Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scott Kleeb: "I Can't Do This Alone"

by Kyle Michaelis
With the national spotlight turning to Nebraska's Third District, Monday was perhaps the most exciting day yet in Scott Kleeb's campaign for Congress - as word broke of an internal poll showing Kleeb with a 6-point advantage over his opponent Adrian Smith (46-40%). At the same time, Lincoln Journal-Star political writer Don Walton alluded to a mysterious, undisclosed Republican poll with results that must have been similarly distressing to Smith:
The GOP fears it may be about to lose a “safe” House seat in eight days.

The decision to be a player in the western and central Nebraska district follows GOP polling....No one is sharing results from the Republican poll, but it’s clear they were sufficiently alarming for the GOP to send in the cavalry with TV ads attacking Kleeb....

In the waning days of this battle, now the marquee race in Nebraska, the anti-tax Club for Growth also has dispatched a new bundle of funding into the state to help Smith.

With the out-of-state, anti-farm program Club for Growth having already spent almost half-a-million dollars in this race, you'd think they would have helped Smith enough.

Every penny the Club for Growth contributes has cost Smith credibility in the eyes of Third District voters. And, with his borderline embarrassing record as a state senator, Smith really didn't have much credibility to begin with.

If the Club for Growth's money is good for anything, though, it will be in unleashing one of the most concentrated and hastily drawn negative campaigns this state has ever seen. In the 2004 Republican primary for Nebraska's First District seat, the one bit of success the Club for Growth managed was in destroying State Sen. Curt Bromm's chances for election. They will no doubt try the same underhanded, say-anything tactics to defeat Kleeb.

Of course, 2006 is not 2004 - especially since the onslaught of negativity in Nebraska's Senate race has left voters hungry for a candidate with Kleeb's positive vision, hopeful message, and unmistakable passion. The Club for Growth, though, isn't going to understand that because - other than writing fat checks - it has no connection to the people of Nebraska. And, in Adrian Smith's desperation, when he's proven his own inability to connect with voters, he's likely to welcome any attack on Kleeb - no matter how dirty, no matter how cheap, no matter how offensive to voters' sensibilities - as his best chance at salvaging a victory.

And the Club for Growth isn't alone in doing Smith's dirty work. With the national Republican Party, it's estimated that 350 thousand dollars will be spent on the unprecedented attacks on Kleeb in this last week before the election.

With odds like that, one might almost be inclined to lose heart, except I've personally had the opportunity to travel the Third District and talk to voters twice in the last week - Democrats and Republicans - and I've seen the incredible support that exists for Kleeb first-hand. More importantly, I saw Kleeb speak to an excited audience of more than 65 people in Crete, NE last night....and this is a candidate who's not wilting in the spotlight and certainly not backing down from the challenge that still remains.

Against the combined forces of the Club for Growth and Adrian Smith, Kleeb's message is very simple: "I can't do this alone. And, I don't want to do this alone."

Scott Kleeb can win this race. With your help, Scott Kleeb will win this race. Not as the Democrat. Not because of his looks. Not because he's a bullrider or a PhD. No, Kleeb will win because his is the voice the Third District needs - he is the candidate who will fight on their behalf - not the special interests' - in Washington D.C.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has declared their intention to go on the offensive in the Third District (1, 2, 3). At first, I wondered if that wasn't a diversionary tactic - a head fake to keep Smith and the Club for Growth guessing - since any ad paid for by the D in this race runs the risk of undermining the independence that has gotten Kleeb this close to victory.

Regardless, the DCCC isn't going to be as much help to Kleeb as you and I can be right here in Nebraska. Give what you can. Talk to everyone you know. If you've been thinking of taking an autumn trip through the Sandhills, do it this weekend and put in a few hours knocking doors for Kleeb's campaign.

There are important races all over the state, but - in Scott Kleeb - we have the opportunity to be part of something truly special. And, I'm not talking about the Democratic Party's takeover of the House. I'm talking about a new day and a new idea for Nebraska's Third District, which - in turn - could pave the way for a new idea of Nebraska itself. Perhaps even rural America.

That's the kind of leader Kleeb is poised to become. That's the sort of representative we stand poised to gain. Please do what you can.

There are 7 days remaining....

4 Comments:

Blogger Giving 'Em Hell said...

There are important races all over the state, but - in Scott Kleeb - we have the opportunity to be part of something truly special. And, I'm not talking about the Democratic Party's takeover of the House. I'm talking about a new day and a new idea for Nebraska's Third District, which - in turn - could pave the way for a new idea of Nebraska itself. Perhaps even rural America.

That's the kind of leader Kleeb is poised to become. That's the sort of representative we stand poised to gain.


BINGO!!! (Nail hitting head emotion)

10/31/2006  
Anonymous Ryan Anderson said...

There's a paragraph in a story of the latest Newsweek that I think says a lot about Kleeb's strength here. It goes like this:

"In the waning October light, Democrat Linda Stender ambles from door to door in a middle-class neighborhood of Cranford, NJ. Even two weeks before a competitive election in the Seventh District, most people don't show much interest in meeting a candidate for Congress. Gotta fix dinner, one says, after briefly perusing a campaign flier. I'm not dressed right, claims another through the intercom. Later that eveneing, 30 voters show up for one of Stender's campaign events-about average for either her or the three-term incumbent, GOP Rep. Mike Ferguson. People have better things to do."

Stender has a lot of things going for her. She has a national Democratic wave which is supposedly hitting her area of the country harder than any other. She's got experience at running for and winning local office. She's got a blue district in a blue state, and she's got the nearly unanimous consent of independent pundits and party operatives that her race will be a close one.

But she doesn't have the ability to excite people who have become dispirited with the very structure of American politics. She doesn't have the ability to rise above our petty partisan battles and engage people on a deeper level, get them to start believing in the ability of their government to lead them into a brighter future.

Kleeb has that. And that is a rare, rare thing in politics. How many other Congressional candidates in this country can get the crowds and the response that this guy's getting? And he's accomplishing all of this in a district where his party is an endangered species.

Kleeb is for real. This isn't just about putting another race in the Democratic column. This is about giving Nebraska first dibs on the type of leadership that everyone in this country pines for. We need to make this happen.

11/01/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, now they're bringing Bush in to try and save Smith.

This is too much.

phat

11/01/2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks, the President of the greatest country in the world is not coming to Nebraska because one candidate is behind; he is coming because all 4 repub federal candidates are in major trouble. I hear GOP polls show Nelson up by more than 22, Kleeb up by 2; Moul in a dead heat, and the king of grassroots, the prince of the people, the man at the door, Esch up by around 2.

I have absolutely no idea if President Bush can save 2 races or not, cuz, no one knows, since no President has ever had to come to Nebraska 2 days before an election to bail out the Repubs.

Volunteer, sign a check, get after it. Bush is not coming to NE 3rd because the GOP is winning in Nebraska
Vince Powers

11/01/2006  

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