Giving Gov. Dave Heineman His Dueby Kyle Michaelis
He was the people's choice. Whether I agree with that choice or not, NNN respects the will of the people enough to give democracy the benefit of the doubt and to give Dave Heineman a new opportunity to prove he is the leader this state needs to move forward and to fulfill its potential.
Although I am a proud Nebraska Democrat, I am far more concerned with Heineman's influence and impact on the future of Nebraska than I am with any partisan label. Beginning his first term in his own right after taking over for Mike Johanns almost two years ago, I would love nothing more than for Heineman to be a governor for all Nebraskans, demonstrating the wisdom, courage, and compassion that office demands and this state so desperately needs.
In all likelihood, Heineman is going to be the governor of Nebraska for the next four years - possibly, the next eight. At this critical juncture, with a looming financial crisis on the horizon and the economy struggling to adapt to the 21st century, the future of Nebraska depends on good leaders with strong voices guiding it along the path to progress. There is no obscuring Heineman's role in shaping that future, so - today - Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike look to him with hope and respect.
What he does with that hope and whether he returns that respect will define Heineman's term. And, it may even decide Nebraska's fate. With stakes so high for the state and its way of life, one can't help but wish Heineman success, even if there are certain to be disagreements and ideological differences along the way.
Dave Heineman is our governor. Nebraska needs him to be a good one. Looking at the campaign Heineman ran from the moment he swore the oath of office, he is clearly a smart politician who understands themes that resonate with voters. He is clearly a hard worker who can get things done when setting his mind to a goal. May those traits serve him well - and serve our state well - in the coming years.