November 7th: A Beautiful Dreamby Kyle Michaelis
Still, I know my opinions are just those of one person. There are plenty of more intelligent, more dedicated, and more successful people whose opinions are probably more valid than my own. On that note, two long-time leaders in Nebraska Democratic Party politics have expresssed a previously unthinkable excitement about the prospects for near-total Democratic domination - here in Nebraska - on Election Day.
Well, I can't go there with them, but I'm happy to share what they've had to say. For starters, Vince Powers, National Committeeman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, shared the following words below about our political landscape heading into the last weekend before the election:
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.
Powers' comment follows on the heels of former Nebraska Democratic Party chair Anne Boyle's column in a recent edition of the Omaha City Weekly that read:
The day after the election, the nation could look at Nebraska and say we have sent a message to Washington unlike anywhere else in the country. Nebraska has never sent [an] all Democrat delegation to the House of Representatives.
As someone who has been kicking around politics nearly all my life, I cannot remember when the Democratic Party has ever had three more capable candidates running for Congress at the same time. Each of the campaigns has a different feel to it. All of them feel like winners....
Three Nebraska Democrats in Congress. It could happen and the eyes of the nation would be upon us.
I completely agree that we have amazing Congressional candidates this year - the best Democratic team I've seen. I've focused a lot of attention on Scott Kleeb of late, but I love Maxine Moul and believe Jim Esch has run the sort of grassroots, people-powered campaign that is going to change a lot of preconceived notions about how to succeed in Nebraska politics.
The respect with which the Omaha World-Herald writes about Moul and Esch, though endorsing their opponents in today's edition, is a testament to just how far the Nebraska Democratic Party has come this year (thanks, in no small part - whether you want to admit it or not - to the influence of Sen. Ben Nelson).
But, I have to call things the way I see them and focus my attention accordingly. If I wrote about Nebraska politics as I wish it was - as it might possibly be if this-or-that rumor is true - this would be an entirely different site (probably a more popular site). Hell, I'd be an entirely different person (probably more popular as well).
As is, I remain deeply skeptical about the polling data Powers references above. I'd be delighted to discover I was wrong on Election Day, but - until then - I've only been won over to the possibility that Scott Kleeb CAN make it to Washington D.C. if we fight like hell to get him there.
Of course, Moul and Esch deserve your support. If we work hard enough - after these candidates have worked as hard and as long as they have - anything is possible. But, for the long-term vitality of the Democratic Party - to protect voters from the subtle disenfranchisement of false hope exploited - I prefer to rise to a single challenge than succumb to a reckless optimism.
Again, I could be way off base. Powers and Boyle have experience that I don't. But, as leaders within the Democratic Party, they also have obligations that I do not and - hence - may be more inclined to putting the absolute best face on what is already a good situation.
Mine is a more measured approach. Still, we share the same dream. I just think it might take a while longer before we get there.
No matter where you are - no matter who you're helping get elected - November 7th is only the beginning. Wins. