Friday, August 24, 2007

If Hagel doesn’t run then…

Yesterday we gave you our odds on what U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel will decide to do when he finally makes a non-Non-Announcement Announcement sometime “soon”. But, as we’ve indicated in our “Chuck Hagel Countdown” to your right, there are many who are waiting for Chuck’s decision before they make their own.

(Keep in mind here, that Bob Kerrey, Mike Fahey and Tony Raimondo have all said that if Hagel decides to run, they will not. Also Jon Bruning and Cheech Flynn have said that they are in no matter what Hagel decides.)

So, in that spirit we give you our…

Odds on what everyone else will do once Chuck makes up his mind!

If Chuck decides he WILL run for re-election to the Senate…

Odds that they will run for the nomination:

Hal Daub – 500:1
Say what you want about Hal, he’s loyal and it is very unlikely that he runs against a fellow GOPer. (And yes, we know he ran against Karnes in 1988, but he had planned to run before Zorinsky passed away.) Hagel would have to do much more than be a thorn to President Bush for this to happen.

Scott Kleeb – 2:1
This situation is what Kleeb is hoping for. The big stage. The better chance to get his mug on national TV. And if he loses (again) to the big name, well, not so much shame in that. Further, he figures Hagel could lose to Bruning and he’d have an outside shot at beating Bruning. Unfortunately for him, the best chance he’ll probably have is to run for 3rd Dist Rep (and lose) again…

If Chuck decides he will NOT run for re-election to the Senate…

Odds that they will run for the nomination:

Mike Johanns – 3:2
This is the big one everyone has been waiting for, right? Johanns, the popular former Gov and big guy in the Ag world to come riding back on his white horse and capture the Senate. But keep in mind a couple things: Johanns will have TWO tough races in order to become Senator. First he’ll have to beat Jon Bruning. Do we think he can do it? Yes, we do. But Bruning’s not going to make it a cake-walk for him. And then if/when he beats Bruning, in a bloody primary, he’ll likely have to take on Cosmic Bob who will have just finished feasting on the fatted calf.

So in any case, you would have to think that this would factor into Johann’s decision to run. Of course he will need to do something after his current gig is up in 2009. But, since most indications are that he plans on doing it, we’re betting that he gets in.

Hal Daub – 2:1
Ah Hal… We’ll say this: he’s doing the pre-campaigning thing right. Traversing the state and keeping busy and actually meeting with people is never a bad thing. And you have to think that he figures he could take Bruning if only he could debate him a few dozen times and knock him out of the park. And maybe he could. But against Johanns? Does Hal think he could beat him as well? (Former Omaha Mayor vs. former Lincoln Mayor?) It will be interesting to see if Hal will get in this. Could he win? Hmmm. Does he THINK he can win? Your heart versus your head is a tough battle. But maybe in a crowded primary with Johanns and Bruning, Hal, with strong party support, could slip through. You can bet no one will work harder than Hal…

Tony Raimondo – 4:1
He has said if Hagel doesn’t run, he’s in. We’ll generally take him at his word, but we wonder if he was considering the Johanns factor. Though he’s probably also hoping for the split primary to carry him. If Johanns is out, he’s definitely in. If Johanns is in, it’s gotta be slightly higher odds for him. Of course, carrying Columbus alone won’t get him the nom…

Lee Terry – 250:1
Just thought we’d throw his name in there. We don’t really think he’ll run, but we’re sure he thought about it.

Bob Kerrey – 3:1

Well, with all the hullabaloo in today’s press about Kerrey’s call to The New School’s hemp-suits, it would seem that Kerrey is a slam dunk to get in if Hagel gets out. A couple of factors could keep him from running. One is what the polls may say in a match up against Johanns (let’s assume for now that he thinks he beats Bruning). Does he really want to have a tough race that he could lose? At this point in his life, the guy probably wants a little certainty, and a race against Johanns certainly doesn’t’ provide that. Another interesting factor is that he said he would move his family – including his kindergarten age son – back to Nebraska if he gets in. How that will go over with his wife, we have no idea. But going from Greenwich Village (or wherever they are in Manhattan) to The Big “O” is just little dollop of culture shock – not to mention a longer flight on the weekends. “Cosmic” Bob didn’t get that sobriquet for nothin’, so that’s what’s holding us back from making these even odds.

