Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Will the Democrats have a Senate primary?

Nebraska’s newest Democrat is former lifelong Republican and former almost- Republican Senate candidate, Tony Raimondo of Columbus.

Nebraska’s favorite Democrat is the loser of the 2006 3rd Congressional District election, Scott Kleeb.

Now the conventional wisdom is that Kleeb is not really interested in running for the U.S. Senate at this point, since it would more than likely be a losing battle to the Mike Johanns Juggernaut ©. Why bother, right?

Well, enter Tony! Toni! Toné Raimondo! The 67 year old BFF to Ben Nelson just figures this is his lone chance for a grab at the brass ring. He polled and realized that he had no chance against Johanns in the GOP primary (heck it’s questionable whether he could have come within twenty points of Jon Bruning or Hal Daub).

But he figures that while he couldn’t get Republicans to give him a chance against Johanns, he could get Democrats, Republicans and Independents to give him that chance. Why? Well…we have no idea really.

He’s not that well known. While some figure he could or would self-finance a campaign, a’la Pete Ricketts, all indications are that he would only put in around $200,000 to $500,000 max. He’s not exactly well-liked among many Democrats – seeing as he’s been one for a week. He has no idea what the rigors of a statewide campaign are. And he’s not exactly a spring-chicken.

Now here’s an interesting question, going against the above-referenced conventional wisdom on Kleeb: What if Kleeb DOES want to run, but he’s being leaned on to let Raimondo take the reins? Would that mean Ben Nelson is trying to keep a REAL Democrat out of the race? Has Ben Nelson already picked sides in a Democrat primary?

And would state and national Democrats allow a competitive primary to happen?

Dems (and new Dem Raimondo) keep crowing about how Republicans were “forced” out against Johanns. But they really just saw the writing on the wall. They weren’t going to beat Johanns and knew there was no point in losing in the primary.

But what of the Dems? Raimondo vs. Kleeb would be an interesting match, no? It would give Kleeb some recognition, and allow him to actually win something. And would he win? We think he would. But Raimondo would give him a serious fight. It would be an interesting battle. The winner would come out with better name ID against Johanns, no?

But, alas, we’ll probably not see it. This has already been decided in the smoke-filled turkey-hunting cabin along the Platte, right? Right?


Mike Johanns has an improved web-site up, and it has all the standard stuff. You may note that the video with the poor lighting and the lousy sound is gone. And for photos, you get these shots of MJ in a parade sporting this bitchin’ USA leather jacket!

(And no, Seinfeld fans, it doesn’t remind us of David Puddy’s leather 8-ball jacket. Why would you ask that?)

Just to keep you abreast of things, Chuck Hagel is once again calling out the Bush Administration on national TV, and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is continuing to write op-ed articles on national issues. There are some that think if it’s a Huckabee-Obama general election, Bloomberg would get in. And with him, maybe, the “Nebraska boy”…


moniker said...

That Johanns website would be better if, when you went to join a Coalition for Mike, you didn't get an error message. :-P

And what an atrocious jacket. yeesh.

curbfeeler said...

The GOP is defaulting from two non-Conservatives to a Southern Babtist preacher, while the Democratic Party offer a cuckolded woman and a Muslim-named black guy. This race represents an amazing amount of weakness in both major parties. Bloomberg and Hagel would have to be stupid not to notice it.

Brian T. Osborn said...

I think someone should inform Mr. Johanns that wearing the United States flag, in the manner he is shown doing in the photos, is a violation of proper flag etiquette. As a veteran, I am offended by his actions, but I support his right to be an ignoramus.


And you guys pick on Scott Kleeb for what HE wears.

Kyle Michaelis said...


Your feelings about Raimondo seem to have changed since September when you declared him "a decently viable candidate."

I don't know the man and don't yet have much of a feeling one way or the other, but would you mind explaining your change of heart?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Obsorn - are you equally offended by this ?

Anonymous said...

So does this meeting betwen Bloomberg and Obama mean anything?

Brian T. Osborn said...

