What is the inside baseball in #NESEN?

We will start this post with the latest video from Ben Sasse about the recent nuke dropped by Democrat Senator Harry Reid:

(Note to other camps: We’re putting up this video mainly b/c there’s a video to put up. We are always looking for stuff to post…)

Sasse’s bent here is certainly interesting, as it focuses on the influence the DC Circuit Court of Appeals could have on ObamaCare, etc. That court may now be packed as the President and Democrat majority in the U.S. Senate choose, as the Republicans may no longer filibuster. This is a specific angle that we hadn’t really heard or read about (though we haven’t read or seen all that’s there), and a good topic for Sasse to discuss, as it affects the office he is pursuing. (We’d also note that this amounts to a video press release, and there ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that.)

And this video also is a nice counter to the somewhat pathetic — yes pathetic — pleading by the Democrat Party’s LJS’s Don Walton today, where he argues that the Founding Fathers really opposed the filibuster, and that it is only through the wisdom of Harry Reid, after 226 some odd years, that we are finally able to rid ourselves of that scourge that threatened the fabric of the Republic.

Oh, and Walton also notes that the filibuster of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel is what really raised the bile in Senator Reid’s throat to make him push the red nuclear button.

Boy, whatever happened to that Hagel guy after those evil Tea Party Republicans filibustered his nominaion anyway?


Ah, but let’s march on down to our nation’s capital to see where Sasse has put himself directly into the middle of the fight between the Senate’s leadership — a’la Mitch McConnell — and the Tea Partiers “represented” by the Senate Conservative Fund.

Here’s what the National Review Online had to say today (we’re going to chop a big hunk of this for you as it is worth reading):

On Tuesday, November 12, Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse walked into Mitch McConnell’s office to clear the air. Contrary to the rumors, Sasse wanted to say, he hadn’t secretly vowed to oppose McConnell’s leadership if elected. In fact, he hadn’t been asked to make such a pledge and would never have even considered it.

As soon as Sasse sat down, McConnell lit into him, criticizing him for working with the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) as well as for posting a viral YouTube video in which he demanded “every Republican in Washington, starting with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to show some actual leadership.”

Following the initial exchange came a series of questions about exactly when Sasse had first interacted with Matt Hoskins, the hard-charging executive director of SCF working to elect McConnell’s primary challenger, Matt Bevin, in Kentucky.

Sasse’s answers, several Republicans familiar with the episode say, did nothing to mitigate the minority leader’s anger.

As he walked out of the room, Sasse turned to Holmes — “That didn’t go well!”

Sasse’s YouTube video calling out McConnell by name — one of several Sasse videos prominently featured on the Drudge Report — came out September 23. But insiders say the bad blood between Sasse and McConnell escalated several weeks ago at a meeting between Sasse and National Republican Senatorial Committee political director Ward Baker.

There Sasse delivered a pitch that included suggesting he was the “smartest” candidate in the race. As a university president with an undergrad degree from Harvard, Ph.D. from Yale, and several prestigious academic awards to his name, it’s understandable why the candidate would think that.

His rivals, though, have begun to parody the claim, forwarding around an e-mail his fundraising consultant sent October 30 with the subject line “Take a Chance on Smart.” (“Sometimes, like when you meet your future spouse, you just know you’ve found the one,” the e-mail gushes; campaign officials subsequently asked the consultant to stop using the appeal.) Asked about Sasse at a recent D.C. fundraiser, McConnell deadpanned that “he’s definitely smart.” The subsequent meeting between the two went terribly. But McConnell has yet to provide active assistance to Sasse’s chief rival in the race, Shane Osborn. Osborn, a decorated veteran who was piloting the spy plane forced down by a Chinese fighter jet in 2001, would undoubtedly appreciate the help. But the former pilot, critics note, sought SCF’s endorsement, too.

Now how much of this will really play back in Nebraska?

