You all were huddled around your computers pretending it was a Roosevelt fireside chat while listening to the Senate candidates Bart McLeay, Sid Dinsdale, Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse “debate” in the Panhandle last night, right?
Oh. Um….well US NEITHER! OK, maybe we, um, listened to a little of it. Most of it.
OK, all of it.
Well, at least us, a few reporters and lots of campaign staff.
And our thoughts on the debate? Here goes.
First, this wasn’t a debate.
Sure, they called it a debate. But as near as we could tell, the rules weren’t set up to challenge answers, question other candidates, or in any way really find any separation between these GOP conservatives.
And then there were the questions. A couple very detailed Qs regarding ethanol subsidies (we think) and maybe something about the Farm Bill. Ka-CHUNK! Yes, each candidate had a very good stock answer they slammed down.
Here’s something we did discover: these are four very smart, qualified and prepared candidates. There are no dopes in the bunch, and none were stumped or shaky in ANY of their answers. So that was nice to learn. (And we don’t mean to try to hit anyone here, but there had been talk and emails that ONE of the candidates was MUCH smarter than the others. Well, we don’t know about SAT scores, but as far as this appearance went, each came off very knowledgable and well versed on all the subjects.)
Then there were the obligatory ObamaCare questions. As noted by Deena Winter in her summary over on Watchdog, Shane Osborn was the only one who got suckered into answering a “IF ObamaCare can’t be repealed, what would you do to fix it” question. He gave some of the proposed ideas out there — then the others just rejected the question saying it couldn’t be fixed. Ah well.
Then there were a couple immigration questions where you’ve already seen a slight amount of separation between Dinsdale and McLeay (who support some sort of acceptable residency) and Sasse and Osborn (who won’t consider anything).
And if your goal was to see if all of the candidates were prepared with their stock answers, then mission accomplished. But some of the questions (“Can you REALLY be independent of special interests?“) were not exactly hardballs. (“Gee Ted, when you put it THAT way, no I don’t think I could. I’m afraid I’m in the back pocket of Big Candy.“)
Here is a suggestion for the next debate: “You all are conservatives. How are you different from the guy to your left?” Or even better, “What policy difference do you have with the guy on your right?” You will potentially see a little dust-up, and have some back and forth.
Hey, no one is really listening or watching, but at least you’ll see a few more cut-outs for the local news.
So, Final Analysis? Who won?
(Spoiler Alert: All of the campaign staff who will be filling up this comment section telling you that their guy won? They’re wrong.)
No one won.
And no one lost.
Well, except those who spent an hour huddled next to their external speakers hoping for something to happen.
And we didn’t really look at the calendar when the debate dates came out, but let us note a couple:
Sunday, March 23rd (Broken Bow)
…which is also the date of the 2nd round NCAA Basketball Tournament games (well, “3rd” round, if you consider the stupid “opening round”). Hmm, Duke vs Louisville or Ricketts vs Carlson? Now THERE’s a difficult decision! (Hint, it’s not a difficult decision, and if you try to change the TV at Buffalo Wild Wings to the debate, you better be wearing a protective cup.)
Monday, April 7 (Lincoln)
…which is the date of the NCAA Championship Game!
OK guys. This is right up there with your buddy and fiance who set their wedding date on the afternoon of the Nebraska-Michigan game. (“Yeah! Surprisingly we didn’t have any problems renting the hall that day!“)
Maybe there’s a chance that the times won’t cross-over on those days, but we don’t have our hopes up.
Hey looky-loo who is noting that Attorney General Jon Bruning is considering running for Governor!
Gee, hasn’t Bruning said at least twice that he’s NOT running?
And no mention that this has been “on the blogs” for a few weeks now?
(And the LJS’s Don Walton tweeted:
Jon Bruning confirms he may enter Republican gubernatorial race.
Yeah, don’t worry, we weren’t holding our breath for attribution of this WEEKS ago.
A few points from Robynn Tysver’s quote-free article (everyone will attack that, right?):
“Pete Ricketts is considered the front-runner…”
Really? Based on…?
Are there polls that we’ve missed? Chatter? Help us out here.
And then, since there’s not much else there, we will note that it would open up the A.G. race like a venus fly-trap.
So who COULD be in for that gig?
We’ve heard the following thrown about…
- Former Douglas County GOP chair Brian Buescher
- Lincoln attorney Mike Hilgers.
- Former GOP Chair Mark Quandahl.
- Lincoln attorney Doug Peterson.
- Former GOP Chair Mark Fahleson (unlikely, we are told, but ya never know).
- Auditor candidate Pete Pirsch pulling a (potentially difficult) switcheroo.
- Senate candidate Bart McLeay pulling a (very unlikely) switcheroo. (This is probably not in the cards at all, but McLeay does like to stress his lawyering experience…)
- Here’s a good one: Don Stenberg could do the switcheroo — there are term limits for the Treasurer job. His re-election would be his last term. Rumor has it that he would love to be AG again and be “free” from term limits.
We are sure there are others — and no doubt a few of those listed above wouldn’t happen. Especially considering that at this late date, anyone with an active law practice would have to make some major changes to their life and clients. Not everyone can do that at the drop of a hat.
Lots of crazy considerations.
Over in the NE-02 Congressional race, we note that Congressman Lee Terry has $800K cash-on-hand.
His GOP primary challenger has…$6K. Maybe not so much TV money there.
And Terry has also been given a new TV ad by the American Chemistry Council .
See it here:
Not bad for a freebee.
Rolling our eyes at the Chuck Whatshisnose Governor campaign announcement at the Capitol yesterday.
Keep in mind that there are very strict rules about bringing any signage into the Rotunda. Just ask Nebraska Right to Life if they’ve ever been stopped or warned about having LAPEL STICKERS confiscated before doing an inside event.
But for the Hassebrook forces? Yard signs? Banners? No problemo!
We are going to do our best to talk Governor’s and Senate race money tomorrow.
See ya then!