Time for Lee Terry to take a knee

Lee Terry 901**UPDATE at 11:30 am**

The OWH is reporting that Lee Terry will concede.


Lee Terry is a big Nebraska football fan, so we will put it in terms to which he can relate:

He already chucked the 70 yard Hail Mary when he had the chance to actually affect the outcome of the race.
But it didn’t get him the lead.

So now he is taking one last play, lateraling and lateraling and lateraling.
Oh sure, there is some crazy sort of Cal versus Stanford chance that he comes through.
But it is not likely.

So with 15,000 absentee ballots to be counted — and Terry needing 65% of them to break his way — it is time for Lee Terry to take a knee in Nebraska’s 2nd District Congressional race.


That doesn’t mean Terry has to completely concede. He could call Brad Ashford, congratulate him on a good race, but let him know that he wants to respect the voters and respect the process and respect the Election Commissioner, and let the final votes be counted in the close race before he officially concedes.

And then he should do all the things that he would ordinarily do in a concession: thank the voters, thank his supporters, note that he has always been fighting for Nebraska, etc. etc.

What he should NOT do is keep being “Lee Terry – Head Pundit”.
He should stop making baseless allegations of fraud.
He should stop knocking the Douglas County Election Commissioner.

And he should stop speaking to the strategies and projections that his campaign can win 65% of the uncounted Douglas County Absentee Ballots. Because it ain’t happening.

His final statements at his party last night were the Classic Lee that we have complained about numerous times on this blog. (You can note the times we have expressed sympathy for his campaign staff who must be pulling their hair out.)

He gave a few notes of waiting for votes, then got sucked into answering questions from the press about the state of the race and votes and the rest.

He threw out several things that he DIDN’T know — as if he was hoping he could sway public opinion his way. But hey, Guess what? The voters had already voted! This was simply about counting, and having enough time to count ALL the votes — the votes that usually no one cares about because the races are already decided.

Lee gets pulled in all the time of prognosticating on the state of the race, or what percentages he may need, or other political calculations in the race. We noted this numerous times, but realize that he just can’t get it out of him. He grew up talking politics, and never ever really got to the gist of talking governance.

And then there is HOW to talk it. You would think it wouldn’t be so hard to stay on message and talk about politics being unimportant, and only worrying about the people of his district and yadda yadda yadda. Instead he gets sucked in about discussing strategy and it dooms him every time.


We have our own opinions on the impetus behind the “Dang straight” line. Some have suggested he was likely tired and frustrated at the time. Others say it was a slip of the tongue, that he didn’t really mean it.

We think — and this is just our guess, we haven’t confirmed this with anyone or anything — it was a calculated statement. Our guess is he discussed the response, probably with a colleague, or maybe a campaign type. The suggestion was probably to “own” the shutdown scenario, to stand up strong and say, “Of course, if I work I will take my pay.” That voters would respect a strong statement.

And then, without really thinking it through, he went for it, made it sound “Lee Terry-like” — throwing a “Dang” in there. (Probably started as, “F*cking A!” and went down from there.)

In any case, instead of taking the humble Congressman route, he went Aggressive Pundit.

And then he ended up at midnight on Election Night, accusing the FBI of messing with Dave Phipps counting.

F*cking A.


Now don’t get us wrong: Brad Ashford is going to be terrible.
And it will be difficult to get rid of him.
Lee Terry had finally earned some juice in the House, and he voted the right way almost all the time, by any conservative’s standard.

But as happens when you have been in a gig for 16 years, you start to think you have all the answers. You don’t listen to the people who tell you “no”. And you surround yourself with those who nod at all of your great ideas. It is just what happens.

And as we noted yesterday, the Dems hit a perfect storm of a once-Republican candidate (we may argue that Pete Festersen would not have won this race), a strong Dem turnout plan, and a perfectly placed foot-in-mouth.
And we would love to see the Math, at this point, that could realistically carry Lee Terry to victory.
But an onside kick, lateral, hidden ball and flag at the ref’s head wont’ take him there.


We received an media notice at 11:00 am today that Terry will make an announcement at 1:30 pm.
We wait to hear what it is.


  1. anonymous says:

    For Lee Terry to accuse Douglas Co Elec Comm Dave Phipps of voter fraud was so wrong and ungracious. If they’re losing The Terry Family blames everyone but themselves. The elec comm has a a system of checks and balances. Nothing about last night’s voting procedures was unusual. What’s not unusual is Terry’s consistent string of foot in mouth entitlement to a job he was only supposed to have for six years. Lee Terry its time to show graciousness. The voters gave you a ten year bonus. Lee Terry dig deep and pull out your class card by publicly apologizing to Dave Phipps. Your first opportunity is during your 1:30p press conference today, which is regardless if you decide to also concede.

  2. Macdaddy says:

    I warned Terry months ago about the problems I had with the GOP leadership and how that would affect him. Terry decided to flip me the bird so right back at ya’, pal. I used to be his biggest defender on this blog and it should have set off alarms in his office when I voiced my concerns. So now it’s over and time to move on.

