Thursday, April 01, 2010
An Autumn 2010 visit to Omaha by President Barack Obama was the original White House plan of attack for the Democrats' newest 50 State Strategy. But Leavenworth Street has learned that the President will return a favor to Senator Ben Nelson, and visit the Benator's home town of McCook, Nebraska before Memorial Day this year.
The visit is part of the real "Cornhusker Kickback" that Nelson bargained for in his Health Care vote just before Christmas 2009.
Nelson has long claimed that he never asked for the Kickback. But what has been recently revealed by our sources, is that Nelson's desire all along was to have the President visit McCook -- for the unveiling of the Ben Nelson statue at Nelson's boyhood home.
Nelson reportedly broached the idea with Obama at the White House during negotiations on the Health Care bill last December.
Nelson noted that a statue of Obama as a young child was erected in Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama spent much of his childhood (and where Obama has been trying to get back for a Presidential visit).
Nelson then informed POTUS that he too will have a statue erected depicting him in his youth, and the two then began discussing a Presidential visit. The statue, entitled, "On My Honor", depicts a teenage Nelson receiving his Boy Scout Eagle rank from his parents
But in fact, Obama's visit isn't just to see Nellie as a young Eagle Scout. The President's visit to the deep-Red, conservative Third District of Nebraska is part of the White House's overall scheme to attack the heart of the Republican Party, and make in-roads in places where Democrats have seldom seen success.
Democrats hope that the President's visit will also help to peel off votes from Governor Dave Heineman and make him at least spend more campaign cash against Democrat Mark Lakers -- thereby leaving Heineman with less to spend on a likely run against Nelson in 2012.
An Obama visit will be the first in a long time (and we'll take any info here from history buffs) that a sitting Democrat President has visited Nebraska's Third District. [Update: We were reminded that President Clinton visited Kearney in 2000.] But we at Leavenworth Street think David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the Dems in the White House are wasting their time.
The approval ratings for the President -- and Nelson -- are at an all time low. It will take more than an simple visit and a kicky new statue to convince the people of the Third that the Health Care bill and the Cornhusker Kickback are/were a good thing. And frankly, when folks who watch their pocketbooks in tough times see the expense that is needed for a Presidential visit, their flattery at the visit may be short-lived. That it's simply a vanity trip for Ben Nelson may not help.
Nebraskans will always welcome a visit by the President. But they would appreciate, and will take, good-government over a fly-by any day.
**UPDATE at 2:00 pm**
To find out more about the President's visit to McCook, please re-read the first paragraph (paying attention to the first letter of each word).
Posted by Street Sweeper at 12:00 AM