#NESEN ads: Sasse the “Outsider” and McLeay the “Family” man

U.S. Senate candidates Ben Sasse and Bart McLeay both have new TV ads up on the YouTubes over the past few days. Let’s take a look.


Ben Sasse is setting himself up as “The Outsider“. As in, that’s the title he has put on his video.
We will get past the S.E. Hinton analogies and go straight to the question:
Outside of what?

We don’t mean to be overly critical of Sasse here, but this position makes zero sense.

Sasse worked at the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Company.
Sasse was chief of staff for the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice.
Sasse was the Chief of Staff for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.
Sasse was Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Other than his short time as President of Midland University, the only place Sasse has spent during his post-Harvard and Yale years is on the INSIDE. This is like Sid Dinsdale saying, “The one thing I am NOT is a banker!”
This is like Bart McLeay saying, “I am the ultimate NON-trial lawyer in this race!”.
It would be Shane Osborn declaring, “The absolute thing I have NO experience in is being held captive by the Chinese!”

Well, onto Sasse’s ad(s) — a short and a long:

First the short, which you should also be able to see during tonight’s national championship game:


That ad is supposed to segue you to the longer form, 5 minute version which you can see here:


A few notes on the spots:
The thing with the Capitol is sort of amusing (got to be some serious production costs), and we kind of get it.
(Though bringing “Nebraska values” to the Capitol or bringing the Capitol to Nebraska aren’t exactly transitive properties.)

But it’s a gimmick meant to make you remember Sasse, so we’ll see where that puts him. (People spent a lot of time talking about Pete Ricketts’s red hat.) (And FWIW, Sasse AGAIN got linked by Drudge, which will mean tens of thousands of hits.)

Drudge screen shot 1-6-14 02

Then when we get to the long version, we see a better intro of Sasse — much of which he spends time talking to invisible people.

(Hey, is there a ghost on that opposite couch!)

Ben Sasse vid - living room 01

But the thing we are not into is this framing of his opponents as “Establishment“.
“They’re Establishment…” Sasse declares with much anguish in his voice.

Now for those of you unfamiliar, “Establishment” is the term used by some Tea Partiers and ALL Ron Paulistas for those who are in-office, and/or don’t agree with them on 100% of issues.

And we’re not into it.
It’s a cop-out term that means nothing.
Especially when applied to his opponents.

None of the other candidates have any direct ties to anyone in office.
Osborn has been endorsed by many Tea Party types.
Dinsdale is rich enough that he can ignore anyone trying to influence him with money.
McLeay has fewer ties to anyone on the “inside” than Sasse does.

So the point here is we don’t mean to hammer Sasse.
We think he would do a good job for Nebraska in the Senate, as we frankly feel about McLeay, Dinsdale and Osborn.
But what we’re not into is the name calling — and frankly Sasse’s apparent cosiness with South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and his Senate Conservative Fund.

Last time the SCF tried to buy Don Stenberg into the Senate by declaring Jon Bruning to be a member of the Socs (that’s pronounced “So-shiz“…oh and now we’re getting that “The Outsiders” theme.) And they ended up electing Deb Fischer.

So here’s the deal: Sasse has a lot going for him. He has a great life story and if he can come up with an explainable and effective alternative to ObamaCare, you can bet people with listen. (EVERYONE wants to tear it down. But at this point, people still want the pre-existing conditions issues fixed.)

Do that and he will get votes.
But the blatant pandering to one faction of the party turns us off.


Ah, Bart McLeay.
Another successful, bright, good-looking candidate.

With a horrible, horrible…horrible first ad.
See the 60 second spot here:

Again, if the goal here is to have people “talking” about the ad, Mission Accomplished.
They’ll be standing around the water cooler saying, “Did you see that horrible ad for that one guy with the arrows pointing at the people in his family?”

“Yeah, why did they think I wanted to meet EVERYONE in his family, as opposed to, you know, the candidate?”
“And why did the candidate himself have so little to say?”
“Why were they making me read family members’ names instead of, in theory, listening to them describe his policy positions?”
“And why did they think that the ‘joke’ at the end was funny?”
“And why did everyone laugh on cue?”
“And were they all going out to play football at that point?”
“And who thought this was a good idea for an introductory ad for a U.S. Senate candidate?”
“Well, at least I don’t remember his name.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
“Ditto here.”
“Wait, I know. It’s Bart Starr!”


Too harsh? We don’t mean to be…mean. We’re trying to be helpful.
And we’re sure there’s something better in the McLeay media camp from here.
Well, because from here they can ONLY go up.

(BTW, we’re not aware of any current media buys by McLeay.)


Thanks to all of you who did some of your Christmas and Hanukkah shopping via our Amazon links!


  1. Macdaddy says:

    SS, I loaded up on the Kwanzaa presents you’re welcome.

    1. Sasse needs to realize that gimmicks are a waste of time, especially in ads. Just ask Ricketts. BTW, if both parties are the problem, which party was it you were running in? The one that’s the problem or the other one?

    2. For McLeay, all I have to say is: Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!

  2. A Joke says:

    Sasse is not fooling anyone. Didn’t more than half of his money come from the inside the beltway special interests he proclaims are the problem?

    Misleading at best, disingenuous at worst.

    He had to of paid a bundle of $$ for this Fred Davis production. But it sure looks pretty.