But…we did see how when the Big Boys were swinging their schlongs back and forth at each other in the last Senate election, they proceeded to allow a relative unknown to sweep into office. We’re not sure what is going to happen in this race, but we still think there are many Undecideds who will turn this race one way or another.


Oh, and the Washington Post’s “The Fix” lists the Nebraska Senate primary as one of the Top Ten in the nation. Again, they mention only Sasse and Shane Osborn and not Sid Dinsdale or Bart McLeay.

But they do mention 2012 and Deb Fischer.


And again, as we Tweeted as it happened, former Vice Presidential nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, endorsed Sasse — after his PAC had contributed to Sasse earlier in the week.

So, not to be outdone, the Shane Osborn camp trotted out their local endorsements from state Senators Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha, Colby Coash of Lincoln, Bill Kintner of Papillion, John Murante of Gretna, Scott Price of Bellevue, Rich Pahls of Omaha, Jim Scheer of Norfolk, Ken Schilz of Ogallala, Ray Aguilar of Grand Island, Doug Cunnington of Norfolk and Pat Engel of South Sioux City.


We would also note that the Sasse campaign seems to have been endorsed by The Drudge Report — as nearly all of Sasse’s videos keep ending up on that page. (Note that a Drudge link ensures at least tens of thousands of hits on whatever it is linking to.)

We’re not sure how Sasse locked in the Drudge attention, but it is boosting his videos to the nation (if not also to other Nebraskans).

The most recent one linked by Drudge noted Sasse’s call that the President had created a “Constitutional crisis” by proposing the ObamaCare roll out changes. We noted attorney Bart McLeay’s comments that while the President’s play is probably not unconstitutional, it is a bad idea — though one which in and of itself did not create a “crisis”.

Alas, Drudge did not endorse McLeay’s calmer outlook.


And as we’ve mentioned everyone else, here’s a interview of Sid Dinsdale from this past week as well:


We’re going to put up a separate post talking about the Nebraska Governor’s race just a bit later this afternoon.

Hold onto those pantaloons of yours and be sure to come back!


And as you know, Nutso Friday is coming, then Bonkers Saturday, Silly Sunday then Cyber Monday!
Do you want to sit on the 5 degree sidewalk, outside of Office Depot to get a nickel off of that red Swingline stapler? NO!

So you should click Leavenworth St.’s Amazon.com link and search for ANYTHING your heart desires and get fantastical deals! And then you’ll also be sending a little anonymous love the way of L.St. to help us keep the lightbulb on.

And thank you to all of those who have already done so.


  1. Ricky says:

    Something tells me Mr Sasse has a lot more support outside the state in places like the Club for Growth or whatever outside group wants to give a bunch of money than he has inside Nebraska.
    Putting videos on you tube is not a very effective way of campaigning .
    And from reading L Street it does not seem like even the Repubs have any kind things to say about Sasse. Nobody likes the guy.
    So somebody should tell the Club for Growth or whomever to save their money because Sasse has little support in Nebraska.

    ricky from omaha

  2. Endorsements says:

    It would seem like Shane is getting endorsements from actual Nebraskans while Beltway Ben is getting the DC folks. Ill take Nebraska in that bet.

  3. I See What You Did There... says:

    “Putting videos on you tube is not a very effective way of campaigning.”

    But sending snail mail and keeping Ricky’s union buddies employed is VERY effective…(wink, wink)

  4. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    Sasse is probably right that the immediate provocation for the “nuclear option” are the vacancies in the D.C. Circuit. A couple of points, though. Saying that the D.C. Circuit is the “second highest court in the land” is a little misleading. It is widely considered to be second in prestige only to the U.S. Supreme Court, all of the United States Courts of Appeal in the same tier with the D.C. Circuit. In terms of impacts on peoples’ lives, the Second Circuit (New York and two New England states) and the Ninth Circuit (much of the western U.S., including California) probably have more impact. The Ninth Circuit is huge (28 judges). Second, the vacancies aren’t really “new positions” as he seems to suggest. Rather they are vacancies that have never been filled. One of them is actually the seat that Roberts left open when he was elevated to the Supreme Court. That said, I’m sure Obama would like to get his three nominees confirmed, because that would likely make that Court friendlier to him. In the end, though, the real prize is the U.S. Supreme Court, but as I understand it the 60 vote rule on cloture for Supreme Court nominees actually remains in place (though it could be ditched just as easily).

