Monday, July 04, 2005

Silence of the (Sacrificial) Lambs

by Kyle Michaelis
Don't mind the title of this post. I'm just having fun.

Although some argue otherwise, the Nebraska Democratic Party needs to have a legitimate candidate for governor on the top of its 2006 ticket. We need someone we can be proud of in this state, someone who offers a true alternative to the Republican status quo that has failed this state so terribly.

Here's the Lincoln Journal-Star's Don Walton on the continuing search:
Still looking. Early last week, Lincoln attorney Jim Harris appeared to be a potential Democratic candidate for governor. On Friday, he said "no."

With Nebraska Democrats determined to field a credible gubernatorial candidate in 2006, no matter the odds, Matt Connealy remains a possibility.

Connealy, the party's 2004 nominee for the 1st District congressional seat, isn't talking just yet. But the Decatur state senator has remained active and visible, positioning himself for a possible bid for state or congressional office next year.

Last year, Connealy performed well in his losing battle with Jeff Fortenberry, although he lost by a greater margin than anticipated when Fortenberry surged at the end.

"Matt would be an excellent candidate," says Harris, who was an intriguing possibility himself....

There's good reason to view the 2006 gubernatorial contest as a daunting challenge with the Democratic nominee facing either Tom Osborne or Gov. Dave Heineman — unless Dave Nabity can pull off the upset of the new century — as well as confronting a huge Republican voter registration advantage.

"But it would be sad for the state if the Republican nominee would automatically become governor without a race," Harris says. "Our system works best when both parties are represented and there is a vigorous and honest debate of the issues."

It's silly for Walton to suggest the unelected Heineman has anything to do with the difficulty finding a Democratic candidate. Osborne is the Goliath here....pure and simple.

I can't really blame anyone for not wanting to go up against a Nebraska legend, but the simple fact of the matter is that Bob Devaney chose Osborne to be his successor as football coach not to be the state's governor 30 years down the line. I can't help thinking that if Osborne really cared about this state and giving us our pride back, he'd return to UNL in some capacity and get those Huskers back on top where they belong.

That's obviously too tall an order and Osborne thinks being Governor will give him more time to relax, without messing with his legacy. As much as it pains me to say it, though, in the face of Nebraska's economic stagnation and emerging crisis of confidence, Osborne is not dynamic or passionate enough to lead this state into the next year...let alone the next decade. If his time in Congress is any indicator, his will be a legacy of unthinking Republican orthodoxy...4 years more of which the working people of this state simply can't afford. This is about more than the legacy of a man...this is about the legacy we want to leave our children. We need to be thinking about the Nebraska of tomorrow instead of voting with former football glories on the brain.

Matt Connealy would be an excellent nominee for Governor - someone who would make both his party and his state proud. We'd be lucky to have a candidate of his caliber and experience. Running for Congress didn't always seem to fit Connealy last year, as his true passion was so obviously the interests of the common Nebraskan rather than hot button national issues. At the state level, though, where Connealy wouldn't have to wear as many ill-fitting labels, I truly believe the freedom to be himself, along with his command of local issues, would make him an infinitely stronger candidate...which he would need to be to face Tom Osborne.

Well, it does us no good to go any further down this path of endless speculation. Not right now - not until we have a little better sense of who, if anyone, is willing to take this enormous risk for the good of all Nebraskans. I hope someone is up to the challenge - someone who's able and willing to do it right for the right reasons. If you're that person, the people certainly deserve a choice and they might just deserve you!


Post a Comment

<< Home