Pete Ricketts for…President?

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts with then-candidate Donald Trump in Omaha in 2016

**UPDATE**

After posting, Leavenworth St. received a statement from Ricketts for Governor campaign manager, Jessica Flanagain (formerly special adviser to the Governor for external affairs). See that statement at the bottom of the post.

So I got this one this morning:

Nebraska Governor (and Chicago Cubs co-owner) Pete Ricketts has…allegedly…apparently…been calling various people to form a committee to discuss whether he should run for President.

As you pick your jaw up off the keyboard, here’s what I have been told…or rather NOT told:

No word if this is about 2020 or 2024.

And that question is the real kicker.

So let’s hit the more logical route first:

 

2024

Why start discussing an office that’s 7 years away now, when ANYTHING could happen between now and then? Why bring this up when word of this would get out very soon (like now)…only a month after Ricketts announced his re-election campaign for Governor?

Maybe he figures after former Speaker Mike Flood’s drop-out, he’s got the election in the bag, so no time like the present onto bigger and better things?

But 2024 is is so far away and just a little bizarre to actually open the Presidential run discussion.

Wouldn’t Ricketts be better off just doing his trade deals, cutting taxes, maybe an innocuous trip to Iowa to discuss the Missouri River? Possibly a more transparent trip to New Hampshire eventually?

Sure those are run-of-the-mill Presidential-campaign things to do. And to start a 2024 discussion would be more out-of-the-box-ish.

But starting a mini-committee to hash it out before the next election is even started?

Strange.

 

So, how about 2020?

Well, timing-wise, 2020 would make a little more sense, right?

If Ricketts knew President Trump wasn’t going to run for re-election…

Because there’s no way Ricketts would challenge Trump in a primary (right?). Ever since Cruz dropped out of the 2016 Primary, Ricketts has been a Trump-guy through and through.

But there has been speculation that Trump won’t run in 2020. (Though probably more that he definitely will run…) It has been sort of off-handed, and not really supported by anything Trump has said or done. But it has been put out there.

And in the mean time, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse is making trips to Iowa, and not saying that he won’t run.

And there’s news today that Vice President Mike Pence is meeting with major donors — for the re-election? For himself?

All this sort of leads to…what does Pete Ricketts know?

Has he had it hinted to him that Trump is not going to run, and now is the time to get things going?
Or maybe has it been hinted by Mike Pence that Pence will be needing a running-mate, but it’s gotta be a guy who seems Presidential, so get on board.

Think about that: Who could Mike Pence find who wouldn’t overshadow him personality-wise, has some cred…and ohbytheway has billions to spend?

 

But…2018?

But the kicker on a 2020 Ricketts run is…that would make the upcoming 2018 Governor’s campaign about electing…Lt. Governor Mike Foley for Governor. It would make it very awkward if the whole thing became, “yeah but you’re hoping to quit in 2 years“.

Ricketts would have to be extremely cocky about that not being an issue in his campaign — and maybe he is.

But that wouldn’t make it any less strange.

And just think how Trump would feel if someone else was getting out front on news of any plans he has for a second term. (Something tells me Trump likes to control his messages…)

 

Crossing the Rubicon…er…Missouri

And in the mean time, let’s not forget about Nebraska’s junior Senator, Ben Sasse, and his foray into Iowa over the weekend.

He was in Nevada (that’s nuh-VEY-duh, to you) near Ames talking to the Story County GOP. And of course when Sasse was asked about his 2020 intentions, he once again deflected, saying neither yes, nor no, nor maybe nor anything else related.

And Sasse didn’t reveal anything unusual or notable at this shindig. But speaking of Trump, he apparently sent along a letter to the Story Co. GOP:

Story County GOP Chairman Brett Barker came to the podium to read a letter from Trump to the audience in which the president praised Iowa’s commitment to his candidacy in 2016 and fondly recalled visits to nearby Ames.

But Sasse’s coy-ness about the whole thing makes one wonder what he is hearing in the halls of Congress and what the national politicos really think.

It’s all some heavy speculation.

But a Ricketts move — if it means 2020 — is a serious log on the fire.

 

President Ricketts?

All of this sort of begs the question…could Pete Ricketts be President of the United States? Is he qualified? Could he get elected?

Hey feel free to dive into that if you’d like. The current opinion seems to be, “well if Donald Trump can do it…” But Ricketts ain’t Donald Trump. Maybe he’s Mike Pence. Or Dan Quayle?

