Monday, October 10, 2005

Where the Money Is

by Kyle Michaelis
A quick update from Stenberg's primary Primary competition from the Omaha World-Herald:
Pete Ricketts has made the first two big hires in his GOP U.S. Senate campaign.

The Omaha businessman named Pat Fiske, a veteran Republican strategist, as campaign manager. He also hired Nathan Mick, former deputy chief of staff for Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., as his political director.

Fiske has served as chief of staff for two members of Congress, Rep. Mark Kennedy, R-Minn., and former Rep. Linda Smith, R-Wash. Last year, he managed Bob Schaffer's bid for U.S. Senate in Colorado. Schaffer lost the Republican primary to Peter Coors.

Looks like this Fiske fellow learned some lessons from his candidate's 20% defeat in the 2004 Colorado primary - mainly, in Republican politics, next time go with the super-rich candidate who can fund his own campaign.

Well, he's found exactly that in Ricketts. What Ricketts lacks, however, is the name recognition of his Colorado counterpart, beer-icon Coors. That doesn't seem to have stopped Fiske from copying his former opponent's playbook on Ricketts' behalf.

See one of Coors' primary campaign themes: "The Senate has 57 lawyers and does not need another one...I've said all along the Senate needs more people with business experience." (08/10/2004)

Compare that to Ricketts' recent statement: "Business people, I believe, are seriously underrepresented in Washington." (09/24/2005)

Stick with what works, I guess. Then again, Coors' bid for the Senate was ultimately unsuccessful, but I'd bet Fiske is taking this one step at a time.

Just hope he keeps Ricketts from attempting to lower the drinking age...or - with his particular brand of riches from his family's stock-trading company - perhaps defending Enron or calling for less regulation on Wall Street.

He's a Republican. Of course, that's all in the agenda somewhere. You just don't say it. Surely, Fiske's gameplan already has that covered.


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