Friday, March 18, 2005

Goodbye Charlie

by Kyle Michaelis
So it begins - Campaign '08. Sentor Hagel's failure to win over UNLs campus last week hasn't deterred him from plans for a speaking tour across New Hampshire.

Since returning to Nebraska in 1993 to run for the Senate (World-Herald was already pushing their golden boy to run in 1994) and winning a seat in 1996, I've been surprised more voters haven't cared that Chuck Hagel isn't really much of a Nebraskan. He called Virginia home for 15-20 years from the 70s through early 90s, and now, as a Senator, he's done the same for almost another decade. At least to this point, however, Hagel has had to act the part of a Nebraskan because he was dependent on our support for a job.

Well, now he's looking for a new job, and it seems increasingly likely Hagel will be spending the next 3 years trying to appeal to voters in New Hampshire. With this new constituency, I wouldn't count on much action for us folks back in Nebraska except for where our interests bleed into that of neighboring Presidential Primary powerhouse Iowa.

So, how does this work? Iowa gets a half, and New Hampshire gets the other. That leaves Ben Nelson Nebraska's sole representative in the Senate. I hope Nebraskans remember who's actually been working FOR them in 2006, as well as who hasn't come 2008. Are we really so desperate for a President who calls Nebraska home (on paper) that we'll screw ourselves just for the chance?

Maybe I'm rushing to judgment on this, but I think it's fair to expect that we be our own Senator's top priority no matter his ambitions. Is that really asking too much?

Heck, we're already giving one of our seats in the House of Representatives to Louisiana. Where does it stop?


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