best able to do the job. You look at experience first. You read the resume. And Heineman’s experience exceeds all. Yet, if your standard of voting is “Anyone is better then Ben” then you can put any silly twit into power. And I see people aiming to do just that. America is dying inept, cowardly leadership and our measure of who we need is “Not the Nelson”. No wonder America is spinning down the crapper.

  8. SoWhat??? says:

    Dave Heineman is not a true conservative nor much of a leader. He is an excellent professional politician. He wields a big stick in NE and what has he done with it? Streamlined and reduced the size and cost of state government…NO! Reformed the public education system…NO! Moved away from income plus property taxes to a consumption-based only tax system…NO! He’s a “go along to get along” pol, nothing more. Be careful wishing for his “leadership”, he has yet to show any.

  9. Lizzie says:

    It is no wonder that someone would try “Faux NIMBYism” in Nebraska. It worked perfectly with the pipeline debacle.

    I agree 100-percent with poster #8. Don’t settle. Geez!

    Maybe somebody should ask Gov Dave how much he charges for a private audience, because I’ve heard there IS a price. Based on his behavior over the 18 months, which is the amount of time I have really been paying attention to his nonsense on a regular basis, I sincerely doubt the Heinster is pure as driven snow.

  10. Gimmeabreak says:

    Pure as driven snow? Melt some snow, its not pure. Politicians are all lawyers or wheeler dealers of some sort. Nothing pure about them. Like I said, we are hiring somebody to do a job.

    We demand non-criminality and ethical conduct from all. If someone embarrasses the state, as Nelson did, voters hold him accountable. Criminality is punished. Other than that, our federal government is run by inepts and we need people who know how to work in DC, who are fearless, and politically smart. Heineman ran a Congressional office, he was taught to kill our enemies up close and personal, and if you have heartburn with his stand on the Keystone pipeline, and I agree with you on that point, Bloomberg news reported that outcome as a “victory” for Heineman, beating Obama on the issue. Heineman obviously knows his way around politics. Yet being politically astute isn’t being a crook.

    You suggest you “heard” Heineman is a criminal. That is what you are saying, isn’t it? You are suggesting an academy grad and Army Ranger who has probably been investigated by the FBI for security clearances since he was a teen, is a crook. Who knows? You might be right, but whereas I spell out facts, we don’t see facts from you; just innuendo, oblique unfounded slander.

    So, here is your chance to come clean, to be pure yourself. You can right now tell us what you heard and who you heard if from. Or you come off as less than truthful. You want politicians to be pure. Here’s your chance to show them how.

  11. Lizzie says:

    Sorry GAB – I am not a politician. You are right, it is simply hearsay, as I mentioned. A lot of what we talk about here are things we have heard and read and seen. Sorry if that upset you. Really. But you seem to be carrying a load of cynicism yourself. As you said:

    “Politicians are all lawyers or wheeler dealers of some sort. Nothing pure about them. Like I said, we are hiring somebody to do a job.”

    I’m assuming that despite your apparent outrage you are including the Governor of Nebraska in that assessment as well.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It would be great to see just how the three announced GOP candidates would react to the Gov getting into the race:-) Lil Jon would be sooo ticked. Even more curious is wondering who is picked up for LT Gov? Flood, McCoy, ????

  13. Gimmeabreak says:

    Lizzy, you are perceptive and your reasoned points deserve equally reasoned response.

    Am I cynical? That depends. Some might say experienced. I once attended a new US Senator’s first public committee hearing. The older Senators, GOP and Democrat alike, each took turns; very carefully, almost imperceptibly and with amazing dexterity; putting the newbie in his place. I doubt many attending even noticed. It was backstabbing that would leave most victims saying “thank you”. A stunning display of the way Senators behave in the highest circles of power, if that power be anything other than tyranny. They are, after all, elected by pleasing each voter enough but then must represent all voter interests that are often utterly incompatible. It is quite an impossible task and those who survive that boiling cauldron of power, and yet somehow remain grounded in decent principles and concern for this country, they are magnificently resilient. That resilience, the solid rock they stand upon, they must bring with them to Washington, else they drift to bad ends; which is why I focus so candidates having experience. Power corrupts and nowhere more so than in this job. If you go there without having risked your life in a combat parachute jump, or your personal credibility in the lonely power of being a governor, or steeled yourself in other ways that don’t happen in law school, you haven’t a beggar’s chance against the acid effects of power. If inept, you are eaten alive by the clever. If politically adept but ungrounded in real experience, you drift into the corrupt political culture.

    Am I for Heineman? I’ve met him. He has never been my buddy. All business, dry, sort of the short guy attitude, I suppose. He was a commando, so he has that fighter pilot sort of self-confidence that can be off putting. If I wanted to have a pleasant dinner with a person, I’d pick Jon or Don. Deb seems nice too. But as I said, we are here to hire someone to do a really hard job. So look at the resumes.

    The USA is falling apart not by evil intentions but rather political stupidity and lack of will. Until someone comes along with more experience than Heineman or proves he’s a crook, not just a short guy with an attitude, I see him as best fit for the job.

  14. Susan Smith says:

    Jon Bruning’s conservative record and outspoken nature is what we need in the Senate – he will shake things up. Haven’t we all had enough of the go along to get along mentality?

    An endorsement from FreedomWorks is not something to be proud of – unless you are pro-illegal alien, pro-amnesty. Dick Armey has blasted pro-enforcement Americans as radical right winging hate mongers. Don Stenberg sought out FreedomWorks endorsement. Don Stenberg also said he would not bash other conservative candidates instead he would focus on running against Nelson yet evertime Nebraksa Lapdog wrote misleading stories about Jon Bruning, Stenberg was quoted bashing Bruning. If Stenberg can’t even keep that promise what makes anyone think he will keep his other campaign promises?

    Before we get on the bandwagon to get Gov H to run for Senate we may want to keep this in mind. B.O. is very likely, in the last stage of occupying the White House, to finish his Socialist agenda by issuing more Executive Orders/Policy. If so, we will need Governor Heineman’s common sense and strong leadership to protect Nebraskans from the insanity. I think Gov H’s skills would better serve us for a White House run in 2016. His term as Gov ends in 2014 allowing him time off with his family and strategizing a successful presidential/VP campaign.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Susan Smith I used to think Bruning would be a good candidate, and will definately vote for him IF he won the primary. However, he has LESS experience than Don. I will not vote for Don as he is to dry and seems to foreget those around him, I.e. not very loyal. Deb is a capable politician but plays the tough woman aka Margeret Thatcher too much. Again who ever comes out on top will get my support money time et al. I would prefer the Gov run and ENSURE my efforts result in kicking the old wind bag Nelson to the curb……

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