Palin shows up early in #NESEN

Before we jump to the Senate race, Nebraska Governor candidate state Senator Beau McCoy has a new ad up.
See it here:


Nice, basic intro piece. We look forward to more.


Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin has once again dipped her toe into a Nebraska Senate primary.

This morning, Palin endorsed Ben Sasse for the the seat being vacated by Mike Johanns. In her statement on her Facebook page, she quoted the usual stuff about conservatism, etc.

Palin - Sasse pinterested

Palin’s endorsement here comes much, much sooner than her endorsement of now Senator Deb Fischer in the last week of the 2012 GOP primary. It was that endorsement which pricked up the ears of Republican voters to Fischer, after they had been watching Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg thwack at each other for months.

At that point, with Palin’s endorsement, Jeff Fortenberry’s endorsement and Joe Ricketts’s ad bombardment of Bruning, Fischer shot the gap and took the race.

The endorsement of Sasse today does not have the same effect, but it is another feather in the Sasse campaign’s cap from various national pols, including Senators Mike Lee and Tom Coburn, National Review magazine and conservative groups like Club for Growth and the Senate Conservative Fund.


A 501(c)(4) group called Legacy Foundation Action Fund is spending $300,000 in Nebraska for a new Ben Sasse for Senate ad. See it here:


The spot was produced by famed adman Larry McCarthy, who is known for George H.W. Bush’s “Willie Horton” ad. McCarthy recently produced a much-talked about ObamaCare themed ad against New Hampshire senator Jeanne Shaheen.

We will be honest that considering McCarthy’s other work, we were expecting more from this spot, which isn’t much more than a series of slides. We aren’t really clear why McCarthy would be putting his name on it, other than for both him and Sasse to reference each other. It is a nice positive piece, but it is about as generic as they come — not even coming close to Sasse’s “move the capitol” ad.

After the independent expenditure for Shane Osborn’s “airplane” ad, and now this, we may be seeing the first few ripples of the IE ad tidalwave.


We saw the mention of the above ad, and the Sarah Palin endorsement at National Review Online. There each of the writers referenced the poll from yesterday, noting that Sasse is “11 points behind Shane Osborn.”

Our question: Does ANYONE even read the poll data?
The poll percentages are based on 600 “likely voters” — 200 of whom CAN’T VOTE IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY.

So while the numbers MIGHT show Osborn up 11 on Sasse, they also might show something else completely. Why would Breitbart even use those numbers, and why would NRO reference them?

The numbers are practically worthless, as also noted by Nebraska Watchdog,  if they include opinions of 1/3 of the respondents who don’t get a say. We are not real sure what is going on here.


Need a cool Nebraska vid? How about THIS one, put together by Senator Deb Fischer in honor of Nebraska’s birthday.


The piece was put together by Fischer press staffer Andrew Witmer (pictured here at his edit bay).

Andrew W - Fischer press assistant

We are mighty impressed by the effort. Fischer played the video for her colleagues at the weekly Republican policy lunch and it will play at the Nebraska Breakfasts at the Capitol.


  1. L.A. says:

    What a superb job on the part of Andrew Witmer to show what skilled editing with fast paced visuals do with not a word said to make a clear and concise point. Makes you want to watch it repeatedly. Would that political candidates take a clue. OUTSTANDING work Andrew in selling Nebraska!

  2. TexasAnnie says:

    Yes, L.A. and Sweeper. The video is outstanding. I would be impressed, too, if I could forget about those disabled children who were denied a public education, and those disabled adults who were killed at BSDC while in the custody of the State of Nebraska.

  3. Born In Sweetwater says:

    Thanks TexasAnnie for ALWAYS being at the ready to drag the negativity out of that backpack of perceived slights and negativity that you carry around at all times. It must be awful to be you.

  4. L.A. says:

    TexasAnnie: Your comments are completely and totally out of place to the point I was making. By trying to make your political position such that you do with a mile long stretch to connect, you regrettably lose credibility of a serious matter. Mr. Witmer is to be commended for doing an outstanding job with his creativity that inspires. Try using yours the same way.

  5. TexasAnnie says:

    What? “Lose credibility?” What did I have to lose? Y’all still haven’t fixed the neglect of the disabled and I’ve been gone nearly a decade!!! I’m watching and I see that there is a little new money in the state budget for those DD adults who wait and wait and wait for services. Will the money remain in the budget? If so, will Heineman veto the money? If so, will the senators override? And what about the others still on the waiting list?