  3. @ A Joke says:

    Actually according to NE Watchdog Sasse raised the majority of his cash from inside Nebraska. It was Osborn who had to get nearly 70% of his campaign stash from inside-the-beltway.

    Not sure how this “establishment” label sticks to Dinsdale and McLeay…

  4. Gonna attend a Sasse “Obamacare Town Meeting” tomorrow night. I know little to nothing about the guy, but his resume is purty sparkly – so I thought I’d take a look. Unless he can pull a nail out of the wall with his a$$hole, I don’t expect to be overly impressed. His ad(s) are a little too smooth, and sadly lacking in detail. Also, them Bugs Bunny front teeth kinda bother me ….

    If the earth moves for me I will report back.

  5. Not Fooled by Sassy says:

    I can’t believe the balls this guy has claiming he is an “Outsider”. The guy spent almost a decade in DC. From what I can tell in his own Bio he has only lived in Nebraska 3 years after he left here when he was 18. Doug McDermott has lived here longer….lol Sasse is your stereotypical Ivy League elitist. He’s smarter than you so he should make the decisions for you. He is a cut of the same cloth as Obama and every other snob that comes from there.

  6. Tommie Frazier says:

    Sweeper, here’s how I took the “Outsider” stuff:
    Sasse has never run for public office before, he’s not running around trying to collect the endorsement of every public official in the state, he’s not part of the club. Contrast that with Osborn who is scurrying around the state saying, “I AM INEVITABLE–LOOK AT MY POLLING NUMBERS” (ask Jon Bruning how that worked out last time), announcing the endorsements of every public official he can, and generally acting as much like an entitled frontrunner as he possibly can.

    By the way, it’s worth noting that Sasse has raised more money in Nebraska than Osborn has, and has way more donors.

  7. To Tommie says:

    There is no “Club” here in Nebraska. However there is a Club in DC and Sasse is part of it. Ben Sasse only moved here because Romney lost. Sasse was an adviser to Romney and you know if he won Sasse would have stayed there.

  8. Tommie Frazier says:

    Hey, dummy: Mitt lost in 2012. Sasse has been in Nebraska since 2009. So there was no “staying” there in DC.

  9. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    Sasse’s 5 minute ad is just weird. His kids are cute, but who makes a 10-year-old (I’m just guessing on ages) push a power lawnmower? Maybe it builds character, but it also cuts off body parts. What does he mean by “take on the Supreme Court?” Impeachment? Good luck with that. I thought some of the bio stuff was pretty good. But I agree 100% on the “outsider” thing. I just think he’d be so much better off saying what he often seems to say, which is that he knows enough about the system to help fix it, but he hasn’t been corrupted by it. McLeay’s is campy. Having all the family members read those sort of dopey lines really isn’t effective. The thing is, I’ve seen McLeay speak and he’s pretty good. He’d just be so much better off with him and a camera explaining why he’s better than the other candidates. Dinsdale’s and Osborn’s introductory videos were much better. Dinsdale’s actually was shockingly good in that public speaking is not h is strength but he came across well in the video. Osborn’s did all the things that Sasse’s tried to do without $100K in CGI (or whatever it cost). At least Sasse’s didn’t have him declaring that he’s not a witch (warlock?) or any red-eyed sheep, so that’s a bonus I guess.

  10. to Raven says:

    Raven Shirley
    I’m proud to be a part of Ben Sasse’s team. He’s running a different kind of campaign because he is a different kind of candidate, who is calling for a new kind of leadership in Washington. This election must be about saving our country from the establishment, dismantling Obama’s failed socialist policies, and disrupting the current system. We have to choose the strongest, most conservative voice – that voice is Ben Sasse.

    Which establishment exactly is he saving us from? The only guy Nebraskans need to be protected from is Sasse

  11. Running Scared... says:

    Just got a fundraising email from Dean Dennhardt… (Oops, I mean Shane Osborn). He says that the ad Sasse is running on TV attacks him. I saw the film where Sasse calls out the establishment, but where’s the attack? Also, the ad that was on TV doesn’t even go that far.

    He also said that Sasse is using DC to “buy this race.” Sasse raised the majority of his campaign cash from Nebraska, while Osborn barely got 30% from Nebraska. Also, I read somewhere — I think the National Review — that McConnell’s K-Street friends are all backing Osborn and raising money for him. Sounds like some hypocrisy here.

    Are they running scared?

  12. to Running scared says:

    Maybe you didnt read the part where the day before Sasse released the ad bashing “Washington influencers” Senate Conservative Fund (a DC influencer?) announce that they had raised a quarter of a million for Sasse

    What a hypocrite

  13. @ to Running scared says:

    When Senate Conservatives “invests” money they do it by bundling checks from conservatives at like $40 each. Nothing hypocritical about it.

  14. Anon says:

    Also, can’t help noting, the only even vaguely negative thing in that ad is when Sasse says, “The establishment is the problem.” Then Shane sends out an email saying, “He’s attacking me!” So, uh, Shane’s finally admitting he’s the establishment? Good, k, thanks, glad we got that out of the way.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Comment #9 and then Comment #11: Since you are discussing wins and losses, exactly what was your win/loss record while at Doane as a coach? Not nice to call names. Before you point out the specifics of the Bruning loss as you describe it, maybe you need to do your homework on what he we got as a Senator who is as bland as a vanilla cone.