  5. A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing says:

    I would never, in a million years, support or vote for Ben Sasse. He is a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing, and we have seen that before with Scott Kleeb. Stay away from Sasse, run away as fast as you can!

    Remember what Ben Nelson did to us here in Nebraska and the entire country? Ben Sasse will do the same thing. You have been warned. Pay attention.

  6. Demon Sheep says:

    Kudos to my intelligent friend above. Just read Ben’s record and you will see why he is not qualified to be our US Senator.

  7. Gaius Gracchus says:

    I’ve been reading the House and Senate Rules, and the history of those rules and how they change. Except for those rules founded in statute, the rules are creatures of each House, and are under the control of the party in power. When the Republicans regain the majority in the Senate then can revert to the previous rules – no one can tell them they can’t. That won’t happen as it cedes power to the minority. The Repubs are eating sour grapes because they didn’t change the rules in their favor when they were last in charge of the Senate. “Hard cheese,” as Montgomery Burns says on “The Simpsons.”

  8. Macdaddy says:

    Yeah, Wolf. The wolf in sheep’s clothing walked into the Minority Leader’s office and royally pissed him off. That’s what those RINOs posing as conservatives do.

    Somewhere, it is common knowledge that the DC circuit court is the second highest court in the land. Most of the Supremes come from there and it has jurisdiction over just about everything that comes out of DC, which includes that little legislative body called Congress. The 9th is a joke and gets overturned regularly by the Supreme Court.

    Gaius, I believe you when you said your head was filled with lead. Reid going nuclear is pretty much the equivalent of detonating a nuclear bomb in the Capitol. In the words of Joe Biden, it was a BFD. It is also a sign that the Democrats believe they will lose the Senate 13 months from now and their main objective is to pack the DC court to try to protect Obama’s legacy without leaving their fingerprints all over it. Once that happens, the Republicans can change or not change the rules back, but since the circuit court is appointed for life, the damage is done. Sour grapes has nothing to do with it.

  9. Gaius Gracchus says:

    McD, it’s not the Democrat’s crudity I admire, it’s their guile. I have no admiration for Republican adherence to principal to the point of gullibility. The dam’s been loosed now, and the Democrats are getting what they want, and not just on the DC Circuit. Trusting Reid to not change the rules? Geez, aren’t there people whose job is to have and apply leverage in these situations?

  10. Anonymous says:

    For the entire history of this country, 168 cloture motions were filed on presidential nominations. Nearly half of these (82) were filed under the Obama presidency My only complaint is that the Dems should have done this sooner. The minority has the right to slow actions, but not the right to run the country.

  11. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    Actually I think the sequence is that Sasse pissed off McConnell quite a bit back, went to his office to try to “clear the air” (or make up, or smoke a peace pipe, or whatever) and McConnell lit into Sasse and Sasse left saying “that didn’t go well.” The National Review article on it is pretty interesting (entitled “Collateral Damage” or something like that). You can make what you want out of it, but it’s not as if Sasse went marching in there to tell McConnell a thing or two.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I find the Sasse bashing humerous. What credentials does Osborn have to be a US Senator? His background makes him a better fit for a position in the State Dept. or CIA.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I want an answer from all of the #NESEN candidates: would they vote to replace Mitch McConnell as minority leader? Who would they like to see as a Republican Majority leader?

  14. Anonymous says:

    To #15: Osborn takes an interest in what people are saying to him by being out there meeting with them whereas Sasse creates boring videos to sing his one note tune.