    Deb Fischer has a role to play too. When my daughter aged out of school we had crept up to 19% of SPED excess cost from the federal government. You recall, don’t you, that four decades ago the feds promised 40% excess cost. Guess where we’re at now. About 16%. Hummm. Unless and until the people of Nebraska and the people of the U.S.A. begin believing in your state motto, I don’t expect things will improve there for the developmentally disabled. And that’s about as creative as I’m gonna’ get.

    P.S. And I DID say the video was outstanding.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Y’all are thick as a brick on a Sunday moon beam in June. Why are watching Annie? Use your multi dimensional talents to get off your couch long enough to end your pissing and moaning to concentrate your powers of ultimate persuasion which obviously haven’t been workin out for y’all.

    Don’t like it? Change it. But, trying to connect the thigh bone to the neck bone is goofy at best and causes great pain in our butt bone.

  7. TexasAnnie says:

    I do what I can. But my darling adult remains in my home and under my care. It’s hard to get her wheelchair out and about.

  8. Born In Sweetwater says:

    It must drive you crazy that the State of Nebraska spent 6 million dollars providing free medical care to illegals.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey Annie–it seems you are quite skilled with technology to make better use of time than blogging your angst.

  10. Macdaddy says:

    I will give Palin’s endorsement as much weight as I did last primary. I voted for Bruning. This is the biggest endorsement Sasse could get though, bar none. There is something about him that I can’t put my finger on that gives me pause. It’s probably that the RINOs at National Review endorsed him or maybe it’s because the amnesty “agnostics” (wink, wink) at Club for Growth endorsed him. In any event, I’ve not made up my mind. Sorry, Sarah.

  11. Somewhere in Middle America says:

    Let’s see, Palin quit her job as Governor of Alaska as she was still being hounded by Troopergate, in which it was basically undisputed that she used her position to take out a family grudge. She named her daughter “Bristol” because she used to be a sportscaster and she loved ESPN so much (headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut). She formed part of the ticket that was probably the worst set of nominees that the Republicans have put forward in modern times. She’s barely literate. So why is her endorsement of Ben “Take a Chance on Smart” Sasse a good thing for Sasse?

  12. Hello My Name is 'Split Sample' says:

    Mr. Sweeper,

    My name is ‘Split Sample’ I am used in polling to make simultaneous inferences about separate electorates thereby reducing both the sample size and overhead costs of an additional poll.

    The polling memo states it “…surveyed 600 Nebraskans likely to vote in the Senate election…”. It DID NOT specifically say they were all Primary voters. In fact, they were BOTH Primary and General voters with representation from all political parties. One can conclude this from the memo’s determination that “…both candidates appear to have an easy route to the Senate seat if they win the M 13Primary”. How do they know? By using me, ‘Split Sample’.

    The first 400 are a mix of Republican Primary AND General Voters, the remaining 200 are likely Democrats and Independent General Election voters. The 400 Republican voters allow an inference of the Primary at +/- 4.9% and taking the 200 of them who are also likely General voters and asking them for whom they would vote in an R vs D match-up along with the 200 remaining sample of Ds and Is gives them a similar read on the General. Because Nebraska’s voter registration is roughly 50 percent Republican, the math on this split sample works out pretty cleanly.

    And now you know why the results for just the 400 are reported for the Primary match-up and there is a ‘perceived’ extra 200 sample that can’t vote in a Republican Primary. It is because of me, ‘Split Sample’!

  13. Willard says:

    Sarah Palin can put lipstick in Ben Sasse all she wants but it won’t hide his enormous incisors.

    Smiling, Ben is cute like a bunny. But when serious he’s a dead ringer for “Ben” the Hollywood star telepathic rattus rattus who was befriended by a lonely Alaskan girl with a brain condition. Things went south when Ben turned his rat teeth on people and his swarm is destroyed by flamethrowers. But Ben survived to crawl back to Sarah who tended Ben, determined not to lose her friend to the rat trap of politics. She sang…

    “I used to say, “I” and “me”
    Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we”

    “Ben, most people would turn you away
    I don’t listen to a word they say
    They don’t see you as I do
    I wish they would try to
    I’m sure they’d think again
    If they had a friend like Ben

    Not exactly Muskrat Love but close enough.

  14. Macdaddy says:

    Somewhere, you are the barely literate one. Palin’s only lapse in judgement is saying yes to McCain rather than waiting for a better candidate to come along. The Left/MSM machine threw unprecedented resources at Palin trying to trip her up and destroy her. Andrew Sullivan wanted to see the results of her gyne exam because he was/is convinced that she didn’t give birth to Trig. One journalist even moved into the house next door to spy on them. They all came up with nothing, including Troopergate. Palin is a reliably conservative voice. Her endorsement carries a lot of weight on the Right. There isn’t anyone out there whose endorsement is bigger for the primary voters that Sasse needs to push him over the top. She still hasn’t convinced me, but I respect her opinion.