  16. Lil Mac says:

    UW, report back. Especially if that nail comes out. But be careful in case he goes Hypno Toad. Don’t don’t look at the eyes, or his teeth. Maybe look at his shoes. They say you tell a lot by a man’s shoes.

  17. Anonymous says:

    To be honest, both Osborn and Sasse are running fairly shady campaigns. You guys bring up that Sasse raises a majority of his money from inside Nebraska. However, he is pulling the same thing that Bob Kerrey tried: returning to his home state to try and win a senate seat. It’s sketchy. Osborn, on the other hand, can’t raise money inside the state. I wouldn’t vote for either of them.

    Also, we shouldn’t elect Sasse based on the fact that he needs to stay and help Midland University. He needs to stay in Nebraska and finish what he started, like when he promised to reopen Dana College.

  18. Dana College says:

    Still waiting on that update on that fundraising Ben. We know you can raise money for TV ads. When are you going to raise money to reopen Dana?

  19. To Dana College says:

    Sasse’s accreditation issues at Midland are an obstacle to any new campus opening up. I wonder if Ben explained that to the leaders of Blair

  20. Anonymous says:

    Can we also point out the fact that Sasse called Obamacare the WORST law in our nation’s history? Now I agree, it’s a poor law and shouldn’t have been passed, but that statement seems pretty ignorant when one examines the legal justifications of slavery and barring women from voting.

  21. TexasAnnie says:

    “Establishment” politicians are like “conservatives” in that they still hope most of us aren’t noticing the social and economic inequity they have already rendered. Of course, sometimes “liberals” are “establishment” politicians too. I agree with Sasse that BOTH political parties are the problem. And I agree with Street Sweeper that Sasse needs to bring forth solutions to the problems “establishment” politicians have rendered. Problem is: IF Sasse were to propose real solutions, he would also be denigrated as “the outsider!” Right Street Sweeper?

    We need a strong third party to break up the establishment mentality. Until then, it really doesn’t matter who gets elected ’cause for now it’s all about corporate welfare anyway…

  22. Move US Capitol to Nebraska says:

    This morning, RealClearPolitics is highlighting Sasse’s idea that the nation’s capitol be moved to Nebraska. Makes one proud doesn’t it? I guess one thing it would help is all of the moving back and forth by politicians like Sasse and Kerrey and Kleeb. And may I be so bold as to suggest that when Sasse gets that move approved, they pick Sweetwater as the new location….I know just the piece of land they could buy for it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The “inequity” you see rendered, when all are free to rise but some prefer to lay amid languid largess, isn’t due to conservatism but to the social liberal ease that lets you choose to not stand on your own two feet and then to do that so long that you become crippled. Working hard and risking isn’t fun or easy. It is far easier to act crippled and get things free to the point of becoming that way in fact. And since today every hero is deemed to be some sort of broken victim and every true victim like kids with cancer are said to be “heroes”, what’s the point of making the effort to rise when by so doing you are deemed an evil person for your effort and those you rise above are deemed good and heroic for laying there? That’s you equality, that’s your economic equity. Everyone is equally crap.

  24. Midlands College freshman student says:

    Hey! Has anybody seen our leader? I can’t find the bookstore and somebody told me our President is always on the phone to his D C campaign consultants.
    If anybody sees Midlands College President Sassy ask him if we are going to lose our accreditation because I am thinking of transferring to Dana College.

    Puzzled Freshman at Midlands College

  25. Outsider? says:

    If BS is really the outsider then why is his biggest cheerleader the former state GOP chairman (who spent most of his term fighting the outsider paulies)? Wouldnt that make him the establishments choice? Just a thought

  26. SeeDeeThree says:

    Pete Ricketts refused to sign the Voter ID petition being circulated last night and a few arch conservative types were hopping mad about it. Probably not the last we’ve heard of that.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I honestly didn’t find anything horrendous about either ad. Was McLeay’s ad odd? Yes. But it was a positive ad and it shows he’s close with his family. Should he have spoke more himself? Most definitely. But family and football are a big part of this state, so I suppose you can’t really go wrong there.

    Sasse also showed off his family and we got a sneak peak into their personas a bit, as it didn’t seem as awkwardly forced as the McLeay ad. However, I think it would’ve been more clever to move Nebraska’s capitol to DC and say something like “bring Nebraska values and efficiency to the least efficient place in America” and something along those lines. But, in my opinion, what is the real point of his ad? To get people talking about Ben Sasse that don’t know who he is. Such an extreme suggestion will get the coffee shops chattering, which from the recent (name recognition) polling numbers he is in great need of. Probably a good lead for him into the debate season. Just my educated two cents…

  28. Mountain Lion in Nebraska says:

    Everyone of the candidates for Nebraska governor likes the Game and Parks decision to open up the state to hunt me!
    I surely do not want to see Pete Ricketts or Mike Foley on the other end of the rifle.
    Like they would ever go out into the forest to hunt in the first place.
    Please city folk in Omaha and Lincoln do not like me being hunted.
    Don’t their votes count?
    Scaredy Cat

  29. Speaking of cats says:

    Charlie Janssen looked like a caged cat last night. He seemed distracted and nervous. He looked a lot more like a candidate for a trip to spin-dry than a candidate for Governor.

  30. Pete says:

    OK fools, next person to call Sasse’s place of employment “Midlands…” is getting a boot to the shin. His place of employment (if you call what he has done there “work”) is Midland University. Get it right. There is no “s”.


