Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Character and Courage" in the Campaign About Nothing

by Kyle Michaelis
So, according to Sen. Chuck Hagel, Pete Ricketts has "character and courage." Well, it sure is nice for Hagel to tell us these things - because, from what voters have seen of Ricketts over the last 11 months - they would have had no clue whatsoever.

Generally, voters can judge a candidate on a couple of things: his record, his positions on issues, not to mention how he conducts himself during the campaign. Yet, on all three of these fronts, Ricketts has failed to demonstrate even the slightest hint of this mysterious "courage" of which Hagel speaks.

Where is the courage in making the same empty promises of fiscal responsibility voters have been hearing for more than a decade? Where is the courage in running on an agenda of pure partisanship - blind, unwavering, and without question? And, where is the courage in spending millions and millions of dollars of a multi-billion dollar fortune on a self-indulgent and meaningless campaign devoid of substance from the start?

To think, all that money and all that freedom to run on actual issues with real ideas - all those opportunities to speak with true character and courage, answering to no one but the people of Nebraska - and this is the campaign Ricketts has run. How sad is that? Now, he wants us to believe Hagel's claim that Ricketts has "character and courage" in complete contradiction to what we've seen with our own eyes and heard with our own ears.

Who do these guys think they're kidding? Pete Ricketts hasn't spoken a word that hasn't been poll-tested. Nor has he even given a thought to straying from a single talking point or position packaged for him and wrapped with a nice pink bow by Washington D.C. Republicans.

Can you imagine, with Ricketts' endless financial resources, running a campaign that - at the end of the day - has less meaning than an episode of Seinfeld? The Pete Ricketts campaign has been the ultimate campaign about nothing. It was clear from the start that Ricketts' only concern is getting elected, just like his only qualification is being a Republican. Thankfully, the people of Nebraska seem to have seen through that raw egotistical emptiness, rejecting it outright.

I don't care how much Ricketts has spent on his campaign - this latest endorsement by Hagel proves that talk truly is cheap. Hagel tells us Ricketts has "character and courage," yet neither quality has been in evidence on the campaign trail. And any suggestion of courage - when Ricketts has stood for nothing but getting Pete Ricketts elected - would be downright laughable if it weren't so utterly dishonest.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Cornell said...

Pete Ricketts has released an immigration plan that is much more tolerant and realistic than Nelson's "build a wall and kick 'em out approach." Which position is really closer to what Democrats and independents believe?

In terms of courage, Ricketts had the courage to cut make hard choices at Ameritrade to keep some people employed instead of letting them all go down with the ship and ending everyone's employment.

To say that Ricketts would be a reliable vote for Bush, belies the fact that on every important social issue and vote on the war, Nelson sides with the President.

Nelson is rarely there when Democrats actually need him.

10/08/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cornell
Youy know not of what you speak. Nelson's plan doesn't "kick 'em out." It simply secures the border to prevent MORE illegal crossings. Its a stop the bleeding approach.

Ricketts plan is based on "self-deportation." As if millions of illegals are going to get up and by bus tickets to Tiajuana tomorrow.

And how hard is it to be courageous when you have others (security guards) do the actual firing? all Pete Had to dowas generate a list of names then collect a million dollars in bonuses. True courage, indeed.

As far as Hagel - who cares what he thinks? His brand of "courage and character" is essentially atttacking President Bush on eveything and offering no ideas of his own. He plays the Democrat better than Ted Kennedy.

Isn't it a shame that a true war hero like Hagel would so diminish the terms "courage" and "Character" by wasting them on a weasly, weak, superficial, talentless rookie like Pete Ricketts? True courage and character will never be the same.

10/08/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I picked up from Hagel's ad was that Ricketts was trustworthy. How so? Trustworthy to vote in lockstep with the rest of the Republicans or what? Be another rubber stamp Republican.

This is the first I've known of Hagel coming out to back Ricketts and notice it was after Cheney's visit.

All Hagel & Cheney are worried about are the Republicans losing the majority in Congress.

What courage has Ricketts shown anyway? The ad certainly doesn't name anything specific.

I really had the impression that Hagel wasn't really sincere in doing the ad. I think the RNC told him to get behind Ricketts & now. They're banking Ricketts can ride on Hagel's coattails.

The R base considers Hagel a RINO. I consider Hagel a bit bankrupt on trustworthiness himself. He says all the right things and then consistently votes with his party every time. I don't call that thinking for yourself.

Hagel may have had courage while fighting Vietnam, but I don't consider him courageous in the way he votes. All hat, no cattle.

I ticked as hell with Nelson, but Ricketts would be so much worse.

I'm still debating on whether to leave the Senate boxes blank on my ballot. I've absolutely had it with Ben Nelson and his Republican voting record. Nelson isn't trustworthy either.

Why or why didn't the Dems put forth a better candidate than Nelson in the primary?

10/08/2006  
Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...

In truth, Hagel has been Ricketts' lone bastion of support for much of this campaign, breaking with long-standing Senate traditions of not campaigning directly against a fellow home-state Senator.

There's just one problem - Ben Nelson is more popular than Hagel, even consistently with Nebraska Republicans. This fact can't be lost on Hagel, who probably stands to gain more from this advertisment in political goodwill than Ricketts does in voters' favor.

And, guess what, it's all on Ricketts' dime. Not a bad deal for Hagel - not at all.

10/08/2006  
Anonymous randy said...

kyle (anyone), expand if you could on the goodwill aspect of this. admittedly, i was surprised to see hagel appear anywhere near ricketts. especially this late in the game. i thought he would run as far away from this trainwreck as he could. my thinking was; given his presidential ambitions, he wouldn't want to be associated with this loser.

10/09/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy - I'm sure Kyle will tell you the same-

This election is about Hagel's personal hatred of Ben Nelson. Hagel recruited rickett's checkbook to run the meanest nastiest campaign in Nebraska history. Hagel has lent his staff and now himself to this $15 million smear campaign. It is sad to watch an otherwise promising guy like Ricketts get used like this - he's spent 15 million to fight Chuck Hagel's proxy war and destroyed his own reputation in the process. I'm embarassed for Pete.

10/09/2006  

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