Am I offended by Sen. Nelson wearing patriotic bunting? Well, that gets into a whole 'nuther can of worms.

I think it demonstrates very questionable sartorial judgement on the senator's part, but it doesn't offend me. Since he is not wearing an actual flag, only a shirt that shares some of the flag's design elements, I would have to say it was just tacky.

Nice try though, Mr. Anonymouse.

Street Sweeper said...


Trying to pull a Russert while diving into the L St archives, are you? Well, I can't claim that we on Leavenworth Street have pulled out the L-U-V-fest that you have for him on your site, but that doesn't mean we've changed out position.

We said:
"Raimondo has plenty of cash to make himself a decently viable candidate."

Of course, HAVING cash and actually SPENDING cash are two different things. Ricketts had and spent. Raimondo has (we think anyway), but ain't gonna spend. And spending $200K won't beat Johanns. Does that make his campaign "viable"? Yeah probably. Winable (in the general)? Not likely.

Now ya'll come back now, ya hear!

bobby fidelis said...

Ouch Sweeper. I think I could hear you spanking Kyle from way out here in the 3rd. I love it when people take parts of a quote and try to frame them in a whole different context. No Russert for you Kyle.

Anonymous said...

"way out here in the 3rd"

Funny because it is true.

Kyle Michaelis said...

By SS' own admission, Raimondo continues to be "viable" - even on a shoestring budget. In no way did I misrepresent SS' prior statement (to which I linked for anyone to read).

As for who got spanked, I wasn't the one who brought up Pete Ricketts.

Street Sweeper said...


I think I made my point that we haven't had a "change of heart" on Raimondo, as you suggested.

And Raimondo will have his name on the ballot, some money and the endorsement of you, Achelpohl and the Benator. Of course he's "viable".

If you think that means he can also win the general, well, rock on cowboy.


buckturgidson said...

You got a question for Mike Johanns, you ask the Flag!

BTOsborn said...


I think you'd better check your fluids. I think you're about a quart low.

Anonymous said...

How about the Nebraska Dems 'caucus'. Funny. I guess they have to come up with something so it makes Nebraska Democrats actually feel like they are a part of the political process.

BTOsborn said...

I guess there was a precedent for the big flag on the back of a leather jacket thing. Check it out.

Mike in Omaha said...

I think Mike Johanns in the leather jacket is awesome. He needs to trade in the Chevy Corsica from his 98 Governor run for a Harley to ride around the State. I like Mike!!!

BTOsborn said...

Hmmm. I guess the last part of the link got chopped off for some reason. Sweeper, are you doing that?

BTOsborn said...

It did it again! Looks like Blogger is the guilty one.

Try this. You may have to stitch it together.

Ted said...

Street Sweeper ---- you must limit the Dems coming on this fine site and up space whining all the time.

Kyle has found that many readers (like me) got tired of his and his readers same ol kool-aid "whining" and quit going there. Now he can only catch the limelight by going to the best Nebraska Political Blog, Leavenworth Street. Don't let him ruin your site too.

BTOsborn said...

C'mon Ted. We used to play on the NDP website but then they couldn't take the heat and decided that censorship was the answer to criticism. Now it is pretty much worthless other than a means of dispensing party propaganda.

Don't tell me that you Republicans would do the same thing?

But, then again, the most incisive political commentary I've found on this one deals with the way people dress, how they comb their hair, and a lot of elementary school level insults.

Go ahead, censor me out, but you have to admit I have brought a lot more excitement to your little blog. Kyle's been getting more than his share of my wit lately, but only his friend Dave has actually tried to censor me. I'll give Kyle credit for allowing free speech to flourish.

Street Sweeper said...

I'm not sure how you get "censored" by other readers. I alone control the delete button. There's been nothing delete-worthy here.

BTOsborn said...

That's good to know Sweeper. We will obviously disagree on just about everything political, but at least we agree on the principle of free speech. Thanks.

Too bad Ted, the NDP Chair, and Dave don't agree with us.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Dems should call Herman Cain?