    The Republicans are in a horrible position: they own Congress yet don’t have a filibuster-proof majority or a veto-proof majority. In addition, Obama has no problem with ignoring laws. It’s a challenge but the Republicans don’t have the balls for it. Sigh.

    Brad Ashford’s staff probably should fit him with a tracking device. He doesn’t stand a chance in Congress. The building itself will defeat him and his moronic statement of finding 25 friends will ensure that the other 434 Congressmen will avoid him like The Plague. Dems, you should have run John Ewing again.

    Stothert ’16!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well that didn’t take long… Chip Maxwell already announced for 2016. So, let the 2016 prognosticating begin.Who else gets in? Dan Frei? Pat Borchers? Bart McLeay?

  4. Anonymous says:

    We advise not mentioning “family” of politicians. You would not want people talking about your own family. Its not necessary. Other than that, you are correct. Lee Terry is an ungracious ass,

    Oddly, Lee Terry won 2D when Obama took 2D and was very popular. But Terry lost 2D when it was damn near impossible for Republicans anywhere to lose.

  5. Interesting play says:

    Pat Borchers could shake up the race. He is very well liked, connected politically, and has strong ties to major republican donors.

  6. TREDSTONE says:

    Well, after Ryan Horn lost everything he touched including Lee’s race do you think they will let him keep his campaign manager of the year award?

    The guy is now a huge liability for Redstone. Will be interesting to see what they do with him. At least he sent them a ton of money!

  7. Bob Loblaw says:

    In the video above Lee said that:

    “This is as bizarre an electoral situation that I’ve seen in Nebraska in my lifetime.”

    Could one of you with more knowledge let me know was so unusual about it. Votes were counted until late in the night. Is this really that different than any other election in Omaha?

  8. Nope, the second district is going to find exactly how much power and influence a freshman congressman from the minority party has. Boehner has a large enough majority he doesn’t need people who can ‘reach across the aisle’, even if Asshat were that kind of person, and he’s not.

    People who bitched about how little Terry did will start looking at him as the lion of the House.

    I’m a bit more optimistic. If the GP stays upbeat and keeps sending Obama bills, it’s going to be hard to portray them and not him as obstructionists. And they can pass a money bill with 51 votes in the Senate; a money bill that doesn’t contain funding for any of the illegal things Obama might want to do. McConnell is a sly old fox. He knows all this.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is Hillary’s dream come true. She cannot make Obama less toxic and doesn’t need to now. What Republicans have been doing to each other here for most of this year, Republicans in Congress will doing to each other for the next two years. And voters like to hate Repblicans but the love to hate Congress. So its a double whammy. Only a super personality GOP candidate can overcome that.

  10. anonymous says:

    Forget Pat Borchers. He could not get elected. I have met him several times. He’s very odd and would not be able to connect with voters. We also do not need another out of touch think they know it all lawyer in Congress or any other down ballot race.

  11. husker007 says:

    Jeremy Norquist is the man. He raised the wage, took down Heineman, and pushed Ashford over the top. Now he’s going for gay marriage, gay adoption, medicare expansion, abolishing the death penalty, and many other progressive causes. He can’t be beat. He is for real.

    The real winner tonight: Norquist

  12. Anonymous says:

    # 12. You want Jesus to run. Sorry, all out of Jesus.

    Everyone who wants power to force their neighbor to obey is a bad person.

    The best you can hope for is to elect a bastard who isn’t impolitic. They are all bastards. The only thing worse is a stupid bastard. And that isn’t excluded by anyone’s occupation.

    They don’t love your liberty to disagree with them, even. They all love themselves. As you love you.

  13. Kerrey for NYC Mayor says:

    Terry over-stayed his welcome and the fact that he lost in Omaha during a landslide Republican wave says all you need to know here. Ashford is a career politician (Hoogland part 2) and if anything good comes out of this, it is that for the first time in 18 years Omaha Republicans can field a strong candidate for Congress – one they won’t hold their nose voting for.

  14. anonymous says:

    To BobLaw @ 12:12pm
    Right on Sir! What’s so “unusual” to Lee Terry for this election is that his 16 year gravy train ride has finally ended. He is in denial. Looking to deflect the blame on someone else. Wrong. No class.

  15. Ricky says:

    It had to be a shocker for those who looked at this race nationwide and asked how in the heck did a six term incumbent Republican lose in Nebraska?
    GOP control in state government remained about the same as before yesterday, so the biggest thing in the election in Nebraska was the Brad Ashford win.
    Obviously people were tired of Terry, and the restless Republican candidates all wanted a shot at the 2nd district.
    When Terry showed an opening with his comments, Dems pounced. With Terry showing weakness, lots of volunteers for Ashford actually thought they could pull it off, and they showed up and did it.
    And good riddance to Terry and his race-baiting fear mongering campaign.
    I don’t know what difference a rookie house member will make, but we will see.
    At least now I am pleased with my representative in DC, and look forward to visiting Brad in the Capitol.