  15. meanwhile says:

    McLeay is a down to earth guy who doesn’t come across as a wealthy lawyer and has a great time shaking hands across the state.

  16. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    McLeay is a good guy. I think he’d do a good job. Unfortunately he just hasn’t got much traction. Dinsdale is a nice guy too and his personal wealth will keep him in the race. I think he’d be a reliable vote in the Senate, but because he plans to serve at most two terms and his personality I think he’s unlikely to be much more than a reliable vote. I agree with Sasse on just about everything he has said since he started running, though I think some of his rhetoric is over the top. The fact that Obama is claiming “enforcement discretion” to push back deadlines is just another good reason he shouldn’t have been elected, but it’s not a “constitutional crisis.” The Constitution survived the Civil War with three amendments, it will survive Obama. Osborn actually cut public spending while in office and has military and intelligence experience from the most dangerous parts of the world. The ideological difference in the positions staked out between them is somewhere between non-existence and slight. I think Osborn is the most reliable of the four and the least likely to turn into the next Hagel. But I will surely vote for whichever of the four gets the Republican nomination.

  17. Anonymous says:

    17 – what an intelligent deduction… Since “candidate A” makes a few 4 minute videos, he doesn’t meet with potential constituents as much as candidates B, C, & D. Seriously?

  18. Interested Observer says:

    It might be suggested that SINCE “he doesn’t meet with potential constituents as much as candidates B, C, & D”, THEN ““candidate A” makes a few 4 minute videos”.

  19. Anonymous says:

    We rarely encounter someone who openly says he’s “smarter” thus more fit to make public policy. That’s the tyranny of the classroom spilling over into tyrannizing citizens. Socrates was crafty enough to put on a thin dumb act, in a Colombo-like way, so as to encourage others to laud his wisdom. But Sasse claims himself smarter so as to deserve power, based on a PhD, which suggests what? Immaturity? Hubris? Megalomania?

    Smart powerful people who impacted society include the humble Dr. Schweitzer types but also the not so humble like T. Kaczynski, PhD., T. Leary, PhD, J. Goebbels, PhD., and J. Mengele, MD & PhD.

  20. Tonic & Tonic says:

    21 is spot on. I have met all three of the other candidates on several occasions. Hell I actually ran into one of them at a grocery store, no joke.

    I have not seen concrete proof that Ben Sasse is running in MY state. I have seen pictures online but I’ve never seen him at an event or happening of even the slightest consequence.

  21. Old DCRP Member says:

    Saw the Senate candidates speak tonight at the DCRP meeting and came away with the following thoughts. Sid Dinsdale is a funny guy and I enjoyed his humor. Mr. McCleay impressed me. I have never heard him until now and I enjoyed the points he made. Shane Osborn was the winner in my opinion. Mr. Osborn gave a great speech and kept focused on the issues. I was quite impressed with his delivery. Dr. Sasse’s performance was horrible. I literally thought I was in a college lecture hall and almost nodded off twice. Who pays to hear this guy speak? There was also some bearded campaign worker of Sasse’s filming his boss. My advice to him is to have his boss review the film and see how Bart and Shane spoke and follow their example. Dr. Sasse’s style won’t play here in Nebraska, but it may cure insomnia.

  22. Another DCRP Member says:

    I agree with most of your comments old timer. Dinsdale did give me a chuckle. He was quite effective. Ben Sasse was not very polished. He almost put me to sleep too.

  23. Demon Sheep says:

    I did not have an opportunity to hear Sasse speak tonight, but I can tell you I’m not surprised by the comments. Sasse puts me to sleep too!

