The Wheels Down Politics Show – Hal Daub – Part 1

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IMG_3978Interview Part 1 with University of Nebraska Regent — and former Nebraska 2nd District Congressman and former Omaha Mayor — Hal Daub.

Jerry Kratochvil sits down with Hal to discuss Hal’s life — so far — in Nebraska politics. They discuss his current position on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, his time in Congress, running for U.S. Senate, then his time as Mayor Omaha, Nebraska.

They have to pause before Hal gets into his thoughts on the future of Omaha, the search for the new President of the University of Nebraska, and where he stands on former University of Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini. All of that will be in Part 2, which will be up here on Wednesday, February 11th.

Find previous episodes including Jerry Kratochvil’s introduction as “Street Sweeper” and his first interview with U.S. Senator Deb Fischer at Wheels Down Politics and on iTunes.



  1. The new Coke experiment in full effect says:


  2. Don't be discouraged by negative comments SS says:

    I thought this was a really good interview. Classic Hal. And made it fun bc he’s your mentor. Great work!

  3. Ed Stevens says:

    Kudos on the new look and the multi-author approach. I will admit I’ll sorta miss the old “Snark Central” atmosphere … but I guess we all have to grow up eventually.

    One teensy little thing … the new font is a killer, especially for geezer eyes. Any chance you could find something a little more eyeball-friendly?

    Oh – and I still don’t believe you are the original Sweeper.

    Carry on.

  4. David Bywater says:

    No matter what anyone says on this website about Hal, he is one of the most INFLUENTIAL people in Nebraska politics. You would be hard pressed to find a more “giving” individual anywhere, PERIOD He cares about his country and the republican party. I am very grateful for all the help he provided me over the years. I am a better person for it! But even more so, it amazes me that every time I would begin a conversation with someone on the subject of “how they got started in the NEGOP,” it always starts with, Hal…

  5. The new Coke experiment in full effect says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    I remember Daub’s first foray into politics, speaking at area high schools in 1978. An idiot then, an idiot now, an idiot in between 1978 and now. Unremarkable. Thoroughly forgettable and replaceable.

  7. Thanks, Hal! says:

    Hal Daub, a man of vision and planning.

    Just think what a disaster the sewer separation would have been if Hal hadn’t had the vision to put all those funds away to pay for it…

    For years, everyone knew that the sewer separation was going to have to happen. Hal didn’t do a damned thing to get it started early, and he didn’t put a dime away to pay for it. Thanks, Hal. With visionaries like you in government it’s no wonder things are so bad – and getting worse.

  8. Thanks, Hal! says:

    Hal Daub, a really creative thinker!

    Hal demonstrated his ability to think outside the box to come up with creative solutions for serious problems. Who else would have considered requisitioning the basements of home owners in north-east Omaha to use as an auxiliary holding tank when the Federal government wouldn’t let the city dump raw sewage into the Missouri river anymore.

    Thanks, Hal! Every time the aroma of sewage drifts in on an ill wind we’re forced to think of you.

  9. Hal Fan Club says:

    Very insightful interview. Really liked it and others should listen too! Hal Daub is still one of the smartest and hard working elected officials in NE politics. Omaha would not have the downtown revitalization if not for him.

  10. Anonymous says:

    As recorded radio interviews go, this is good. But this isn’t radio. This is a blog and blogs are textual. Trying to listen to any audio interview inside a blog is like trying to listen to paint dry.

    I like Hal. I like the blog. I like Sweeper. I liked what Hal said about NU and I even liked some of his and Jerry’s trip down memory lane. But, holy crap, we have things to do other than sit here listening to this blog version of a talking book for a half an hour.

    There are reasons why humans invented writing. And the study of law doesn’t encompass such. Even if it did, these fellows are politicians and politicians never pass up a chance to have people listen to them. But 30 minutes! I prerecorded interview? You just cannot skim ahead when you are listening like you can when you are reading.

    A text can be skimmed quickly. Readers can near-instantly pull out the meat they need to digest. While a blog can sustain a sound byte and a few photos, 30 minutes of audio or video interview is interminable. Bloggers are forced to sit and wait from one hemmed word to the next hawed one and they cannot skim ahead with the rapid grasp of the average symbol-trained human eye.

    Blogs are active interaction. Listening to an audio interview is passive observation. People come to a blog to quickly absorb a posited opinion and then react and respond. They want to be within it not witnessing it. They come to interact. Sitting there like a radio listener is the opposite of blogging.

    This is step backwards. Unlike reading and writing, listening and talking is caveman communications. You must sit there and listen to the entire story, with all the parts you already know, unable to skim ahead, and unable to instantly reread parts you missed. To re-listen to parts of an interview and you must sit through that part again.

    We may suppose Hal and Jerry think everyone here sits through this interview with rapt attention. Doubt that. Unfortunately, whereas they would skim an entire text, by skipping parts of the interview you stand to miss more of substance.

  11. 1:04

    That’s why Al Gore invented iTunes, cowboy.