Mike Fahey – 20:1
Would the Omaha Mayor begrudgingly make this run if Kerrey fizzled out? Unless it was going to be a cake-walk, we doubt it. It would be a brutal and potentially losing campaign. Unless Paul Landow can travel Nebraska for him and debate on his behalf, we think this is unlikely.

Scott Kleeb – 10:1
Again, this could put Kleeb in the cat-bird seat. Our guess is that he doesn’t care if he loses in a Senate race, and it will pump his name ID nationally to do…something else. And there’s always the lightning bolt’s chance that he wins. Look to Cosmic Bob to anoint him should Kerrey pass.


One Out In The Third said...

Not that it's scientific and it's from the Conservative 3rd...Kearney's KGFW radio ran one of their daily polls this morning asking who listeners they would vote for in the '08 election for the Nebraska Senate seat...the poll included Hagel...Kerrey...Fahey...Bruning and all the others that have expressed an interest.

Bruning finished as top dog scoring 51 percent of the poll respondents. Hagel was somewhere in the 20's and Kerrey...came in at either 10 or 11 percent. From the posts in the LJS and local talk...Kerrey might be better off keeping his day job.

Like I said...a down and dirty poll to see who would finish out in the end. Again the poll was not scientific and probably doesn't mean a thing.

Eric said...

I don't know Street Sweeper, Joe Jordan says that with Bob Kerrey, "the odds mean nothing".

Street Sweeper said...

I saw that. Pretty funny. I think these guys have been reading L St...

What does it mean? said...

The NYTimes today said Kerrey has $400,000 left in his Senate campaign committee. Hmmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

Assuming neither Hagel or Johanns run, does Hagel endorse Kerrey? Daub is off the Hagel reservation for just suggesting he might be willing to run against Hagel.

Street Sweeper said...

No, I don't think Daub is off the reservation. I think he just doesn't want to come off as beholden to whatever Hagel does. Even if Daub were to run against Hagel, it wouldn't be a firebombing campaign.

Now would Hagel endorse Kerrey over Bruning? Hmmmmmmmm. Interesting question. I think there's a definite maybe there.

One Out In The Third said...


Your last point may be even money with a Hagel lean toward Kerrey...Kerrey's experience and all. Who would Heineman endorse?

That leaves us with another question...When will Johanns announce his resignation as Ag. Secretary? It has to be coming soon or is he so confident that he has it wrapped up if Hagel does quit. Will Johann's be coming home for any of the week long festivities at the Governor's Mansion/Residence?

The primary and '08 will be better than an episode of Survivor.

Street Sweeper said...


Heineman endorses the GOP nominee, whomever it is. No doubt.

If Johanns pulls the trigger, he'll probably pick a day for his leaving office sometime in the future. That won't be that big of a deal.

But you are correct that when Hagel announces, Jeff Probst should do the coverage.

Anonymous said...

Sweeper, I like the way you analyze these things.

As for Joe Jordan, he wouldn't know a fishing hole from a donut hole.

loony toon said...

don't cabinet officials need to leave the administration before labor day? read during the rove-departure coverage that if they're still there after labor day, they are committed to the administration for the duration of the term? how does that affect johanns, if at all?

Street Sweeper said...


Yes, I generally read that as well. Though I'm not sure if it was cabinet officers, or just White House staff.

In any case, I'm sure that Johanns has discussed the situation with the Prez, and has permission to leave, if need be.

Anonymous said...

Hagel insider told me he has no word on whether Hagel will run, but said that Hagel will do whatever he can to make sure Bruning does not get the nomination.

Bob Kerry told me family situation dictates he likely won't run. But as SS has laid out, I wouldn't rule it out.

Correct on Daub. Trying not to look beholden to Hagel, but also wants to remain loyal to friend and party.

Anonymous said...

Bruning must have used all his minutes up voting in that Kearney radio (they have radio out there?) poll...

One Out In The Third said...


Bruning is wilier than that...he used a slightly used Kleeb-o-Dialer he picked up at a Kearney garage sale last November.