  15. Mark Fahleson says:

    First, thank you to Sen. Fischer and her staff for the great video. We’re blessed to live in the greatest state in the nation. Live outside of Nebraska for just a few years and you quickly realize how good we have it here.

    Second, at this point in the Senate (and gubernatorial) race there will be mindless posts and questionable polls. The focus should be on the ground game–who is motivating voters and who can turn them out. Ben Sasse has been holding standing-room only Anti-Obamacare Town Halls across the state, and people are literally knocking at the door for yard signs. I haven’t seen anything like it since Jon Christensen’s victory in 1994 in which he soundly defeated the “establishment” candidate the late Ron Staskowicz and erstwhile Republican Brad Ashford.

  16. Anonymous says:

    18, that’s the way to blog. Do Q-Ball Ricketts too, and that potato head Osborn, and Bruning who has a hat size like the Red Queen in Alice. Do them all.

    Candidates are like manure, useful to mix in the dirt of beltway politics. But wash your hands. And don’t join the idiots who come here and happily swallow their favorite manure chunk like it was a piece of cake. They are all turds. Vote for the best shaped one and give it the sniff test once in a while. Don’t be afraid to flush any of them.

  17. To the failed State Fair Board Appointment says:

    If Ben isn’t an establishment candidate, why is Karl Rove doing an event for Ben Sasse? By the way, Shane isn’t Ron Staskewicz. Please tell us Mark why Ben and his step-father, Larry Sheppard supported repealing the Fremont immigration ordinance?

  18. To To the failed State Fair Board Appointment says:

    I have never seen anybody fail in getting an appointment confirmed to the State Fair Board. I heard Fahleson had issues getting republican support for his nomination. How as the former GOP chairman do you fail to get Republican support?

  19. Political hack says:


    If you are banking your candidates (and quite frankly your) future on yard signs and out of state endorsements you are sadly mistaken.

    Forgive my ignorance but have you and Ben ever actually been elected by the general populace to anything? This isn’t DC. This is Nebraska. The cheap parlor tricks and hiding from your past will not work. As unfortunate as it is for you guys, Nebraskans are smarter than that. Give us some credit.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Nebraskans occasionally elect Democrats to high office. This year appears to be one of those times that it could happen. Because their candidates are so wonderful? Because of the NDP’s brilliant campaign strategies? No. It will be thanks to the quality of the Republican candidates.
    We all get tired of smelling the same old turds all the time.

  21. Whistler's Mother says:

    Good try, #26. I’m impressed with how well you type while drunk. I hope you took some aspirin before you passed out.

  22. Anon says:

    Politico has an interesting story. Why did Ben lie about his involvement with Leavitt Partners and their consulting on the ACA? It would have been easy to explain that he was helping hard working business owners learn about a bad law they would have to comply with, but instead hea and Leavitt chose to claim that Ben had nothing to do with it. It’s just dumb to lie about things like this.

  23. To 23: I'm confused says:

    So Karl Rove is doing an event for Ben Sasse? This really confuses me. The reason is that he’s endorsed by SCF, who hates anyone like Karl Rove.

    Is Ben Sasse whoring himself out to anyone he can to get an endorsement or fundraising? No matter who it is? After reading the Politico article, it makes me question how far he’ll go to hide the truth and say what he needs to get elected.

    I’m really uncomfortable with this. I have more questions than answers.

  24. Nebraska The Good Life says:

    Andrew Witmer is a rare talent! The academy should be preparing his gold statue, there will be one in his future.

  25. Dear State Fair Board failed nominee says:

    I hope you were not referring to my mindless posts please!
    But since you, failed State Fair Board nominee seem to have the ear of Ben Sasse at these supposed standing room only anti Obamacare rallies, can you ask the Midland College President (for now) just how exactly he and the GOP in the Senate can repeal Obamacare?
    Thanks a lot we are awaiting that answer.

    ricky from omaha

  26. Somewhere in Middle America -- To MacDaddy says:

    The only thing that Palin is — is, well, reliably dim. Dear God, I voted for the woman as a VP candidate to the RINO of all RINOs. After I voted, I went and lit 10 candles for John McCain’s long life. She is to stupid what the Grand Canyon is to ditches.

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