Things are still fluid at this point in the realm of “What in the heck is Dave Heineman going to do about the U.S. Senate?”
We have heard the CW that, “of course he’ll run, that’s been his plan“.
But we have also very honestly heard that he has absolutely not made up his mind and may even be leaning against.
Though keep in mind that he will be getting the HEAVY full court press from the National Republicans to run, so that the seat would be (in theory) safe.
And Heineman was all over the board in an interview with Don Walton of the LJS saying:
In comparative terms (to the Governor’s office), the Senate essentially has “no discipline, no organization,” he said. “And I wish there was a better spirit and attitude there of working together as we do in government in Nebraska.”
“Maybe I could have an impact on fiscal issues, perhaps on national security and national defense issues with my background.
“The idea of working on issues is appealing if I thought everyone was kind of willing to work together,” Heineman said.
“…you’ve got to have the desire and you’ve got to want the job.”
So there is a big fat “maybe” for ya.
So in the mean time the “Senate Conservative Fund” is wasting no time proclaiming their happiness that that liberal pseudo-conservative quiche-eating squish Mike Johanns is the heck outta there!
You may remember the SCF from the last race, when South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint made a hefty effort to be king-maker for Don Stenberg.
For what it’s worth, some credit the SCF campaign with knocking Jon Bruning down enough to prop up Deb Fischer. Though we doubt that was the plan.
The SCF has now declared that if Dave Heineman does NOT run, that No Way, No How do they want 1st District Rep. Jeff Fortenberry to be the GOP Senate nominee!
Again, liberal-RINO-squish, etc. etc. (says the SCF, in so many words).
(The OWH followed up with this story on Thursday morn.)
So who do they like?
Well, a name we hadn’t really heard come up before, but probably shouldn’t be that surprising:
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services during the last 2 years of the George W. Bush Administration, and current President of Fremont’s Midland University, Dr. (Ph.D.) Ben Sasse. THAT’s who.
Sasse is a 40 year old graduate of Harvard University, studied at Oxford, has a master’s degree from St. John’s University, and doctorate from Yale University. (Though we are fairly sure the Scott Kleeb comparisons end there.)
Sasse became the 15th President of Midland in 2009. Before that, as noted, he was unanimously confirmed by the Democratic Senate to the fourth-ranking position in the government’s largest-budget agency, where Sasse led policy, planning, and research functions across the department’s 11 operating divisions, with a special focus on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Food and Drug Administration.
Last year, he wrote a piece for the New York Post about ObamaCare.
Prior to that, Sasse served as counselor for policy and strategic initiatives to former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.
Oh, and he was also a Chief of Staff, in the U.S. House of Represenatives to…Rep Jeff Fortenberry.
(THERE’s some political intrigue for ya.)
Now that’s one kick-ass resume for Sasse.
But could he fund raise?
And can he garner the statewide support needed, as well as bring in the movers and shakers?
He looks pretty formidable on paper.
And the Senate Conservative Fund likes him…
…if Governor Dave takes a pass.
Which, at this point, is anyone’s guess.
**UPDATE at 3:00 pm**
We have been informed by the SCF that they have NOT picked a favorite in this race.
NON-favorites, sure. But no favorite. Not to say they don’t like Sasse. Just haven’t picked him over anyone else.
(Except Jeff Fortenberry.)
Gov candidate Charlie Janssen has a new introductory video up.
See it here:
This is not on TV yet (though today may have been a good day to go up with it), but will go out broadly on social media.
Nice addition of his opening speech. They had a good crowd there, so that helped as well. (Though we’ll just note that, maybe heavy on the echo? We were waiting to hear that he was the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.)
Right now Janssen is the only name in the Governor’s race and his camp is smart to take advantage.
You know, if you had bought that snowblower on Amazon.com (via Leavenworth Street’s banners above) you wouldn’t be cranking out your back AND you would be (anonymously) helping us keep the office light on.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!