  24. Yet another DCRP Member says:

    Agree on Osborn. Excellent. Ditto on McLeay. I wish he’d get a little more attention. Dinsdale’s joke about stealing Osborn’s car signs so if he got a ticket nobody would think it was him was pretty funny. A couple of times I wondered whether Dinsdale thought he was running for the Democratic nomination. I didn’t quite understand what he said (he mumbles a little bit), but it was something like “I’m pro-life but I want to go to work in D.C. on more practical issues.” Well, as the Senate confirms Supreme Court Justices, it’s a pretty “practical” concern whether you confirm Justices who will toe the abortion industry line on Roe v. Wade. I also couldn’t figure out what he was getting at with immigration. I took him to be saying essentially that we shouldn’t deport anyone who had gotten a public school education, because we had paid to educate them. Everyone panned Sasse and with good reason. Anything more would just be piling on.

  25. Anonymous says:

    24, nice try to change the subject. But neither Terry nor anyone else in office has said they are “smarter” than others. Of course they all think it. But unlike Sasse they aren’t stupid enough to say it. And of course Terry has been smart enough to smash the crap out of everyone you put up against Terry, so that makes Terry, at the very least, smarter than you.

    The overt egotism of Sasse has a rare pathological aspect that goes beyond simple ambition. They all want to wield power. Sasse wants to wield power because he says he’s wiser than the rest of us. That make him one dangerous SOB.

  26. argonought says:

    ODM at #25. You say Sasse is a boring speaker? That’s bad news. Mismanaging his university left him potentially at least an orator. If he cannot lead or orate, then what is he going to do in the Senate? Grade everyone?

    We who relaxed through HS but later took honors degrees in college found it a bitter eye opener that the key to getting straight “A”s is to simply quit questioning the silly egotistical vomitus professors spew, you swallow it whole, and then puke it back to them verbatim, wrapped in a ribbon of flattering accolade. You tell them they are smart by saying their silly opinions matter deeply. You stroke them like you stroke a dumb mutt. And they don’t even know that’s what’s going on. It is intellectually pathetic in the same way Obama is politically pathetic. Yet these types abound. Economics professors who go bankrupt, mouthy lawyers like Obama who yet need a teleprompter, and Dr. Sasse who cannot keep an audience awake because he is so used to being able to wreck his paying customers’ academic careers if they don’t kiss his childish ego full on the butt cheeks.

  27. The Hypocrite says:

    I see the puppet master for Sasse is on the war path. So anything Sasse has ever written or said that is contradictory to what he says now is off limits? How convenient. Fahleson knows Ben is a flip-flopper and now wants to try to cover it up with his indignation.

  28. Scandal says:

    So Shane try to define his opponent and fed info to the media. It is a scandal I tell you a scandal. Giving information to the media to help create the narrative is Completely out of bounds!!! …. Said no one ever.

    What’s next from dirty Osborn a contrast piece?!?!?

  29. Media Watcher says:

    What is funny on this whole OWH story with Sasse and Osborn is that Robyn must have given up her sources. I can’t believe she would do that. Did anybody pick up on that? What politico would go back to her again after she hacked their candidate?

  30. Rumorville says:

    Apparently Street Sweeper was at Tom Carlson’s for Thanksgivings. There is nothing better than hearing about the rich history of Thanksgiving from someone was at the first Thanksgiving.

  31. I’d like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my conservative friends. I’m not sure how to wish a Happy Thankgiving to a liberal, given he or she is probably guilt ridden about a festival of carnivorous overindulgence celebrating the beginnings of the dispossession and genocide of Indigenous Americans. But I do wish them a speedy recovery.

  32. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    To Media Watcher: Robynn’s bias is showing through big time. It’s obvious she doesn’t like Osborn. What was funnier was the hysterical reaction of the Sasse camp that this was dirty pool. I guess you can call it negative campaigning if you want, but if Sasse is going to run as a purist it seems to me to be utterly fair to point to Sasse’s public writings that are to the contrary. If Sasse’s skin is that thin, he’s going to have a heart attack by the time this thing is over. But my guess is that she’s gotten the last drop of information that she’s going to get from any of the campaigns.