    I listen to all my podcasts in the car, or on my headphones while doing other stuff around the house, working out, etc. If you’re new to podcasts, that’s my suggestion. I hope you do know that many, if not most, podcasts are usually at least an hour long — for longform interviews, etc. I’ve decided to try to keep mine to a half-hour to be listenable on the average pre- or post-work commute.

    But this ain’t radio. If it were, you’d get news-traffic-weather-ads-news-traffic-traffic-weather cooked in. As you read in the SEVEN posts we put up last week, this is still a political BLOG. However, we are CROSS-posting the podcasts from It’s all about synergy…man. And yes it’s new and a little different. But it’s halfway to a new decade, we should all be getting our hover-boards any day now, so I’m pretty sure you can handle it, and maybe even try something new.

    And I would add that considering the Hal Daub interview is exactly my SECOND on this new site, odds are the podcasts 6-12 months from now will be different from those you’ve just heard. That being said, Part 2 of Hal Daub is even better that Part 1. Thin gruel, I’m sure, for those of you who don’t find Hal to be your bag. But you cannot deny that the guy is a wealth of knowledge and ideas. I had a great time talking to him, and I think you’ll have a great time listening to Part 2.

    Rock on, and I’m always looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the new things we have going on here (you know except for the few non-comments like a certain someone gave at the very start here). I’ve increased the font-size on the comments, and if it’s super-duper horrible, will look into a different font. (But if only super-horrible, it may be around for awhile.)

    Thanks for reading, and download yourself a podcast player app for that handheld computer in your pocket!

    JK (aka SS)

  12. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Hey Sweeper,
    Don’t let your critics get you down. You are, after all, dealing with a lot of conservatives. They don’t like things to change. Anything that is new, different, or out of the ordinary makes them uncomfortable. Just keep doing whatever you like and in about a year they’ll begin to get used to it.

  13. To Anon @ 1:04 & The New Cokes - Get with The New Times says:

    The blog now has a multi-media format. Us political junkies can ALSO LISTEN to get informed on policy and breaking news, get insight on others background, history and viewpoints.

    I like the new format of podcasts and guest writers with still the OLD COMFORTABLE outlet of allowing everyone to post their thoughts in blog format. There is room for always adjusting format and length issues. Keep em crankin out the NEW VARIETY, Jerry (SS)! Can’t wait to hear Hal’s entertaining part 2!

  14. Right on @ 5:27p says:

    A recorded interview is ALWAYS more intriguing. You can get a sense of “who” that person is.

    How they got to where they are ? Where are they going? How they developed their opinions? What are their opinions? Their relationships with others in politics?

    Their voice, level of enthusiasm, banter with the interviewer and word choice is always on a display. It’s a big opportunity for the interviewee to reach out to the masses and a bonus for the listener. You cannot get that in a “print” medium. It is a “win” for everyone who choose to “wisely” participate.

  15. Rock on Hal says:

    Thank you Dave Bywater for saying what many dems and reps know to be the truth. Hal Daub may be a polarizing figure in politics, but he has led the water to the elephant more than any activist I know. Some cannot set their pride aside and admit that overall he is the smartest and most passionate visionary, who truly cares about improving our city, state and country. Folks he can still run policy and fact circles around any younger smartass . Rock on Hal Daub.

  16. Retired OPD Officer says:

    Hal really knows how to drive a hard bargain. He always treated us right when dealing with our union. Supporting him for election produced dividends for our membership that will still be paying us off for years. Without Hal I’d never have been able to spike my pension pay.

  17. Retired Omaha Fire Fighter says:

    Retired OPD Officer is right. Hal generously offered us the same retirement plan as the police got – Endorse Hal and retire in luxury.

    We like to think we were the original value voters.

  18. memorylane says:

    The DCRP is hosting “The Elephant Remembers” event, with guests U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, Governor Pete Ricketts, Lt. Governor Mike Foley. There is no shortage of other empowered Republicans that can also show up for a guest appearance, including U. S. Senator Sasse. Secretary of State Gale, Attorney General Peterson, State Treasurer Stenberg and Auditor Janssen.

    The couple “remembered” at this event are GOP donors. No surprise there. For money talks and will continue to do so. Yet in the past, GOP donors also donated and yet Republicans failed to gain power.
    As an elephant, I don’t find it very useful to “remember” Republicans.

    I remember Governor Ben Nelson, Lt. Governor Moul, Lt. Governor Robak, U. S. Senator Exon, U. S. Senator Kerrey, Treasurer Dawn Rockey, and U. S. Representative Peter Hoagland. And now Ashford, who as a left-handed pachyderm wearing a donkey hat, is just odd enough to appeal to 2D voters for some time to come. Nebraska, which regularly votes for the GOP president, has been totally run by Democrats. Republicans better remember that because Democrats have not forgotten.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Question for SS: in the old blog, comments were numbered, as well as having date & time stamps. I find I miss the numbered comments. Any thoughts about putting the numbers back, if possible?

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