Monday, May 05, 2008

Noteworthy Endorsements by Omaha World-Herald

What a difference two years has made for Adrian Smith . . . and Scott Kleeb.

In its news coverage and editorials, the Omaha World-Herald was gaga over Kleeb in 2006, giving him rock-star treatment. Smith (a friend and former colleague in the Nebraska Legislature) was dismissed as a conservative robot with a "hardshell ideology."

Yesterday the OWH editorial page said incumbent Smith was the only one of the four people running for 3rd District House seat who "merits support." Smith was lauded for hiring good staff, listening to constituents and providing constituent services, supporting federal regulation of the Platte River, serving on the House Agriculture Committee, and supporting trade agreements.

And what of Kleeb, the Sand Hills Ivy League phenomenon running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate? Not a word about him in the OWH editorial on that race.

The OWH said voters should select Tony Raimondo as the Democratic candidate. Raimondo was a Republican, and was maneuvering to run for the Senate as such, until Mike Johanns got in the race. Raimondo switched to the Democratic Party to avoid facing Johanns in the primary.

Raimondo says he can be a Ben Nelson Democrat. That may be true, but Kleeb was lionized in 2006 as part of the Democratic Wonder Boy Tag Team of the new century, the other half being Jim Esch.

I thought Esch's 55-45 loss to Lee Terry was more impressive than Kleeb's 55-45 loss to Smith. Yes, the "big third" is majority Republican in registration, but Democrats have proven they can win out there, and Kleeb was going for an open seat. Esch was challenging a strong Republican incumbent in a majority Republican district. Unlike Kleeb, Esch had little support from the Democratic Party and machine.

I wondered why no one mentioned Esch as a possibility for the Senate race. A pro-life Democrat (though I have to get Jim back on track on stem cell research!) has a better shot at winning statewide office than a pro-choicer such as Kleeb. Yet it seemed to be Kleeb by default.

Which makes it all the more surprising that the OWH did not even mention Kleeb. Sometimes, especially in a major race, the OWH will throw a bone to a candidate it does not endorse and acknowledge his virtues. The OWH endorsed Kleeb for one house of Congress in 2006. Now it doesn't even mention him two years later in a race for the other house of Congress?

Maybe the clue was in the headline, "Heavyweight contenders," and the final sentence of the editorial, "A Johanns-Raimondo contest this fall would be a clash of heavyweights."

There was no surprise, but congratulations nonetheless to Mike Johanns (Senate) and Lee Terry (2nd District House) on being endorsed by the OWH as the best options for the Republican Party.

1 comment:

OmaSteak said...

Both Kleeb and Esch are lightweights and phonies. Neither has ever had a real job beyond running for office and they are both pretending to be "moderates" while being card carrying liberals. Raimondo should stick to running his business. I have no doubt that, if elected, he would be a "Ben Nelson" democrat...corrupt to the core. I keep hearing "change Washington" from all these candidates. I wonder on exactly how that will happen short of a military coup. The only thing that will change for any of those elected is their personal financial future.