  31. Gaius Gracchus says:

    I don’t watch television. I am not immune to advertising, which is why I limit my exposure to it. The debates aren’t debates, so they are no help. Candidates these days are more or less social constructs. So how do you make an informed decision about who to vote for?

  32. Attended Ben’s “Obamacare” squeezer last night here in Kearney. First time I ever saw/heard the kid. Impressions: very bright and (wonder of wonders) coherent speaker. Guy talks in paragraphs, and well-constructed paragraphs at that. He seemed well-informed, maybe just a touch pedantic – first candidate I ever heard use words like “irenic” and “cognoscenti” but hey – hard to condemn a guy for being articulate. He didn’t actually make my liver quiver, but I didn’t leave hating him either. I knew a lot of people in the room and from what I could tell everyone was pretty much impressed. He answered questions directly and succinctly, was appropriately self-effacing, and complimented the 3CD a lot.

    He’s a good-looking guy with a pretty wife, three cute kids, and politician’s hair. He got game, a good staff, an impressive resume (in spite of his detractors here on L Street) and a big old motor-home thingie with “Sasse” on the side in letters about 3 feet high. And he gots a BOATLOAD of cash. Dunno if he’ll take down Shane the War Hero and Sid the Banker or not … but he is a formidable candidate. Gonna be fun to watch this race.

  33. Ed,
    Per your original comment on your trip to see Sasse:
    1) did he pull a nail out of the wall with his asshole, or the equivalent?
    2) did he give you more detail — particularly about a “Sasse-Care” plan to replace ObamaCare?
    3) did you get over his “bugs Bunny teeth”?
    4) did the earth move for you, since you did report back?
    Thanks for the input.

  34. Sweeper:
    Fair questions.
    1) No – but he did spit farther, jump higher, sing prettier and fart louder than anyone else present.
    2) Sadly, notsomuch – lotsa generalities (good ones, but still non-specific)
    3) He must have made an emergency visit to an orthodontist – he no longer looks like he could eat a sandwich through a chickenwire fence (or maybe I was watching Looney-Toons when I thought I was viewing his video – I drift away sometimes)
    4) The earth stayed where it was … but a lady behind me did go into a partial swoon when he bent over to pick up a quarter he dropped.

    Hope you find this info useful!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Sweeps, just a very small and insignificant point: The term “establishment Republican” might be used by TEA Partiers and Ron Paul types when they talk amongst themselves. But far and away the most widely listened to user of that term is Rush Limbaugh, who uses it to describe Congressional Republicans who aren’t particularly conservative.

  36. Question says:

    Is it true that Brandon Peterson was a late roster addition to the North Korean basketball envoy. Peterson has a mean sky hook but I suspect that his quest to open a Pyongyang Young Republicans Chapter will NOT go over well.

  37. To Question says:

    I don’t think Brandon was added, but Ben Sasse’s former athletic director at Midland was hired. Evidently Kim Jong-un was impressed with his skills of intimidating athletes with threats of drowning in rivers. The Yalu river gets mighty cold this time of the year.

  38. Macdaddy says:

    OWH has a Bloomberg News filler on Berkshire-Hathaway’s foray into the residential real estate biz. Would it have killed the news editor to put a disclaimer that B-H owns OWH? Those OWH employees that read this blog, you know that was wrong for that article to run like that. Call your editors on the carpet for it. I dare you.

  39. Do You Think They Care? says:

    Macdaddy—I learned a long time ago that the Omaha World-Herald doesn’t give a damn about journalistic ethics. Remember the fraudulent poll they ran before the Fischer/Kerrey election? They simply do not care…..about ethics or what the subscribers think. Get used to it.

  40. To Sweeper & Ed says:

    No one running in a general election is going to give too many – if any – specifics on what their plans may be this early in the cycle…especially when their views are very similar. Every politician’s MO in a speaking engagement is to answer “yes” to this question: Was I sufficiently vague? i.e., provide information without providing specifics. The reason they do this is because once you come out with a concrete plan, people can begin poking holes into those plans. Why roll something out that can be poked and proded for 5 months? Best guess is more specifics are laid out during the 2nd and 3rd debates for all of the candidates…

  41. Fort Street Fury says:

    On my morning drive to work, a bright and shiny LED billboard near 120th and Pacific caught my eye with a Ben Sasse advertisement. Kudos to Sasse for having that kind of money to spend so early in the race- but that billboard SUCKED. I don’t mean to be crude but really, it was very difficult to read with text that did not contrast enough with the light “blue sky” background.

    If team Sasse is reading this: The spot is good and the bright billboard is pretty awesome. You just need a completely new design and BOOM you’ll be in business. You’ll still be down 30+ but hey that’s what billboards are for

  42. Macdaddy says:

    #54, I know they don’t care, but you never know. Maybe if they know somebody is watching they’ll decide not to act like snake oil salesmen.

  43. Hesdeadjim says:

    I listened to the Hyannis debate last night and cam away with this:

    Slone sounded like a very bright man whose experience in tax code could be the ticket for Nebraska

    Ricketts didn’t have much meat to his responses. Most of his answers cited his experience as COO of TD Ameritrade. Some of the subjects were dangerous e.g. water rights and conservation. He could have looked like a fool if he pretended to know what he was talking about. For his opening statement, he spent more time talking about his grandparents and parents than about himself, I suspect in an effort to look more like a Nebraska City guy than an Omaha guy.

