Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We interrupt this Bowl game to give you The Benator

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson will air his second ad of the 2012 Senate campaign, once again on the subject of health care re-form. (You'll remember the first back in August of this year "Paid for by Nelson 2012".)

The LJS reports that Nelson will be sporting an open-necked shirt and sweater. (We would have preferred an ascot and an Nehru jacket, but whatever...)

**Postgame UPDATE**
See the entire spot on the NYT website (why there?)

The text of the spot is as follows:
With all the distortions about health care reform, I want you to hear directly from me.
Some oppose any change. Others want a government takeover.

But I listened to you and took a common-sense approach to improve the bill.

Now it lowers costs for families and small business, protects Medicare, finally guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions and reduces the deficit.

And it's not run by the government.
I'm Ben Nelson. I approved this message because I'm convinced this is right for Nebraska.
Got that Nebraskans? He listened to you.

And your health insurance premiums should go down, not up.
Medicare will be "protected" - and won't end up in the same situation as, oh say, Social Security.
And the deficit won't go up. Nope.

And anything on federal funding of abortions? Say, federal funding for Indian reservations?

We'll have to wait and see, huh?

[Update: Our sources say, NO, Nelson does not mention abortion funding. Shocker there, eh?]

In the mean time, we hope you enjoyed the Holiday Bowl interrupted by politics.



GeosUser said...

EBN must be terrified by the reaction to his "health care reform" role/votes, and rightly so. I think it's wonderful that he's so scared that he has to spend tons of money already in anticipation of his losing 2012 reelection bid. I hope the Dem Senate Campaign Committee is also going to spend lots of money on Ben's 2012 campaign...and, just maybe, do you think that subject was discussed more than a little behind closed doors during EBN's negotiating sessions with soon-to-be ex-Senator Reid.

macdaddy said...

Since we do like to talk political strategy on this blog from time to time, I have to say that this is one of the most bone-headed ideas I've ever heard. Why remind people of a very unpopular decision? Why get large groups of Nebraskans talking about this, especially when they've been drinking and maybe not wanting to hold back on how they really feel about him? This is going to be a disaster for him, especially if it's as half-assed as the script suggests.

A Believer said...

Mayor Suttle has JUST declared a Snow Emergency.

You're a little late mayor..oh, and good way to throw the state legislature under the bus regarding the gas tax allocation and how the city doesn't have enough's an idea..lay off half of your incompetent staff..that should resolve the snow removal budget.

Son of Liberty said...

Goodbye Ben,
We tried to warn you not to commit this political harakiri , but you were oblivious. Heck it appears you still are in a co coo land thinking that a speech reminding us of your betrayal with your recycled lies will make things better. Go ahead pour more gasoline on this already blazing inferno. But hey WH promised you guys a bounce in the polls right?

Tom said...


I believe the thinking behind this is that the general public (which probably excludes people who read political blogs) is poorly informed on health care. Nelson want to get out there and reasure people that all the horror stories they have been hearing about health care reform (government takeover, adds to deficit) are not true and not in the bill he voted for.

Although I generally don't like to mix my Husker football and politics, I think airing it first during the Husker game will get people talking about it. And people's opinions of Nelson really couldn't get much worse. For political geeks like me who are also Husker fans this just adds another element of excitement to the game.

I will be surprised if he doesn't say something along the lines of "the bill I voted for maintains the status quo of prohibiting taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortion." NRTL can disagree with him on that point, but I think he has to respond to their "betrayal" comments in some way.

Anonymous said...

His media handlers really need to pull him back........the more he gets out there, the deeper he goes down. Oh wait-----leave him out there. Have him do a ribbon cutting. Have him sing 'Western Town' or whatever he does on youtube. Good night EBN, and take Fagan with you.

macdaddy said...


