The Washington Post is reporting that New Yorker Bob Kerrey has “changed his mind” and has decided to run for U.S. Senate in Nebraska.
So was Kerrey lying when he told Nebraskans a few weeks ago that he was staying with his wife and child in New York City because a Senate run would be too much on his family?
Or is Kerrey simply an opportunistic political coward, who wanted to make sure that he would not have to run against the popular and powerful Republican Governor Dave Heineman, who had until last week to make his decision.
Since Kerrey — as a non-office holder — has until March 1st to file as a candidate, he was able to wait-out Heineman before making his decision.
Well, except that he told Nebraskans that he HAD made his decision. And he told Democrat Regent Chuck Hassebrook that he HAD made his decision. Guess what Chuck? Looks like it is too late for you to run for re-election as Regent! Wouldn’t that have been nice to know before Kerrey got in?
From David Catanese in Poltico:
“I haven’t been told that. I don’t have any comment. It doesn’t mean anything until I know it’s a fact,” (Hassebrook) told POLITICO. “It would certainly be a surprising development if it’s true.”
Hassebrook, who just stepped down from his position as a University of Nebraska Regent, announced his candidacy earlier this month after Kerrey said he was passing on a bid to avoid putting his “family at risk.”
If Kerrey does take the plunge into the Senate race, Hassebrook said he would not be able to keep his current job.
“There is a filing deadline for incumbents that’s two weeks earlier. I would not be able to go refile for the position I hold now,” he said.
Asked how he felt about the sudden change of events, he replied, “Let’s wait and see if there’s something for me to be disappointed about.”
When presented with the news, Bud Pettigrew, the Nebraska Democratic chairman of county chairs, told POLITICO, “I don’t think there’d be a lot of happy people.”
“Chuck would be really upset because he gave up his Regents job,” he said.
Pettigrew said Kerrey’s reversal would shock him because he heard the original decision was based on Kerrey’s children.
“He has a son who they didn’t want to pull out of the New York City school system,” he said.
Little Regent from Lyons, Nebraska… Don’t you know that this is how they play politics in New York City — Kerrey’s home? Kerrey wants that seat. Now go back to your Rural Affairs office, and sit down while Kerrey rolls in from NYC and Paul Johnson rolls in from Louisiana (interesting now that Johnson never offered to work for Hassebrook, huh?).
Would be interesting to know who else was in on this head fake by Kerrey — since NO ONE would or will believe that (assuming this is all true) this was not Kerrey’s plan from the moment he made his announcement not to run.
Isn’t it interesting too that Kerrey was so cowed by Dave Heineman that he had to lie to Nebraskans. Politician Bob Kerrey cannot stand up Dave Heineman. Politician Bob Kerrey lied to Chuck Hassebrook. Politician Bob Kerrey lied to Nebraska.
Apparently get ready for more from Kerrey, Nebraskans. If he is capable of this, he is capable of anything.
And this from Chuck Hassebrook:
“I do not believe the report that Bob Kerrey is getting in the Senate race. Bob Kerrey is a man of integrity. He told me as recently as a few days ago that he would assist my campaign. I gave up my seat on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents based on his word. I do not believe he would go back on it.”
Kerrey’s campaign man, Paul Johnson, confirms that Kerrey IS thinking about it, but that he hasn’t made a decision.
But of course they would never just confirm the leak as their announcement. In any case, Kerrey’s hometown newspaper, the New York Times, says that Kerrey told Democratic Senators that he is in.
Come back for updates and follow us on the Twitter.
**UPDATE at 3:35pm**
And the Washington Post is sticking to their story that Kerrey HAS TOLD Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he WILL run for Senate. They update confirming with Kerrey manager Paul Johnson that Kerrey is considering it. But they have not backed away from their main story.
We wonder if the Washington Post is aware that Chuck Hassebrook considers Kerrey “a man of integrity“. Here’s our bet that Kerrey says, “Chuck can still run. I’d welcome him as an opponent,” or some dismissive line.