He may see himself as a baseball owner with a famous father who everyone underestimated but ran a conservative state up to being President.

Sound like anyone you know? (Cough..43…cough.)

Does it seem…likely? Boy, I don’t see it.

But tell that to the hundreds who have run– and lost — for President.

But the discussion of the points for “why”are much more interesting at this point.

 

**UPDATE**

Statement from the Pete Ricketts for Governor campaign:

Governor Ricketts is not considering a run for President, nor has he called anyone to discuss a committee, or even the idea of forming a committee. He is not thinking about a run for any office other than re-election as Nebraska’s Governor.

– Jessica Flanagain

(She goes on to give the standard, “committed to his job”, “not taking election for granted”, “supports the President”, “has best job in the world”, etc.)

Here is all we will say from here:

Leavenworth St. received this information from a trusted, respected source who is very confident in the details that are laid out above.

But, the Ricketts camp gives a full denial.
We will get back to you if there are further details.

24 comments

  1. feitcanwrite says:

    “But the kicker on a 2020 Ricketts run is…that would make the upcoming 2018 Governor’s campaign about electing…Lt. Governor Mike Foley for Governor. It would make it very awkward if the whole thing became, “yeah but you’re hoping to quit in 2 years“.

    Ricketts would have to be extremely cocky about that not being an issue in his campaign — and maybe he is.”

    Until the Nebraska democrats can produce a viable candidate for statewide office, Ricketts could promise to poop in the Rotunda for two years and still cruise to reelection.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good thing it is summer so these guys with such an immensely self serving and shallow ego don’t have to worry about getting their sweaters on over their heads void of deep thought.

  3. Well then there is this... says:

    Theory: Trump-Russia ends in a bang. President Trump leaves office (one way or another).. VP Pence assumes office. Like President Ford, President Pence feels obligated to pardon President Trump or there is enough of a bad taste in the American public’s mouth about people associated with Trump’s circle. Either way, someone from outside the circle must step. Viola, Governor Ricketts runs for President, but settles for second in command.

    ….I will put my head back down and continue to work on my speculative fiction….

    • Anonymous says:

      Just like Northwall fleeced Ho-Chunk, Phil Young is selling retail-choice snake oil to unsuspecting consumers, and Fahlsen and Fellers are parasitizing Farm Bureau so they can make $$$ running a ballot initiative. Seems like a pretty common business model.

  4. anon says:

    Ricketts, get serious. Sasse is delusional, guys like him are done. He couldn’t beat a democrat, nor could any other republican

  5. Gerard Harbison says:

    Unless things turn around fairly quickly for the GOP, they’re going to get creamed in the 2018 election. They can’t get an ObamaCare bill passed; the latest rumor is they’re going to carve out a compromise with the Dems to shore up the insurance companies and leave ObamaCare in place. They’re done nothing about tax reform. They’ve done nothing to bolster cybersecurity, possible the biggest issue we face. Trump has made us a pariah nation internationally by abandoning the Paris accord and threatening trade wars. And, of course, there is the Trump-Russian collusion, now admitted to.

    If Trump survives 4 years, he’ll get stomped on by any schmo the Democrats pick to run. And Ricketts will be damned by his association with Trump.

  6. Colonel Angus says:

    “Who could Mike Pence find who wouldn’t overshadow him personality-wise, has some cred…and ohbytheway has billions to spend?”

    Has some cred?
    Pete? Really?
    Money can’t buy cred and it’s certain that Ricketts reign of error has earned him none.
    Then again, since when was credibility important to the Republican base?
    Need I remind anyone who holds the distinction of longest serving Governor of our state?
    And destroying any notion that credibility is a factor in Nebraska: Trump carried NE’s 3rd by a margin of 55 points.
    A feat matched by only a few districts in the nation. Districts such as Missouri’s 8th – aka the Deliverance district; and Kentucky’s 5th – UncleGrandpa’s Appalachia.

    Also, there’s no way Trump remains in office til 2020, let alone runs for re-election. Donny Two Scoop’s will soon be called to account for his life of crime.
    And if Mueller’s extraordinarily accomplished team can run up the score, it’s possible Pence will come out of it too damaged to assume the role.

    President Ryan, anyone?

  7. Colonel Angus says:

    Who out there imagines Nebraska’s farmers are pleased with Ricketts or Trump?

