Shane Osborn has a new ad out hammering Ben Sasse as a “Washington Bureaucrat“.
See it here:
Note that even after talking about Sasse’s DC ties, Osborn appears and says,
The greatest threat to our nation today is not a foreign enemy.
It’s a government run by Washington, for Washington.
Are we wrong then that Osborn is saying the “greatest threat to our nation” is…Ben Sasse?
This is the new face of Al-Qaeda?
OK, maaaaaybe pull back on the rhetoric, just a bit there Shane.
Now camp Sasse is also pushing back on the “Sasse spent more time working in Washington than working in Nebraska, nearly a decade as a government bureaucrat“.
As near as we can tell that is not exactly true.
Sasse looks to have spent somewhere around 7 to 8 years working in Washington, D.C. or the DC metro.
We suppose that’s “nearly a decade”.
But for about half of that it would be hard to say that he was a “Washington bureaucrat”.
For a little over a year and a half he worked for the Justice Department, Homeland Security and Jeff Fortenberry. (Not sure you call a Chief of Staff to a Congressman a “bureaucrat”, but it’s certainly an “inside DC” gig.)
Then after a time as a professor in Texas, he worked for HHS in DC for 2 years.
So we will give him four years, give or take, as a DC “insider”.
The ad shows this doc:
So for the other 4 years to account for in the DC area, the Wikipedia, which looks to us like it concurs, says:
Beginning in August 1996, Sasse commuted and worked remotely from Northern Virginia.
Sasse graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1998, with a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. During his master’s studies, Sasse was employed as a tutor/proctor for the page program by the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC.
Sasse graduated from Yale with a Master of Arts degree (M.A.), Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), all from the Department of History in 2004.
During his time at Yale University, Sasse worked as a teaching fellow from August 1998 to May 2004, as consultant/acting executive vice president for Westminster Seminary California of Escondido, California from August 2001 to October 2002.,and wrote and conducted research from Washington, DC from 2002-2004.
So while he was doing research in DC, and was worked with the House page program, we aren’t so sure you’d call that time as a “Washington bureaucrat”.
We aren’t sure why Osborn felt they needed to go the “decade” route. They could have just as easily said he spent more time in DC than in Nebraska, and it would have still been accurate.
So they needlessly went over the top on the years, and Shane himself, goes over the top with the “greatest threat” line.
We gotta say, that is going to make people take notice. They are either going to nod in agreement or questioningly tilt their heads (you know, like a dog does when it’s confused, and makes that “mmmrrrwwrr?” sound) and go “huh?”
Our guess is the latter.
Shane is a balls to the wall kind of guy. If this race is close, he is going to go all out.
And this race, no doubt, is close.
Sasse has more money, and has a slew of orgs who would be more than happy to drop a few TV bombs in favor of Sasse. Sasse has received more free media than any other candidate. And with this ad, Osborn has has shown that he is worried enough about any lead he may have that he needed to go negative hard.
And then there is another factor.
You may have noted that Sasse has a million in the bank and Osborn has $700K in the bank.
And then there’s the guy who OWNS the bank.
Keep in mind that Sid Dinsdale has the ability to drop a cool million on this race with whatever he finds in the couch cushions. And he has a message to go with that of being a Nebraska guy who has helped build businesses, create jobs, etc. etc.
We aren’t saying that it will happen, but if you are looking for a candidate to pull a Deb Fischer, in this one it would be Dinsdale.
And that will make Osborn nervous, and potentially Sasse as well.
Four weeks out, we are in the thick of it.
And then Hal Daub jumps in an endorses Osborn.
Just to shake things up even more.
And we cracked up at Hal’s statement that “neutral is just not Hal Daub.”
And not referring to himself in the third-person would also be the equivalent to “Neutral Hal”.
Just another example of how things will rock back and forth for a month.
In the Governor’s race, Pete Ricketts tweeted:
Check out this new poll from @weeklystandard that shows Pete up by 4 points #negov
“This new poll” that is linked, is actually a link to a newsletter from The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol.
In the newsletter, Kristol says that while he was traveling in Nebraska (apparently when Sarah Palin endorsed Ricketts) he saw a poll that said Ricketts was ahead of Jon Bruning by 4 points.
While we do not really doubt that there may be such a poll, that is very different from it being a Weekly Standard poll, especially when Kristol also seems to be quoting the recent Rasmussen Senate poll.
We would all probably agree that the Governor’s race is very close, and may even be neck and neck between Bruning and Ricketts. And then add to that the carpet bombing that the broad Team Ricketts is making on Bruning that has no doubt taken a toll.
Will Bruning have enough to bruise Ricketts?
What effect will Beau McCoy have with his nearly million bucks?
Can Bryan Slone slip in?
Will Mike Foley’s name ID be enough if he doesn’t have the cash?
By the way, if you are interested, we are now hearing that it is possible, maybe, that while the anti-Bruning ads were not paid for by Joe Ricketts, they MAY have been paid for by the Koch Brothers and/or billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer. Politico looked at the “billionaire’s caucus” here.
In any case, the gist being that fellow gazillionaires can look at each other, give that nose-swipe motion Paul Newman and Robert Redford give each other in “The Sting”, and a giant bag of ad money drops in the race of their choice.
We aren’t sure if people care or not that it is a Ricketts hit on Bruning, but it is certainly different than Shane Osborn putting his name and face on a negative ad, than just the name of some group you never heard of.
But like we have said, probably the last of these types of ads in Nebraska this spring.