Thursday, September 07, 2006

Scott Kleeb: Bridging the Divide

by Kyle Michaelis
Do yourself a favor and check out the first campaign commercial by Nebraska's ever-dynamic 3rd District Congressional candidate Scott Kleeb. It sets a pitch-perfect tone for the next two months, so long as he has the means to back it up with future ads putting all that charisma to work pushing for his vision of a rejuvenated and reborn rural Nebraska that has for too long been without a true advocate in the halls of Congress.

Already, it's amazing to note what a contrast Kleeb's ad paints against the pathetic and ugly fear-mongering committed in Republican candidate Adrian Smith's name in his primary race this spring when one of his central themes was the promise to "Send the Liberals a Message." Smith proved right then and there that he was more concerned with playing political games than serving the interests of the people he'd represent. When Republican Senate candidate Pete Ricketts used the same backdrops of John Kerry, Teddy Kennedy, and Hillary Clinton in his campaign advertising in June, he was rightfully criticized from all corners for running such an empty and insulting campaign, yet Smith started the trend in Nebraska without ever being called out in like manner.

No worries. Kleeb might be precisely the antidote to that sort of self-serving negativity. He's been an eye-opener for many in the Third District, forcing voters to reconsider their notions of what a Democrat is and what kind of future can still await the communities they call home by breaking with the tradition of endless decline promised by decades of largely visionless and unchallenged Republican leadership.

What works so flawlessly in Kleeb's new campaign ad is its tongue-in-cheek emphasis on Kleeb's proven ability to bridge the divides that lesser candidates would rather exploit for political gain. The library in a field of crops does a good job of capturing Kleeb's allure. The Yale-educated Kleeb is a scholar - an academic - but, as this ad illustrates, he is every bit a man of the people as well. In that same vein, he is a well-traveled citizen of the world, who's chosen to make his life in Nebraska because this is where his roots are and where his heart calls home. Some want to see these qualities as contradictions, but those who've had the opportunity to meet Kleeb understand how incredible an asset his non-traditional but uniquely American experiences could prove in service to Nebraska's Third District.

If this race is to be decided on charisma, intelligence, vision, or ideas, Kleeb was already going to beat Adrian Smith this November. With this commercial, it looks like you might be able to add running the better campaign to Kleeb's list of advantages as well. Still, there is that one mighty factor of the Republican Party's voter registration dominance that leaves Kleeb no room for error. The numbers are all Smith has going for him, and he's counting on that being all that he'll need.

I've become increasingly of the mind that this is thee race to watch in Nebraska this year. Nebraska's Third District may be the state's most Republican by any objective standard, but its voters are also the truest keepers of that fierce independence for which we so pride ourselves and our institutons. They have a chance this November to restore that fading tradition,setting a better course for the future in the process, by choosing Scott Kleeb - the ranch hand with a Ph.D., the Nebraskan raised on the other side of the world - as their next Congressional representative.


Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

How many times has Kleeb voted in this state?

How much of Kleeb's money comes from outside of Nebraska versus Smith's?

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Scott Kleeb is an outstanding candidate. Your post attempts to revive the "carpetbagger" frame, but this attack misses the point: Scott Kleeb is the embodiment of what the Nebraska business community and media have been clamoring for for years -- a young Nebraskan who chooses to return/stay in Nebraska after receiving his/her education.

Say what you will about his "elite" Ivy League education at "liberal" Yale University, this guy is for real.

How many times had Elizabeth Dole voted in North Carolina before she ran for United States Senate in that state? Give us a break.

Finally, how many times had Jon Christensen voted before he ran for Congress? As I recall, his trip to the polls to vote for himself was his FIRST TIME VOTING. I'm sure you recall the humiliation he experienced when, after voting, he asked the poll worker where he was supposed to sign his ballot.

Wake up, people!

Blogger Dave said...

I never quite understood the whole "carpetbagger" argument. As if a Democrat thought his best chance of winning elected office was to travel to Nebraska's 3rd District? It's also blatantly false on its face, since Scott Kleeb did live in the 3rd district, went to Yale to get his education, and came back.

Adrian Smith has no respect for Nebraskans, based on his ads he ran during the primary. Kleeb will represent his district well in Congress.

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

You both ignore the money question.


Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...

Bulldog seems to be attempting to make an issue of this statistic, showing Smith receiving 56% of his funds from in-state donors opposed to 44% for Kleeb. Of course, these figures are wildly inaccurate and incomplete, seeing as they fail to account for the more than $320,000 contributed by those out-of-state nutjobs at the Club for Growth who have paid for Smith's campaign and will, no doubt, expect a return on that investment sacrificing the well-being of rural Nebraska to their ideology of greed.