    It’s fitting that SS pointed out, sans Cruz, Ricketts has been a Trump-guy through and through.

    A challenge –
    Someone name for me a President that has posed a greater threat to American agriculture and to our nation’s rural economy than Donald Trump.

    • two says:

      Carter and his wheat embargo of Russia which hurt farmers a lot and Russia not at all. Thank goodness Reagan got rid of it.
      Obama and his EPA which has it water rules on hold.

      • Colonel Angus says:

        So it’s a single commodity, a wheat embargo in 1979, that you imagine is comparable to the wholesale dumbf*ckery of Donald Trump’s global trade rampage?

        Billings Gazette, July 8, 2017 –
        Japan and EU strike trade deal as Montana farmers look on
        As Japan struck a multinational trade agreement in principle Thursday with the European Union, farmers in Montana watched from the outside with their noses pressed against the glass.

        Japan is a top three customer for Montana commodities, the state’s largest grain buyer in the Asian Pacific, where roughly 80 percent of Montana’s hard red spring and hard red winter wheat is exported.

        The deal with the European Union promises to sew up trade terms for one third of the world economy. It was not unlike the U.S.-brokered, 13-nation Trans Pacific Partnership that Montana farmers had hoped would level the playing field for Montana products in Japan and other Pacific countries by removing tariffs and other restrictions.

        TPP nations accounted for 42 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, according to the U.S. Trade Representative. Would-be partners like Vietnam had economic growth that was three times that of more advanced nations. The deal fell apart under a new wave of nationalism in the United States. It was declared dead the day President Donald Trump took office.”

        Carter imposed the wheat embargo in reaction to Soviet aggression and their invasion of Afghanistan.
        Shortly after his inauguration Reagan lifted the embargo, after first taking credit for the Carter Administrations negotiations that secured the release of hostages held by Iran. This was of course before he and Ollie illegally weaponized both Saddam Hussein and the Ayatollah Khomeini (State Sponsors of Terror) in order to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua.

        And, Obama and the EPA?
        You’ll have to explain to me how protecting our rivers, streams and aquifers – and ultimately our oceans – relates to America’s retreat from global trade.
        June 21, 2017, Washington Post –
        Scientists predict a Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ the size of New Jersey this summer
        8,200 square miles of hypoxic ocean water off the coast of New Orleans, too polluted and too deprived of oxygen to support life. A catastrophe caused mainly by nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrient pollution — largely produced by human agricultural activities.

        We should require Deb Fischer, Adrian Smith, Don Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry and Ben Sasse to spend their upcoming August recess in a houseboat, floating in the middle of this ocean of death. Their only sustenance being what they can pull from the toxic stew that surrounds them for thousands of square miles.

      • DUH says:

        to col. anus,

        No, you asked who could be considered a danger to ag. Jimmy Carter showed he was not afraid to hurt the farmer to try and achieve his goals. Especially since he refused to rescind it and it was having no effect on the Russians.

        If you don’t understand your own questions, maybe you shouldn’t ask them.

        The rest of your post, as usual, tl;dr.

  8. Political Novice says:

    “Governor Ricketts is not considering a run for President, nor has he called anyone to discuss a committee, or even the idea of forming a committee. He is not thinking about a run for any office other than re-election as Nebraska’s Governor.”

    Fair enough but in spite of my Alzheimer’s I won’t forget this statement (tacky note is on the fridge).

  9. To Jessica says:

    “Governor Ricketts is not considering a run for President, nor has he called anyone to discuss a committee, or even the idea of forming a committee. He is not thinking about a run for any office other than re-election as Nebraska’s Governor.”

    Yea Right.

  10. Anon says:

    think of all the good things he could run on….
    Running the state into a deficit while cutting taxes and losing major companies.

    well, that seems like a solid base, as long as he calls people names and says russia is out friend.

  11. Jessica's Slumber Parties says:

    Is there a log book to whom is staying overnight at the Governor’s mansion? A public record that someone could FOIA? With Ricketts living in Omaha who has been getting access to the Governor’s Mansion for sleeep-overs?

  12. Sparkles says:

    I’m grateful our legal system doesn’t accept what is now the de facto Trumper defense;
    “Yeah, so what? Who cares!!”

    Trump and his Children of the Con are in serious trouble.
    Trouble with a capital “T”
    And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for pool!

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