  33. argonought says:

    I will qualify my comments for RWP, who is an okay guy. Teaching chem is factual. Opinion isn’t part of it. That’s the beauty of knowledge, to know facts. That’s truth. And that’s a sliver of today’s “education”.

    Did you ever notice that its not the hard-fact Profs who have their political heads up their arses. Those are the Arts-sans-Science Profs who pontificate their personal opinions on what an author, who actually made a living by selling what he wrote to the public, meant. Can you prove it? No. That makes it opinion. And that’s a thin step up from selling political snake oil. Nothing like real teaching of reality. Happy Thanksgiving.

  34. Macdaddy says:

    RWP, thanks for your sentiments yesterday. I sure hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday, too. The liberals were the happiest, though, judging by the picture on the front page of the OWH. Thanksgiving is now just another day of the year. The flood gates are open. Americans may vote for the socialist, but they don’t give a damn about the people who had to give up their one day off a year just so they could buy some pants at 50% off…24 hours ahead of schedule.

  35. Lil Mac says:

    Well said, Dad. I believe he whom you laud is an atheist and yet he appears thankful for what we have. Perhaps not to a deity but nonetheless thankful for the fact that out of myriad generations of evolved creatures, most of which didn’t survive to reproduce, we are unimaginably lucky to exist at all as unique individuals capable of contemplating our lucky existence. And that out of myriad stars and planets seemingly devoid and uninhabitable, our local cosmic situation of innumerable dynamic interwoven factors is so narrowly conducive to life as to allow us. And that even as we claw up so relatively recently from caves and now balance on a tenuous perch of constitutional freedoms unique to the earth and more fragile and fleeting than most dare realize, we have these blessings that a few before us have given their fortunes and their very lives so that we may enjoy the fruits of freedom. We do indeed have much to be thankful for. Or, as you suggest, we can discount the wonder of it, assume government will take care of us, and giggle at the discount we get on a new television we don’t need. Amen.

  36. RWP says:

    I’m thankful, but not thankful to any entity. Just as, if something terrible happened to me, I’d be angry, but hope I’d not be angry at anyone or anything.

    Except Bo Pelini. 😛

  37. Lil Mac says:

    RWP is kind, TA is warm and IO is right. Its another cob up the Husker butt.

    Pelini is the last vestige of the Gentleman Tom era and sore evidence that TO was arguably a better coach than either a congressman or a selector of coaches. To whatever degree he succeeded in the latter, or in any other area of life, he was foremost a great coach and Pelini isn’t.

    This was said of another but pertains. – “It sounded like he was getting things on track. I’m just really embarrassed and sorry for the people that he hurt. I did everything I could to help him, but apparently it wasn’t enough.” – Tom Osborne

    Tom Osborne also said, “Everybody’s got to do what they’ve got to do.”

    Bye bye Bo, time to go, we like you, pal, but you ain’t worth the dough.

  38. Fire Bo says:

    And hire Ricky Fulton. At least Husker fans would have something to look at. That hot August sun gleaming off those sweet blue mail man daisy dukes while sweat beads down his big mail satchel. That is a tall glass of yummy!

  39. Word On The Street says:

    I wonder what will come out about Ben Sasse’s relationship with Fortenberry. He was Fortenberry’s very first Chief of Staff. Apparently Fortenberry was always intimidated by Sasse’s talent, knowledge, and preparedness and they had some sort of falling out because of Fort’s insecurity and thin-skin. I wonder if it will all come out.

  40. Macdaddy says:

    Happy December 1st! If you are lucky enough to be able sign up for health insurance that Obama likes, today, you only have to go the first two weeks of the New Year without insurance. Don’t slip! Oh, of course, I am assuming that the part of the website that pays the insurance companies gets built by then.

  41. Another old DCRP member says:

    We gave the mic to all those candidates again; now when will we get back to conducting the business of the actual Party itself. That was why we were there was it not? Can somebody please audit those financials?

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