Oh, that Bulldog.....he sure showed us!

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

And these unions and other out-of-staters are completely in-line with Nebraska values??

Those folks in New Haven and Manhattan??

I don't need to "show you" show yourselves up with your blindness.

You make my job easy. Thanks!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The out-of state donations are not special interests, they are Scott's friends from college.

How many times did Tom Osborne vote in thhe 3rd District. We all know he lived in Lincoln. That is more in line with a carpetbagger.

Smith will not represent the 3rd District, he will represent the extreme right wing of the Republican Party.

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

The labor unions are "Scott's friends from college"? Really?

I am sure a lot of union members have Ivy League degrees.

Are you guys fielding the "C" team today or what? This is boring....

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

So are's numbers "wildly inaccutare"? I see these numbers quoted against "Rs" in media stories and the lefties seem to stand behind them.

Are you guys sniffing flowers and powerding your asses today or what?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daily Bulldog:

Can you articulate why Smith would be a good represntative of this region other than he is simply a Republican hack.

Why is Tom Osborne not a carpetbagger?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the NeoCONS sent their C team today. Like most Republicans, the little puppy can not offer anything except insults.

A vote for Smith is a vote for the Hastert, DeLay, Cunningham et al CONservative masters.

Why doesn't the puppy answer the question presented? Why is Osborne not a carpetbagger, we all know he lived in Lincoln.

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

I am not sure what your obsession is with small canines, but I am sure you can find help for it somewhere.

Coach Osborne is synonomous with Nebraska, and he owned property in the 3rd district.

What does Kleeb own himself? What has he done in Nebraska to earn a living? And no, sleeping in the guest house of his parents' or grandparents' place doesn't count.

How dare you put that prom king Kleeb in the same light as Coach Osborne.

I was wrong, this is the "D" team, or more likely, the practice squad.

You also didn't answer my question about ivy league degrees among union members and how many of these union memebers are "Scott's personal friends".

Face it,'re pitiful.

Blogger Daily Bulldog said...

Coach Osborne attended college at Hastings (3rd) and owned property at Lake Mac (3rd)....dude, this is baffling. If you can count that high, simply put side-by-side the number of years Coach Osborne lived in Nebraska versus Prom King Kleeb.

Are you one of "Scott's friends" in Connecticut that doesn't know where Nebraska is on a map??

My God, this is ridiculous...are you people that desperate to prop this Kleeb guy up?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does Bulldog depise labor unions? Is it because they support working folk?

All Bulldog can do is dog Kleeb with juvenile barbs, what "job" has his opponent ever had. (Having his daddy buy him storage units to rent out and having his friends provide him "realtor fees" hardly counts as real work. Face it, Smith is and wants to be a career politician.

It baffles me why Republicans wet themselves over the military concept yet do not actually support those involved in the military nor the people who make sacrifices to teach the youth of serviceman. They basically call them un-American. To all you serving in Iraq and around the globe, Bulldog does not think you are Nebraskans if you spend extended time overseas.

A vote for Smith is basically stating, "I want Dennis Hastert to represent me"

In regard to Osborne, if landownership qualifies for residence, I guess Ted Turner could run in the 3rd. He is more of a Nebraskan than the rest of us I guess. A civic lesson to Bulldog, landownership does not qualify a person as a resident. Osborne did not reside in the 3rd District when he ran for office except on paper. I know you Republicans can convince themselves of anything whether it is true or not. I am not dogging Osborne's service or commitment, but lets be honest. Kleeb is more of a 3rd District resident than Osborne was at the time he ran, and if anything, Osborne demonstrated independent thought that Kleeb wil offer and Adrian will not.

Anonymous Ryan Anderson said...

The answers to Bulldog's questions are: No, Scott has not voted in previous Nebraska elections and yes, Smith has recieved a higher percentage of his campaign donations from inside the state than Kleeb has.

C'mon guys, calm down and don't act so cagey. You're only giving legitimacy to questions which are diversionary and trivial at best. It's the questions which Bulldog sadly leaves unasked -Which candidate has the bolder vision for a rural community that is prepared for the challenges in the emerging global economy? Which candidate has demonstrated that bold independence from party doctrine and idealogical fanaticism which Nebraskans value most in their political leaders? Which candidate is running a campaign which gives due respect to the intelligence and independence of the Nebraskan voter? These are the questions that really determine the worth of these two candidates.

