Ring of Kerrey

Kerrey, near his home in Greenwich Village

With all the Bob Kerrey-mania going on in the Nebraska press, we noticed a few points written in the national media, worth noting:

From Matt Miller in the Washington Post:

Bob Kerrey — who I hope will announce he’s back in politics this week — told me once that a campaign is not the time to try to convince voters of anything they don’t already believe. A campaign is about showing how your values align with theirs. “In a political campaign it’s too risky to lead them,” Kerrey said, speaking of the undecided voters who in the final sprint decide most contests. “And so what you do is pretend to lead while basically you’re trying to follow their opinions.”

We were contemplating this Kerrey Campaign Strategy while thinking about whether Republicans, or Nebraskans in general, should “fear” the Kerrey candidacy.

The thing is, Kerrey is a good politician. He is somewhat likable, somewhat affable and if you want to doubt whether he can win an election, look at the last three he ran.

And he is good at convincing voters that he thinks just like them, and vice versa.

“I’m for entitlement reform just like you! I want to save Social Security just like you, but I want to make it secure for future generations as well!”
“Gee, that Bob Kerrey thinks just like me! He’ll get MY vote!”

But then, if elected, Cosmic Bob Kerrey takes over.

He gets to DC and he wishes and washes. And then he votes for Partial Birth Abortion. And ObamaCare. And Cap & Trade. And people think, “Wait a minute, we thought he was just like us!” Oh, and then he’ll build another bicycle bridge to a field in Council Bluffs and everyone will forget about all that.

Ben Nelson did this time and again. He votes for the Democrat leadership. And he votes with the Dems when they need him. But then he will vote against them when they don’t need him, and come home and call himself “Independent”.

Think Nebraska can afford another vote in the U.S. Senate like that?
Think America can afford another vote in the U.S. Senate like that?

This isn’t some conspiracy theory talking, folks. Let Kerrey win, and you get more ObamaCare, more Cap and Trade, more halting of Keystone Pipelines, more trillion dollar “stimulus” packages, more electric car boondoggles, more federal funds for abortion coverage. And the list will go on and on and on.

So should YOU fear Bob Kerrey?
Well, you should respect the fact that unless you do something about it, a Bob Kerrey vote in the Senate will do all the above, and more.


And about that promise to Chuck Hassebrook…

You want to know what has the tongues wagging in Washington, D.C.? Look no further than the SECRET promise that Bob Kerrey got from Senator Harry Reid.

It is widely speculated that Reid promised Kerrey his old seniority back or possibly a seat on a coveted committee. Kerrey told Joe Jordan that Reid’s promise to Kerrey was important to him — and probably one of the factors that made him want to leave his home of eleven years in New York City, crash on his sister’s couch, and file to run for U.S. Senate in Nebraska.

But not everyone is happy about such a promise for Kerrey. Roll Call notes that New Jersey’s Frank Lautenberg, for example, came back to the Senate after sitting out a few years, and got nothing upon his return. If Kerrey gets something, he likely wants increased seniority too.

But hey, what if Kerrey wins and Reid just says, “Hey sorry. No can do.

Would Kerrey be taken aback? Would he “take it like an adult”, like he suggested Hassebrook should do, when Kerrey reneged on his promise? Would Kerrey be vindictive towards Reid? Would he TRUST Reid anymore?

Look, we don’t shed any tears for Chuck Hassebrook. He knew it was a long shot to win the Senate race, so he would have lost his Regent seat anyway. But that is not the crux of the point, is it? It is about Kerrey.

Hmm. Back to that word, “trust”. Hassebrook referred to “integrity”.
Should voters trust Kerrey now? Should they — can they — believe that Kerrey will follow through on any promise he makes in the campaign?
And who knows what Kerrey believes now anyway? He has stated that he has gotten more liberal on the health care issue, for instance, since living in New York City.
Think being back in the U.S. Senate is going to swerve him back to the right?

This is what we are talking about when we discuss “Cosmic Bob”.
He is the Forrest Gump’s Frankenstein Box of Chocolates.
Who knows what he might say. Or how he might vote.

Gee, ain’t that Cosmic?

**UPDATE 3:25pm**

We JUST saw that PPP released a “favorability” poll and, for Kerrey anyway, it shows this:

Kerrey, Favorable/Unfavorable: 39/34 (Unsure = 37%).
That’s not bad, and better statewide than all the Congressmen.

You can see all the rest here, and we will talk more about it tomorrow.

We would just note that Favorability is always interesting, but it oftentimes does NOT match up to “If the election were held today, for whom would you vote.” They are different ideas and different questions.

Feel free to argue it in the meantime.


Don’t worry folks, we will get off the Kerrey slant tomorrow. Lots more to talk about.
In the mean time, howsaboutchoo go buy something on Amazon.com, via Leavenworth Street’s links.

We highly suggest the late Andrew Breitbart’s Righteous Indignation.
And we send our prayers to his wife and kids.


  1. Kerrey for NYC Mayor says:

    “In a political campaign it’s too risky to lead them,” Kerrey said, speaking of the undecided voters who in the final sprint decide most contests. “And so what you do is pretend to lead while basically you’re trying to follow their opinions.”