Kearney does have radio...somewhat archaic but it works...they tap Morse code on a barb-wire fence and we all hold our ears next to the wire. Makes it all the way to Funk. Not the best quality on windy days and you have to be careful in electrical storms.

This Just In..... said...

OWH is reporting the Daub is resigning as National Committeeman of the Nebraska Republican Party

Do the odds change?

Street Sweeper said...

Yes, the odds that Daub will resign his Committeeman-ship just came off the board.

We'll now take suggestions on who the next one will be. I'll say...Dave Kramer.

buckturgidson said...

Pete Ricketts. Take it to the bank.

No pun intended.

curbfeeler said...

Kramer as Nebraska's GOP National Committeeman?

Its time for a memory jog.

Ricketts 48%
Stenberg 36%
Kramer 16%

That race was decided entirely by Nebraska Republicans. They are the GOP. So, who represents them best? The guy with 16% of their support?

Gary said...

Curbfeeler: While you are correct with your numbers you have mistakenly confused Republican voters with the Republican State Central Committee.

Kramer is BELOVED by GOP SCC members and they are the ones who will elect a new national committeeman. So, actually, David Kramer could very easily become the new committeeman regardless of his past Senate defeat.

curbfeeler said...

Good point Gary. You are right about the Nebraska GOP's State Central Committee being out of step with the many Nebraska Republican voters who actually decide elections. However, maybe, just maybe, that's not so good for the GOP.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem

The State Central Committee has had no say when it comes to filling a vacancy.

What will happen is that Senator Hagel and the Governor will choose a candidate and then ask the SCC to confirm its choice and its hard for anyone else to run against that person.

For once I would like to see an open contest that allows the SCC to have the ultimate say.

Anonymous said...

Kramer would be a good choice for committee man. Obviously, he was not the candidate of choice, but, as a party man, he fits the bill perfectly.

Street Sweeper said...

David or Cosmo?

omaha republican said...

ihAt this point Kramer and Ricketts are both loved by the SCC--now--though it took everyone a while to warm up to Ricketts. Kramer came up through the party and Ricketts is relatively new to the party structure. So back during the primary, Kramer was the prince of the SCC. But if you've been to a recent RNC meeting and talked to anyone lately, it's clear that Ricketts too is now beloved by the SCC. The SCC is now full of people who were volunteers for his campaign--including a bunch of Kramer people who later became loyal Ricketts supporters. Even Kramer himself gets along well with Ricketts and was extremely supportive of Ricketts in the general (which is why Kramer is so beloved).

Nevertheless if Kramer ran for National Committeeman against Ricketts, Kramer (the SCC's first love) would win.

But word around Omaha is that Kramer does not want to be the National Committeeman and will support/endorse the nomination of Pete Ricketts, which will pretty much seal the deal.

Paul Hendricks said...

If Anonymous is right and Chuck Hagel gets to pick the nominee than that means the next candidate must be:
1. French
2. A member of the Mexican consulate or otherwise illegal alien residing in the U.S.
3. Well versed in the uselessness of the United Nations
4. Actively hoping that the U.S. fails in Iraq.

So, basically, Chuck Hagel will have to nominate himself.

Bobby Fidelis said...

Gary and Curbfeeler,
I'd agree with both of you about the GOP SCC being out of step. I'd say that about much of the Republican leadership/establishment for the state at this point. Want to feel like the kid who get's picked last for kickball or a square peg in a round hole? Go to one of their meetings or get togethers.

Can we change the odds on Hagel running for reelection now that such light has been brought by Paul Hendricks to his imminent qualification as state committeeman?

Anonymous said...

Money talks. Ricketts will replace Daub. I like both Pete and David, but I think it is a misnomer to say that Kramer is loved by the SCC. If it was a contested race, between him and Pete, Pete would win again just like he did in the Primary.

Kramer thought he was the establishment candidate in the primary, but was cast aside for Ricketts. No reason to think it won't be the same this time.

Unless Hal is the only big name opponent for Brunning, Hal is not going to receive the support of the party establishment especially outside Omaha. If they thought Hal could win, they wouldn't be pushing so hard for Johanns to run.