    Ricky From Omaha

  16. anonymous says:

    Pat Borchers is not a winner. He is connected politically to the former Douglas County Republican Party Chairman Scott Petersen. Petersen is a rogue Ron Pauler and ran the party into the ground. Can’t trust him.

  17. Macdaddy says:

    I threw Stothert’s name out there but don’t take that to mean she’s my preferred candidate. I think the GOP has a lot of great candidates in the CD2. It’s an embarrassment of riches, really. My preferred candidate, in addition to being pro-life, anti-amnesty, strong on defense, anti-regulation, and a budget-slashing fiend, would have held at least 1 elected office prior to running for Congress. School board counts.

  18. Macdaddy says:

    Ricky, I hope you can find the hapless Ashford in Congress. He’s going to be voted Most Likely to End Up on the Side of a Milk Carton and that will be when he gets up to go find a bathroom. I hope the Capitol Police have his picture memorized so they can redirect him back to his office. At least Esch would have taken advantage of the rich cultural opportunities (wink, wink) DC offers while being inconsequential.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who knows Brad Ashford knows what an absolute stroke of luck he had. As SS said, this was a the perfect storm for Ashford. He is otherwise so flaky that one can’t imagine ever handling him in any type of successful campaign. The words about getting around the halls of Congress are true. This will be a big challenge for him directionally.

  20. Babs says:

    We know that Sasse will be Leavenworth’s POY. No question.

    But this PR gaffe might go down as the most imprudent 1:25 in the history of Nebraska politics.

  21. Anonymous says:

    GH, here is why your prognostication is wrong. The Dems are going to follow the Repubs strategy of filibustering most everything. Bills will never get to Obama. And since the low-info public, not really understanding the filibuster, will see a Congress completely owned by the Republicans accomplishing nothing, all of the blame will go to them, not split 50-50 between the parties.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I do not agree to the holding at least one political office, we need someone who has no aspirations to hold more than 3 terms and is not a politician and can be sincere. Likability will win the 2nd district back as well as a strong stand on conservative principles stated well.

    The candidates I have met in the past I would like to see is Frei(business and conservative but confrontational and flip flopped but could win general), Stothert(although political but could be a possibility and could win in general), Sakalosky(business and healthcare which would be key but may not be interested but could win general), Borchers(needs time to develop and probably cannot win the general. No Festerson, 100% political.

    Bottom line, win respect through clear stances and have no intention on serving more than three terms.

  23. Hesdeadjim says:

    Concerning 2CD primary in ’16: I haven’t even thought about who I’ll support yet but I know for certain who I will campaign actively against: Dan Frei. You can judge a man more by the way he acts in defeat than victory, and Dan’s hissy fit has been embarrassing to watch. Frei wants nothing to do with anyone in the party except his cadre of supporters who so desperately wish to be his loyal subjects. He can’t be bothered to show up to rally’s or help any candidates win, he just wants our vote even if we have to write his name in.

    Much of the same can be said about Maxwell.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Murante make a run for Congress.

  24. Swift Kicker says:

    It will be funny to watch Ashford kick over wastebaskets when he doesn’t get his way in DC. Lots of good stories about him from his days in Lincoln.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Jane Kleeb is trying to take credit for Lee Terry’s defeat, no doubt because of her opinion-full “New Energy Voter Guide” outreach. What a hoot. She says she’s taking a much needed break with a trip to Disney World. The perfect place for her since she lives in Fantasyland anyway.

  26. winsomelosesome says:

    Weird Hearld said the Legislature with the election will be more conservative, like what, Kathy Campbell conservative? They have to just love it. Also I would like to congratulate the parts of Omaha the likes to pay taxes for: a real chance of making the town safer
    keeping segregation going by masking it well with the minorities help

  27. U.S. Rep. Stripbola Ashford says:

    We don’t have Nikko Terry to kick around any more, time to retire the “Nikko” moniker. Ashford is just keeping somebody’s, probably Jean Stothert’s, Congressional desk chair warm. Two years will go by fast, especially since ’16 is starting up yesterday. Let the games begin.

  28. My man Cal says:

    What I find so funny is all the whiny Dems wanting to get rid of Lee Terry for 16 years and now they’ve done so and are stuck with Brad freakin Ashford! Bwahahahahahaha! Oh the irony. Love it. This is the best Nebraska Dems can do. #losers

  29. Return On Investment says:

    I am wondering how “Dough for Chuck” Warren Buffett feels about his return on the thousands of dollars he invested in Chuck. First, Chuck gives up his Regent job to run for the US Senate, then Basement Bob Kerrey crudely shoves him off the rails so Kerrey himself can run for the Senate. Then when Chuck finally gets a chance to run for Governor, he gets knocked off the tracks by Team Ricketts. Maybe Warren can hire Chuck to run BNSF. Politics in Nebraska is a tough row to hoe if you are a lefty and liberal Democrat.

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