    Janssen did a great job of highlighting his record in the legislature to raise himself above the rest. He made sure to hit on those emotional issues that make him so popular. Points for being engaging.

    Carlson scored points for having real knowledge of third district issues. Nobody will accuse him of being all hat and no cattle. The trouble lies in some of his more moderate stances.

    McCoy was not very memorable in his responses, but it’s not like he stepped on it either. He caught a little heat and handled it as well as one can expect.

  44. To:Hesdeadjim says:

    Did Carlson explain his yes vote on LB599 that took almost 6 million dollars of legal Nebraska citizen’s hard-earned money and gave it to illegals for free healthcare? The 6 million dollars was just in the first year–wait until you see the number at the end of the 2nd year!

    Did Carlson explain why he brought term limits forward to be voted on AGAIN–for the 4th time–and soundly DEFEATED for the 4th time by the voters of Nebraska? Maybe no one can accuse him of being all hat and cattle, but there is nothing under that hat and the bs he puts out would fill a feedlot.

  45. Hesdeadjim says:

    I believe I addressed your concerns in a less confrontational way when I said “the trouble lies in some of his more moderate stances”

  46. Anonymous says:

    I watched both videos. The McLeay one is stilted but the family comes off as genuine Nebraskans and it’s somewhat endearing because you know they aren’t actors. In other words, anyone could relate to that family. The Sasse video: what does his wife mean when she says, “I’m never leaving!” Huh? Does that mean he is sensitive to the attack that he moved back to lay the groundwork for a Senate run and his wife’s remark firmly cements that she’s never setting foot in DC again? Doesn’t make sense.

  47. Dinsdale Supporter says:

    I’m tired of the bickering on here. I’m supporting Sid Dinsdale because he is a proven businessman. The others have never run a large organization. I don’t count Ben Sasse’s short time at Midland. It appears his oversight agency has placed Midland on probation.

  48. Sheridan County Journal Star Fan says:

    I want to thank the organizers of the January 6, 2013 Hyannis Governor debate. It took work, but the voters benefit from seeking the debate video on the Sheridan County Journal Star web site.

    The GOP candidates have the same basic positions, but their approach to solving the problems differ. I think that I could make a judgment from the interaction on how the candidates will run their office. The approaches ranges from solving the problems now…To forming a committee to let someone else do the work.

    I recommend that you search for the video and enjoy the nuance.

  49. Back at # 63 says:

    I’m tired of the bickering here in this political discussion blog. I’m supporting Adolph because he’s a proven war hero and he ran a large organization, a party actually. I don’t count other candidates’ accomplishments, only that of the one I choose. So stop that bickering or its the ovens for you.

    Sarcasm aside, and in case its not clear, #63, you are a fool. Albert Speer was a “proven businessman” exactly like Dinsdale. Goebbels had a doctorate like Sasse. Adolph was a decorated veteran like Osborn. Your words are not persuasive but in fact pointless. And, frankly, your self assuredness combined with your vapid lack makes your pontifical pronouncements seem silly. Do you actually think Dinsdale likes to attract supporters as dim as you?

  50. Bob Loblaw says:

    So Ben Sasse is on the cover of National Review. That’s pretty interesting for a guy way behind in the polls. Maybe some of you with more insight than me can explain who is pushing Sasse so hard in DC.

    But I finally figured out who Sasse reminds me of. John Thune. He’s got a similar story, good looking, Washington ties, many of the same qualities. It just seems those two are very similar. Not saying if this is good or bad, but that’s my observation.

  51. Hesdeadjim says:


    Foley: Showed a bit of fire when he said (paraphrasing): There’s a lot of people in jail because of what my office has uncovered, and jail is where they belong! It’s hard to argue with his record as auditor, and he leaned on it hard. He did not, and perhaps should have, said how many people have been fired by the state because of negligence.

    Hey- there’s a good question for Foley. In each instance that his office has uncovered gross fraud and waste, how many people have been fired for their negligence? I know that my boss would have me kickin’ bricks in an instant if he found out I cost the company $1million +

  52. Hyannis Debate says:

    You guys are cruel. Beau and Carlson’s poor performance can be attributed to the fact that it is way past their bedtime.

  53. @ Sweeper's comment 67 and 68 says:

    As an NRO reader, I can say that National Review’s MO the last two cycles has been to find someone who is not the perceived frontrunner, but who they believe has big potential and can win. They endorsed Rubio against Crist with the headline: “Yes, He Can.” In other words, yes, Rubio can win this thing at a time when the movement wanted to be with him but were not sure. NR did something similar with Cruz in 2012 and gave him a huge lift.

    Basically, National Review is saying, “This guy is the next conservative star and he can win.” I’m not sure I agree with that assessment as Sasse still hasn’t proven anything, but this is not out of line with how they operate.

  54. Kerry says:

    Sure glade my boss Gov Dave has not caught onto that firing for costing millions of dollars. Cause If he did I would not be running HHS and making lots of money doing. But as long as you give to his campaign or stroke his ego. Hieyman don’t care how incompetent or inexperienced you are. Nor does he care how much tax dollars you waste. He’s still miffed about not getting the 2.5 million plane

  55. 32,613 miles, really Shane? says:

    Shane said on November 4, 2013 at the Buffalo County GOP Forum that he had almost 15,000 miles. Then at the SCC Meeting on December 7, 2013 that he had 31,000 miles and 93 counties under his belt. So that would mean he would have to drive 484 miles per day to reach 31,000 by December 7th. Then said on Jan 7 2014 that he had 32,613 and visited all 93 counties. If thats the case then from November 4th he had to drive 275 miles per day to reach 32,613 by January 7th.