I agree with a lot of what you said, especially the part about people's opinion of Nelson, and I really liked the idea of the added excitement to the game but I think the circumstances are different this time. Firstly, there was already a lot of push-back against the term "death panels" and yet the term sticks. And that was months ago. Secondly, in the beginning most people supported Obama's efforts but support has steadily tanked. In other words, the more people found out about this, and they found out on their own since problems with the bill are not reported in the MSM, the more they opposed it. Yes, there have been ad campaigns against it, but compared to how much Obama has been selling it and how many pro-stories there have been, people still don't like it. Thirdly, almost 2/3rds of Nebraskans don't want it and don't like Nelson because he voted for Obamacare. Nelson lost their trust by listening to Harry Reid and not Herbie Husker. Getting on TV and saying "I listened to you," when he clearly could care less what we were saying will have the opposite effect. A politician who's only trademark is trust is in big, big trouble once it's gone.

If he wanted to make an ad to try to win people over, he should have said, "I realize people are upset about my stance. I realize people can't understand why I'm doing this, but here's why..." Then he has to list some reasons that are not easily refutable. Lowering costs when the CBO says insurance rates will go up for most people? Protecting Medicare when you're cutting a half trillion bucks from it and expanding the number of people who are eligible? Reducing the deficit when many expenses are off the books and savings are being double counted? People can see for themselves that those claims are not true. And it's all been said before.

I think this commercial has the potential to get Ben Nelson down to George Bush numbers.

Anonymous said...

All these speeches, the talk about socialism, the death panels, impending doom...

You realize that in 5 to 10 years Americans are going to know what healthcare reform is, what has changed, what has improved, and these video clips of Republicans lying about it today are going to be used by Democrats to win elections for the next 50 years right?

GeosUser said...

In 50 years, the "people" of the NSA (New States of America) will either be talking about how lucky they were to have lived through the collapse of the "old USA" or they will be scavenging for the basic necessities of life just like all the other impoverished third world countries do now with distant memories of those great triumphs like social security, medicare, medicaid and all the other bankrupt, or soon to be bankrupt, leftovers from progressives/liberals/socialists/communists that ruined a once great and prosperous country.

Uncle Wiggily said...

One more time ... with feeling...

This whole mess (and Ben's part in it) is a charade ... a misdirection of grand proportion. Internalize this fact, folks ... this is NOT about health care - no one inside the Beltway (and precious few in the 50 state capitols), Democrat or Republican, give a pinch of doo-doo about your and my health or whether or not we have "access" or what the "costs" are.

It is all about political hegemony ... dominion ... power ... who gets to drive and who gets driven. Until every one of us understands and acts on that unpleasant fact, we are just puffing from the pipe that they lit for us in Washington.

Ben (and the rest of them) DON'T CARE whether we like it or not - they are completely disconnected from the country at large, and this disdain is a direct result of our tacit approval! For years we have allowed them to treat us in whatever fashion suited their political purposes. Ask yourself this question: will Ben's life be any worse if he isn't a senator? I think not - he's got his pile already made (mostly from being in "public service" for years and years), and his place in his group of peers is secure, in or out of office.

Washington badly needs fumigation, and Ben is just one more cockroach in the bunch.

Agonize over his Holiday Bowl antics all you want, or whether Baucus was drunk on the Senate floor, or whether Karl Rove is a womanizer, etc., etc... they're all scoundrels and hypocrites, and until the entire bunch of them are expunged, all this gnashing of teeth and rending of garments is just emotional masturbation.

Anonymous said...

regarding Benbribed getting the "truth" out there.
Do you actually think the voters of Nebraska trust Benbribed anymore?

Anonymous said...

There's nothing like the theory that you can't get enough of a bad thing. He's political strategist is out to lunch serving up ham sandwiches. Not a smart media move and his marketing is worse.

Dr. Max Von Politico said...

After reviewing the patient's history, I can professionally conclude Senator Nelson suffers from Catastrophic Senatorial Grandios Egotosis. This condition afflicts US Senators that spend more than one term in DC and believe in their party's leadership over their constituents.

Sometimes the case is so severe that further attempts for reelection are futile and require future cessation of all political activities.

This condition is not to be confused with Presidential Senatorialitus. This condition afflicts many senators including Former Senator Chuck Hagel which caused delusional periods in which the patient by virtue of being a US Senator assumes he should be president.

Anonymous said...

Geo & Unc W.

Well said. I'm reminded of a phrase from the movie Hut for Red October. To paraphrase "This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."

Life imitating art.

Anonymous said...

