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.
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.