  56. Demon Sheep says:

    Funny how so many DC types are claiming that Ben Sasse is a rising star. If you look at what Nebraskans think in the polls, he only has 7% support. Ben Sasse has to learn you just can’t have fancy ads and Beltway support to win a US Senate race in Nebraska. Nebraskans will look at your record. His record at Midland and false claim that he is an “outsider” will bite him in the rear.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of the Hyannis debate, it’s nice to see Petey Ricketts wore a suit or sports coa….oh, oops. Guess he doesn’t want to show he’s TOO rich

  58. @ Demon Sheep -- I mean Dean Dennhardt says:

    Sounds to me like Dean just has a little bit of sour grapes… right? Also, if you look at Sasse’s Facebook page, he has been all over Nebraska this week — drawing the size of crowds that would make any politician envious.

    Also, Dean you forget one point. Sasse has never said he is the inevitable candidate — those are only things people here from the Osborn camp. However, if you look at National Review’s record — the last two guys they put on their cover like this, Rubio and Cruz, came from behind to beat the candidate that had touted themselves as “inevitable.”

  59. Demon Sheep says:

    Don’t worry @ Demon Sheep, I’m not Dean. I have looked at Dr. Sasse’s page and he is about 6 months late to the party. I think one of your rivals has already hit all 93 Counties. Don’t worry nobody in Nebraska thinks Ben Sasse is Ted Cruz. Evidently Ben Sasse is just like Rubio on immigration. So please use that comparison.

  60. Blair Resident says:

    To Ben Sasse.

    I was looking at your accreditation at Midland and i noticed this:

    Approval of New Degree Locations:
    Prior Commission approval required.

    Have you applied to open a new campus at Blair yet? The word i hear on the street is that if you are “On Notice” for financial concerns your accreditation agency won’t let you expand. Is this true?

    We in Blair are getting nervous about you keeping your promises to us.

  61. @ 82 "Blair Resident" says:

    “We in Blair…” You mean, “We in the Osborn Campaign Office at 2819 South 125th Avenue, Suite 365, Omana, NE…”

  62. Blair Resident says:

    To @ 82. I don’t work for the Osborn Campaign. I really don’t care for them or anybody else for that matter. I do care about Ben Sasse’s commitments to Blair. It’s funny you didn’t answer my accreditation question. The truth is Ben Sasse hasn’t raised any money for the Dana deal because he has been busy raising money for his Senate campaign. We are also aware that win or lose Ben is leaving Midland soon and that some committee is now running the University. Ben has known since the university was placed on probation he would have issues opening up the Dana campus. In Nebraska we elect those who are keep their promises not those who pad their resumes.

    PS Are you moving the capital to Blair on the Dana Land?

  63. Senate Race watcher says:

    Funny how Ben Sasse is pushing all these “Obamacare” town halls all of a sudden. The truth of the matter he does not want anybody questioning him about Midland or his credentials as an “outsider”. Ben Sasse is a product of DC and the IVY League elite.

  64. DC INSIDER says:

    Wow Sasse is calling in a lot of chips. No one puts this much media behind somebody unless they are afraid he can’t win.

  65. of the ACA, I have yet to hear him say one thing about it that wasn’t obvious or I didn’t know already. To read this stuff, you’d think that he’d found a magic trap door that will make it all go away and all we have to do is elect him to the Senate for him to tell us where it is. In a lot of ways, he’s the most vulnerable on ACA issues because of his past statements questioning why everyone was working so hard against it because it was going to pass, and his proclamation in 2010 that despite GOP mid-term gains that “Republicans aren’t stopping” the law, that the ACA — while flawed — was an important first step in discussing national health care reform, and his endorsement of Medicare Part D (the expansion of which, by filling in the “donut hole” because an important cog in the ACA machine. The whole Buckley clan has fancy Ivy degrees so to them finding one like them out on the frontier is really a thing of beauty. NB — Buckley’s son actually endorsed Obama in 2008, presumably on the Ivy connection. I will say that Sasse’s capacity for self promotion really is something, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.

  66. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    Sorry, last post left off the first line: “For all of Sasse’s professed understanding . . .”

  67. National Review

    “With Sasse, however, Nebraska Republicans have an opportunity to do more: They can elect not merely a man who promises to vote for the repeal of President Obama’s signature policy achievement, but a senator who almost immediately would become one of the GOP’s most visible and articulate experts on the health-care law’s defects and the ways to replace it.”

    But I’m guessing Nebraska will once again opt for mediocrity.

  68. To Gerard says:

    Does Ben Sasse have a secret plan to repeal Obamacare that he will only share with America if he goes to the US SENATE? Where was Ben Sasse when it was being enacted??? Ben sasse can’t do crap on Obamacare because he needs a new Republican president to repeal it as the republicans will not have two-thirds of both houses to get a repeal passed.

