Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Words That Deserve Repeating

by Kyle Michaelis
It really is hard to emphasize how important the following passages - published in the Omaha World-Herald, of all places - are for the future of the Democratic Party in Nebraska.

I posted them once already, but - please - take another look:
Scott Kleeb says his heart is in Nebraska's Sand Hills and in making the Democratic Party relevant again in middle America.

So instead of searching for a teaching job after receiving his doctorate in history at Yale last year, Kleeb, 30, is touring the 3rd Congressional District in his white Chevy pickup, trying to round up votes as the lone Democrat in the race....

The thought of running for Congress emerged while driving across 22 Western states to research his doctoral dissertation. Neither major political party, Kleeb said, was discussing the problems he saw.

"He's disappointed that the Democrats haven't done better, particularly in middle America," said Yale history professor John Gaddis. "He's trying to revive the party"....

Kleeb believes he can connect with voters. "This is the only place that feels like home to me. It is home," he said.

There's a lot more to the article. There's a lot more to the candidate. But just what's there above is enough to show why Scott Kleeb's Congressional campaign is so important.

Kleeb is a legitimate candidate fighting for voters that have largely been forsaken by the Democratic Party for the last 15 years. He is standing up - unashamed to be a Democrat even in the most Republican corners of the state - taking a message to the people that's less about Washington D.C. politics and all about the future of Nebraska's Third District.

That's a big deal. It has the potential to be a very big deal.

Intelligent. Dynamic. Engaging. Kleeb is the best hope Democrats have had in a long time of establishing a new identity with Western Nebraska voters.

Hope. It's what the Kleeb campaign is all about: for the Nebraska Democratic Party after more than a decade of decline; and, more importantly, for all those rural communities in such dire need of a new vision and renewed vigor.

I don't know if he'll win in November, but I do know that - if we're ever going to win back this state and if voters are ever going to take back a stake in their own future - it will be with candidates like Scott Kleeb leading the way.


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