Did you hear Ben on Becka's show? He said that there was never any pressure on him to vote the way he did. I used to believe Ben but it's getting harder and harder.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the Ron Ross machine....errrr, Tom Nesbitt for Treasurer machine will interrupt the game too.

That logo is scarily similar to Bob Kerrey's and Ben Nelson's first logos. Ickkkk.

Anonymous said...

NE Dems must be proud these days with Ben Suttle and White. Whew what a lineup:) Keep it up.

And with Kleeb & Esch in the wings how will Mello Nordquist and Snow Plow Conrad ever find a spot? It's a down right tragedy.

Hey maybe the Up guy from Lincoln, Sen Avery can ride in and save the day?

Anonymous said...

I hope the tea baggers just keep repeating that the health care system is fine just the way it is and that capitalism will solve all our problems. This reform bill is supported by the AMA and AARP and will go a long ways toward improving the system. I think it is smart to take out some ad time to talk straight to Nebraskans and get ahead of the Glen Beck crowd who are completely nuts but have a few believing that America is coming apart like a cheap suit. This was a campaign promise and BO won and has now delivered. McCain and Palin could not convince people how to correct this critical problem

Dr. Max Von Politico said...

AMA represents only 20% of US Doctors.

Anonymous said...

And AARP sells Medicare supplemental insurance.

Phil Montag said...

I'm old enough to remember the outrage over the Brady Bill in 1993, how it was a slippery-slope to the government taking all our guns away and leaving the population defenseless to an authoritarian socialist regime.

16 years later have you had to turn over any of your guns to the government? Has the government ever searched your home looking for guns? Have any of you good Republicans out there missed one day or even one hour of hunting because of the Brady Bill? If your answer is no, you were lied to then, just like you are being lied to now about healthcare reform.

Anonymous said...

We weren't lied to, Phil... I'm old too, big guy, and the Brady Bill in it's original form was VERY restrictive and in all likelihood would have led to overt government control of firearms. Now, you may not have a problem with that, but the Constitution does.

Anon 5:08... a)do you even know what a "teabagger" is vs. those who attended the "tea parties?" b)I haven't heard ANYONE say the healthcare system "is fine the way it is"... there ARE most defintely aspects that need reform... they affect my family greatly... but we don't need this 2,000 page pile of crap to accomplish it. Please show me quotes from republican congressmen or senators that state that "healthcare is fine the way it is." Yes, this bill will address SOME of the changes that are needed, but the cost to this country, not just financially, but more importantly in terms of government intervention in our lives, is not worth it. This bill, if passed in it's current form, will change this nation forever.

Mark Fahleson said...

General reaction from the Republicans, Democrats and Independents I watched the game with? The ad sucks. No one believes Washington Ben's vote will reduce the deficit, and he's lost so much credibility that no one believes what he says. He's scared and it shows.

Phil Montag said...

In January 1994, the National Rifle Association declared "When Bill Clinton signed the Brady bill into law on November 30, a drop of blood dripped from the finger of the sovereign American citizen ... The executioner's tool is the Brady bill - now the Brady law ... [T]hey'll go house to house, kicking in the law-abiding gun owners' doors."

If you feel that is an accurate assessment of the last 15 years you should trust what the Republicans are saying about healthcare reform.

Anonymous said...

Not impressed with the new Nelson commerical.

macdaddy said...

I hope Nelson didn't pay money for that. What color was that? If that's how Nelson really looks, then he's lucky he's has the gold-plated Congressional insurance that I'm sure is immune from the 40% tax rate that the union insurance plans are going to be hit with. As a campaign commercial it was a dud. As a way to try to turn down the heat on his staffers, it was advertising malpractice.

GeosUser said...

Nelson TV commercial reminded me of the "new Coke" ads and that campaign was a huge failure too. Hang it up now Ben, you're done.

One Out In The Third said...

Ben couldn't even get the commercial didn't play on ESPN. Speaking of ESPN...Craig James just became a national laughing stock. It will play out he is a whiner sports father with an idiot son.

Anonymous said...

the interuption to life called EBN's mea culpa was weak to say the least.

Bye Bye Ben

Anonymous said...

I saved Medicare by tranfering it all to Medicade!!! Nice job Ben way to raise our taxes one way or another.

You just lost my vote. SELLOUT!!!