Monday, June 13, 2005

Heineman "on the move"

by Kyle Michaelis
Today, Gov. Dave Heineman got a big wet kiss from Don Walton of the Lincoln Journal-Star, who says Heineman's not entirely dead in the water in his attempt to secure the Republican nomination for Governor in his own right against Rep. Tom Osborne. As much as Walton and the rest of the Nebraska media would probably like that to be true to keep readers interested for the next 11 months, it really doesn't seem likely in the slightest, not from where I'm standing. Sure, Heineman's bound to finish "better than expected" but only because expectations couldn't be lower. Still, here's Walton's contention otherwise:
All the right moves. Dave Heineman keeps making them. And so, 11 months ahead of the 2006 Republican primary election, some political oddsmakers are beginning to take a fresh look at the governor's chances of surviving a contest with Tom Osborne.

Osborne remains the heavy favorite, but Heineman has moved from no shot to long shot with time to go.

Heineman's choice of Chimney Rock for the state's quarter design and his veto of legislation absorbing rural Class I school districts should play well in western and central Nebraska. Not only is that Osborne's congressional territory, it's the conservative ground that tends to dominate statewide Republican primary elections.

The governor's swift post-legislative session appearances at events trumpeting new business development tax incentives and increased resources for University of Nebraska research turned the spotlight on leading ingredients of his upcoming campaign message.

Throw in a few vetoes shaving a little from the Legislature's appropriations package and a relentless statewide travel schedule and you've got a politically savvy governor on the move.

None of this is intended to suggest that political motives were the only, or even the determining, factor in any of those decisions. But the end result appears to be a series of political pluses for an incumbent governor who can continue to control the agenda.

Talk about your wishful thinking. What a bunch of nonsense to suggest that Heineman's cutting a paltry $8 million from a $6 billion+ budget is going to win him any converts - only if press like this continues to inflate the importance of this middle finger salute to college students and the uninsured.

And since when has Western Nebraska had all this say in deciding the Republican nominee for Governor? Not in the last 20 years it hasn't, as every Republican nominee has been from Lincoln or Omaha. Heineman can obviously pander to the Chimney Rock contingency all he wants, these same people have known Tom Osborne for 30 years and aren't going to turn their back on him now when he comes asking for one last victory. After all, these state quarters will come and go but those 3 National Championships will last forever.


Blogger Cornhead said...

Damn right those 3 National Championships will last forever, baby! Go Big Red trumps everything in this state, and I'm not ashamed to admit I'm part of the rowdy crowd.

I totally agree: Heineman has no shot: Coach is the man.

I like Don Walton and think he is a fair, intelligent writer, but his love affair for Hagel is getting old and he must be trying to occupy his time until he can slurp all over Hagel in '08.


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