  69. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    Gerard, I know that’s what the NR says, but that doesn’t make it so. I haven’t heard “boo” from any of the candidates on an affirmative proposal to replace the ACA, unless you count Sasse’s musings on the “policymaker’s dream” (his term) that is Medicare Part D. I really don’t think any of the four major candidates deserve the label mediocre. Sasse is bright, articulate and accomplished. Osborn was raised by a single mom, got an ROTC scholarship to UNL and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and actuarial science, is a decorated veteran and has been successful in business. Dinsdale has long been a community leader, had run and expanded a major bank, and is probably worth 9 figures. McLeay is an honors graduate of the University of Virginia Law School (one of the best 20 or so in the nation) and led the litigation department at the only truly national law firm that was grown in Nebraska. We need more mediocre Nebraskans I guess.

  70. To win the election in 2016, Republicans need an alternative to ObamaCare, which will still be here, running on two cylinders, perhaps, but with a bunch of photogenic big-eyed kids depending on it, or at close enough to that for the MSM. Repeal will not be enough. We need an alternative.

    BTW, I recommend a Seymour Hersh New Yorker article of November 1 2010. Hersh is definitely flaky, but it certainly raises some issues.

  71. Raven; Nebraskas Chris Matthews says:

    The last two Senate Candidates on the cover of the ‘National Review’ were Marco Rubio & Ted Cruz, today it’s Ben Sasse. This campaign is becoming a movement of like-minded Americans who share Ben’s concern with our nation’s future and are tired of business as usual in DC, and I am proud to be a part of it.

    Too bad none of those “like-minded Americans” are registered to vote in Nebraska

  72. Dinsdale Supporter says:

    Ben Sasse was managing Midland since the end of 2009. They were put on probation in 2012 for issues concerning finances and academics. Now he is touting his record at Midland as why he is qualified to be a US Senator. How about sending a person who has actually grown a business and has not been in trouble with his regulators. The only people pushing Ben Sasse are DC types.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Right Comment #80: But crowds are only impressive if the ten Cherry County cows are registered to vote. Even then they need to be GOP and you know how independent bulls are when pressed. Some times all you get from them is BS. .

  74. To Gerard says:

    There is a new Major in “Mediocrity” at Midland. Taught by Dr. Sasse. Here is the Course List
    Intro to Mediocrity 3hrs
    Hiring Mediocre Administrators 3hrs
    University Finances: How to cook the books 3hrs
    Student Enrollment Fixes: Raiding a Defunct College 3 hrs
    Topics in University Finances: Screwing your Customer by using a large tuition discount 3 hrs
    University Security: How to not tell your students about campus crime 3hrs
    University Accreditation: How to gloss over accreditation reports 3hrs
    Senior Seminar: How to collect a salary when you are looking for another job 3hrs

  75. Anonymous says:

    You may get your wish. Your guy might get elected. But then that is your wish not rational reason. And isn’t that how we got Obama and Obamacare in the first place? Be skeptical.

    Every candidate is running to have the power to hurt us. If you feel like any of them might be a savior, I suggest you pound a nail into your own palm to remind you that is what they all will eventually, one way or the other, do to you their constituent.

  76. To Gerard H says:

    Go Google “cost EP-3E ARIES II” The Navy says the plane is $36 million. These were 30 + year old turbo props. Shane’s Crew destroyed the electronics and the plane was returned to the US. Stick to something you know about

  77. Turd Ferguson says:

    I hate to spoil the fun, but this is a incredibly odd choice for National Review. Yes, Sasse joins Rubio and Cruz as senate candidate cover boys, but at the time they were featured, Marco and Ted had already won the GOP nomination in their respective states. Ben is in single digits and running third in the Primary in Nebraska, but man does he have momentum among chummy beltway types who clearly refuse to let Sasse’s distant third place status and pitifully low name ID ruin a good time.

  78. @ The Turd says:

    Turd, you obviously don’t know what you are talking about. You should go read the article from Conservative Intel – http://www.conservativeintel.com/2014/01/09/nesen-nr-ordains-sasse-the-next-big-thing/

    The National Review had Rubio on their cover on its “September 7, 2009 issue. At that point, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio was down in every GOP primary poll by more than 20 points, and in some polls it was closer to 30 points. Within months, Rubio had pulled ahead and built up such a commanding lead that his opponent, the early frontrunner, had to bail out of the GOP primary. Today, Rubio is a senator.”

    The National Review had Cruz on their cover on its October 2011 issue. At that time, “former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz was a longshot in his GOP primary against Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. PPP had him down 29 points a bit before this appeared. Today, Cruz is a senator.”

  79. Spike says:

    Well now! Needless to say Bart needs to fire whoever the clown is doing his Comedy Sketch political TVC’s. Total CRAP! No wonder he’s blocked comments & thumbs! If a wannabee Pol can’t direct ones media campaign, he sure as hell won’t be worth a hill of beans if elected even though Mommy & Daddy & the rest of the family thinks he can!!

    The same hold true for RUBBER MOUTH B. Sasse. Did you all notice how many times his talking head is OUT of SYNC? That’s trade talk for when the words coming out of a ACTORS mouth don’t match their lip movement. And letting video air or cloud with these kinds of mistakes should not happen especially coming from a ripoff DC con artist like Davis! Sasse should Fire that clown also & get rid of the pretty boy act & get into some real hard ass Nebraska grit. All the pretty pictures & pathetic Bull Shit coming out of BS’s mouth can’t hide the fact that Davis is CLUELESS on this one. Come on now, Nebraska is a backward state, no doubt but the people here have internet & aren’t living in the 50’s still?? Is Davis still doing drugs or what? Nebraska values my ass! SLICK Sasse & Davis must think that they can CON the hicks of NE with any kind of outrageous lie that they can dream up! Bottom line; Bart & Ben are just a couple of bad actor that aren’t quite ready for PRIME TIME!!! Next please!

