McCain Endorses Osborne: But....WHY?by Kyle Michaelis
To be honest, I don't know what Osborne's thinking if he really believes this is going to help his chances. I've gone on record stating my belief that Osborne will still come through this close race with Gov. Dave Heineman, but the fact that Osborne should think it necessary to call in a supposed "heavy hitter" like McCain to give his campaign a boost displays a lack of confidence and a sense of desperation that could well send votes in the opposite direction.
Seriously, does Osborne think this is going to help? While McCain has an impressive national following, the man has absolutely no ties to Nebraska that would justify voters' taking his opinion into account as to who should be our next governor.
More than that, even though McCain fancies himself the 2008 Republican presidential front-runner, I have substantial doubt that Nebraska Republicans would support him. In fact, with many, I suspect McCain's endorsement will prove more of a liability than an asset - proof that Osborne has gone Washington D.C. and might, deep down, be a closet liberal (since the American people have, for whatever reason, embraced McCain as a moderate).
Frankly, McCain does not stand on a pedestal with Republican voters like he does with independents. And, too bad for Osborne, independent voters aren't going to be much help since only registered Republicans are allowed to vote in the primary. Sure, some have gone the "Republican-for-a-Day" route and crossed over just to vote in the primary but not enough that this is going to make a difference.
The only other population McCain's endorsement is likely to help with would be veterans, but I don't foresee such a huge shift there to justify the risk that Nebraskans will reject this sort of electoral interloping.
This late in the game, a real slam-dunk endorsement might have been worth the public's attention. If one of Osborne's fellow Nebraska Congressmen, Lee Terry or Jeff Fortenberry, had decided to join Osborne on the campaign trail, that would say something about his candidacy. But, bringing in John McCain to make a phone call on your behalf carries about as much weight as Barry Switzer. It's a distraction at best.
If Tom Osborne understands Nebraskans so well, I would expect him to know that. That he doesn't, speaks poorly of his political instincts or, at least, those of his advisers.
When Dennis Hastert came to Lincoln last week, it wasn't to make an endorsement - it was to help Osborne raise money. That's fine. But this McCain thing....it's just an endorsement. Over the phone - no less.
No one cares. No one should - let alone Osborne who should be focused more on winning over Nebraska voters and less on proving how popular he is in Washington D.C., even with the biggest of big-time politicians.