    Democrats in Nebraska have been using this playbook for decades now – Kerrey is just following their lead. The problem for Kerrey now is that as Nebraska has become more conservative, he has become more liberal while living in NYC for the past decade. The question now is will Nebraskan’s understand that Kerrey is just trying to “pretend to lead” again? Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.

  2. Nate says:

    It has been the better part of 18 years since Kerrey last participated in a Nebraska election. In that span, an entire generation of Nebraskans has been born and reached voting age while the bloc of voters that can regard the Kerrey/Exon years with any kind of nostalgia has dwindled. I have a hard time regarding Cosmic Bob as any more than just another candidate that has been outsourced by the Democratic Party in Nebraska.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m so scared of Bob Kerrey. I’m hiding, locked in my bathroom with my iPhone. I’m so scared. So alone.

  4. RWP says:

    Nate +1.

    In addition, the Lincoln/Omaha media axis no longer controls the newsfeed, as it did in 1994. There are blogs like this one; there is a Twitter feed (the hashtag #nesen has been violently irreverent towards JRK all week). Even during his crash-and-burn presidential run in 1992, Bob’s notoriously loose tongue got him in trouble (remember the Jerry Brown lesbian joke?), as did his business record (he was for health care, except when it came to providing it to his own employees). Now he has 10 years at New School where the faculty overwhelmingly voted no confidence in him; he went through 5 provosts in 8 years; he had to deal with student riots; and he admitted he really didn’t understand higher education; and he did a little union-busting on the side. Janie’s carpetbagger solidarity isn’t going to make up for all that.

    You’ll have fawning sycophants from the NNN and NDP out trying to counter, of course, but they’ll be overwhelmed. Bob’s just left too much ammunition lying around for his opponents to pick up and use against him.

    (but…but…he’s a Hero! He won the MOH! And…and… he’s a Hero!)

  5. HuskerBlueJay says:

    This is “CORNHUSKER KICKBACK # 2” !!

    Oh I won’t run because of my family, wait here’s a call from Harry Reid, –

    “Bob, we need you to run for Senate” “I’m sorry Mr. Minority leader Reid, I have family concerns.” “Bob, we’ll give you your senority back, Pres. Obama could give you a high profile job after he wins again, we’re give you more pork back in Nebraska – how ’bout another bridge?” “Ok, I will do for the country, Harry”.

  6. RWP says:

    Bud, if you’re going to claim you only check out this blog every couple of months, you need to learn to conceal those give-away grammatical errors. It’s like wearing a pair of size-17 shoes. It makes you pretty easy to pick out.

  7. Anonymous says:

    For the most part, Bob Kerrey has lost his glitter and looks to be way yesterday’s news. The average person filling their tanks with gas at record highs could care less about his….emergence. Were that Jon more loveable.

  8. Lil Mac says:

    Sweeper is right about Kerrey. But Kerrey is right about elections and voters. Those who gnash their teeth over the pandering and unsportsmanlike conduct, think the electoral arena is something is isn’t. Voters don’t want to be lectured to; they want to be listened to. Kerrey listens to voters and parrots it back to them. Kerrey has the Democrats and thus only needs the unaffiliated who want candidates to nod and act interested. Yea, I get it. You want more and better than that pandering. But the Independents who tend to decide elections like being pandered to. They demand it.

    If this disturbs you because it means democracy sucks, well duh! That’s why only the HOR was originally directly elected by the People. Our founders assumed candidates ruthless, incumbents corrupt and voters gullible. Checks and balances exist precisely to counter this. Candidates need only please enough voters to win. There is nothing more to it. Kerrey seems to grasp this rather well. Thus if you think Kerrey’s policies are harmful, you’d better quit throwing your noble platitude darts at voters and get busy pleasing voters more than Kerrey pleases them.

  9. Never Left The Neb says:

    The last person that Bob advised to move to Nebraska and pretend you have long standing ties to the state was Scott Kleeb. Anybody remember how Nebraskans took that?

    “NEW YORK CITY?” lolololololololol…………………………………………………………….

  10. ricky says:

    One thing I will defend Cosmic Bob about is the pedestrian bridge in downtown Omaha. That thing has proved tremendously popular and is an icon in it’s own right.
    The bridge is the only bridge in the country that is a ped. bridge connecting two states. It’s quite beautiful and an impetus for people to get some exercise and stay healthy.
    The bridge was paid for with federal tax money that would have gone elsewhere had not Omaha built the thing. An architectural wonder, it is in fact a driving force for NoDo and a big reason T D Ameritrade park was built. The bridge is an example of how form and function blend together to improve society.
    I love the bridge and so does everybody else that I know.

    Ricky From Omaha

  11. GeosUser says:

    Now here’s the perfect example of idiotic Democrat/liberal/progressive thinking. The Bob Kerry bridge. Let’s unnecessarily tax or more likely borrow millions of dollars to build a beautiful but useless bridge with money that should never have been spent by government anywhere in the first place. Then let’s have local taxpayers pay for upkeep of the useless structure in addition to paying for things they really need like maybe separating the storm/septic sewer system. There’s no budget for even changing the light bulbs on the “Bob”. I’m so happy Ricky and his fellow big government loving morons love the bridge. Maybe they should pay a special tax to support their beloved.

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