But Bulldog can't ask these questions, because he can be damn sure that the answer isn't going to be Adrian Smith. So he has to resort to trivia and diversion. So what? Let him. Let him fail Kleeb on litmus test after litmus test all the way from Labor Day to Election Day. The only test Kleeb must pass is the one at the ballot box, and his campaign is clearly on target for that one.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused. I'm a Marine stationed in Quantico, VA, who was born and raised in the 3rd district. I try to follow what is going on in Nebraska from out here, but it seems like this whole discussion is about how terrible Kleeb is against how great he would be. What is Smith doing? Who cares about Osborne. You "bulldogs" didn't even like him enough to put him on the ballot for Governor. Is it really that strange that Kleeb has made a bit more money in contributions from outsie the state? It's a Republican-controlled district.
As a bull "devil" dog out here in Virginia (deploying soon), how about a little bit of a more open mind.
I would like to know a little about Smith by the way, since he's so much better for Nebraska, Bulldung.

Anonymous Tyler McClellan said...

I contributed 300$ to Scott Kleeb's campaign and am a conservative republican from the most republican county in the country, orange county California. I did so, because regardless of the political interets one may think he shares with a candidate, there are a great many unknowns that legislators are forced to respond to throughout their term. In that situation it does a great service to America to have men and women of extraordinary ability and intelligence leading our country's response. In my four years at Yale, Scott was the most intellectually honest, decent, and accomplished person I met, whether that be teacher or student. How many congressional candidates can you be confident would go a long way to raising the dignity and intellect of our national congress?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a NE-03 resident. I'm from Columbus NE and am going to school at Doane College here in NE-03.

I don't understand how you can call Kleeb a carpetbagger. You cannot blame a guy for being born on a U.S. Army base over seas because his parents were educators for the dependents of military personel.

Alot of the people on the right like to remind us that we are in a time of war. Well, shouldn't we want candidates who know something about the military. Kleeb grew up around the military and has high school friends serving in Iraq. He's not quite as appealing in that regard as a veteran but it should at the very least balance out the place of his birth.

Besides, Kleeb came back to Nebraska to spend his summers here. He originally moved to Nebraska right after graduating from the University of Colorado. This is long before he could have had any congressional ambitions.

We shouldn't punish the man for coming back here but reward him. We have always called for young people to stay or return to Nebraska so we can revitalize our economy and society. He is doing what we here in the state have been asking people to do for years. Now he is criticized for doing what we asked of all young Nebraskans?

Besides, this race shouldn't focous on where the candidates are from, there are much much more important issues at hand.

You see there is one very big difference between Kleeb and Smith.

Kleeb is a moderate and Smith is a radical. Smith believes that everything the hand of government tuouches whithers and dies. This is just not true.

Kleeb understands the reality of the situation. It isn't as simple as black and white. Not everything the government does is good and not everything is bad. The government has its place in helping our state improve.

In a recent debate when asked about how the candidates would help ease the burden of high costs of college. The sum of what Kleeb said is that he would increase federal grants and reduce rates on student loans. The sum of what Smith said is that he would get the government out of the way of innovation at universities and colleges.

I could not go to college without federal grants and loans. I go to a great liberal arts school in Crete NE, Doane college. They give me $7,500 in scholarships each year. That isn't even 1/3 of my fees and I got a 34 on my ACT. The majority of my financial aid comes from government assistance, without which I would have a hard time affording going to UNL much less a private school like Doane. Smith doesn't know what he is talking about.

Kleeb wants federal money to support alternative fuels like ethenol and bio diesel instead of giving huge subsidies to oil companies. Smith does not support that position. He wants market forces to take care of the problem, the problem is the people who control the energy market, the oil companies have a vested interest in slowing the progress of alternative fuels.

Another thing Kleeb wants is to use government money to bring broad band internet to rural areas. It is not economical for broad band providers to build the infistructure to provide broad band to farms and small towns. Market forces oppose progress in that area, so the only way to get those utilities to those people is for the government to provide funding for the infistructure.

This is the kind of thinking that shows the middle ground is often much more reasonable than what the far left or the far right would propose

If nothing else Kleeb is a man who has his head on straight and sees things for what the really are.

Anonymous AF veteran in Holdrege said...

I don't care where he gets the money as long as he gets enough to win. The republicans take in 2 or 3 times the amount the democrats do from anybody, anywhere.

I was a republican for 26 years and I'm done; they should have never allowed themselves to be taken over by the likes of James Dobson.

I hope Kleeb wins. I'm voting for him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "carpetbagger" accusation has holes. Kleeb's parents moved to Italy to teach SOLDIERS. To me, that is not a commitment to be ashamed of.

Nebraska needs someone in the House who is smart, who understands the problems of our agricultural society, and who can stand up for farmers and ranchers in Congress.

Even if Scott has never voted in the state, it says a lot that he wants to come back and represent ingrates like "daily bulldog".


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