  80. Anonymostly says:

    Interesting. The IRS targets conservative groups and the media yawns.

    But a couple lanes get closed on a bridge in New Jersey and, whoa, holy heck, its a scandal worthy of taking down a Presidential contender.

    Really? Really, America? We’re circling the toilet because of low-information idiots with the right to vote.

  81. Anonymostly says:

    And how is shutting a few lanes of this bridge any different than, say, shutting down national parks and national monuments? Hmmm?

  82. 110: some excerpts from the Hersh article I quote..

    Navy intelligence report of 2003: “Compromise by the People’s Republic of China of undestroyed classified material . . . is highly probable and cannot be ruled out”

    “Some might think it would not turn out as badly as it did, but I sat in some meetings about the intelligence cost,” [Retired Rear Admiral] McVadon said. “It was grim.”

    The cost included building an entirely new operating system, on the theory the Aries system had been compromised.

    I was hoping this race could be fought without negative campaigning, but given the horde of anti-Sasse trolls, that isn’t going to happen.

  83. Macdaddy says:

    #108, you mentioned some very, very important facts on Cruz and Rubio: Solicitor General Cruz and former Florida Speaker of the House Rubio. Both were already tested in the polls and had already shown their constituents they had what it takes before they were entrusted with the office of US Senator. They were vetted at a much lower level before being allowed to move up. Sasse has done what? He has run what?

    Look, I’m sure the guy is very smart. He may even be a good conservative but he is not helped by this article in NR. I will tell you that NR knows nothing about Nebraska, absolutely nothing. Their track record as of late has not been very good with the exception of Cruz. Rubio has been a big dud with his willingness to give away our hard-earned treasure to criminals from other countries. NR is currently in the middle of deciding if they want to go wobbly or actually be the voice of conservatives and until they do decide, they aren’t on my list of sources I view as the political Gospel.

  84. To Gerald says:

    How dare you attack a veteran. He fought for your freedom and for your right to sip Zimas with your bird nerd friends and to hang out at Doctor Who conventions. Stick to this issues you daft div.

  85. Gaius Gracchus says:

    I’m fascinated by what my Lefty Friends call “social construction.” Advertising, PR, spin, forming perception, a cynic (yes, I am a cynic, and proudly so, though I like to call myself an “informed realist”) are all forms of “social construction,” which I define as “stories we make up and act as if they are True.”

    My point here is the candidates are all Chris Christies in progress. Closed lanes on the candidates’ respective George Washington Bridge are inevitable. The discussion here is about stories the candidates make up as they try to convince the electorate to act as if they are True. The discussion here is not about making a truly informed decision as a voter as to who should be a Representative, a Senator or the state’s Governor. That is no small problem.

  86. Macdaddy. He was assistant secretary of HHS. I’ll concede this isn’t a legislative position, but it is fairly high executive branch position, and Sasse is definitely a health policy wonk, something Republicans don’t have enough of.

    Look, if you have a first found draft pick, you not only look at who’s the best pick, you look at your needs. Do we have enough finaciers and lawyers in the Senate? IMO we do. Do we have Republicans who can supervise the drafting of complex legislation? Not so much.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. The IRS targets conservative groups and the media yawns.

    You need to catch up on the news. This charge has been debunked as many liberal leaning groups were also targeted.

    Stick to something you know about.

    When pigs fly!

  88. Anonymous says:

    Sasse flip-flopped on Medicare Part D. In a recent Slate interview Sasse claimed he was always against it. But during 2009 in U.S. News and World Report Sasse claimed that it should be used as a guide to reform our healthcare system. And you all thought Kerry was a flip-flopper!

  89. Bob Loblaw says:

    Thanks RWP. I am completely and totally undecided in this race. I know very little of any of the candidates besides their general bios.

  90. 125; you seem to be parroting the left-leaning Talking Points Memo of Jan 10, 2014, that is, today. I can’t imagine any Republican reads this garbage. So you are evidently a Democrat interloper trying to sabotage one of the Republican candidates. I can’t imagine why.

  91. IYou post is a liberal cherrypick. Here’s the conclusion of Sasse’s 2009 article

    “That lesson is that when you identify a specific problem, build a competitive market that motivates the private sector to solve it, and provide incentives for consumers to make rational cost decisions, everyone wins.

    These are the solutions that could—and should—be applied in the health reform package currently being considered in the Senate. We don’t need more central planning. We don’t need more government price-setting and mandated coverage levels. ”

    So what about this do you find objectionable?

  92. Anonymous says:

    I actually agree with him here. However for him to now take the politically expedient action of denying he ever supported it brands him as a flip-flopper.

  93. ???? says:

    Does it bother anyone else that the DC establishment wants Sasse worse than the people of Nebraska? Wake Up! The boy is bought and paid for by DC and interest groups to do their bidding.

    At least everyone else gives a damn about our state. Sasse just picked one he could Primary / Run in and moved here.

    The truth will come out.

  94. @???? says:

    Really? What planet are you living on? It has been pretty well reported that Osborn is being supported by McConnell and his cronies…

    “Meanwhile, McConnell’s K Street network has begun donating to Sasse’s chief proponent in the GOP primary, Shane Osborn.”

    You don’t get much more establishment than that…

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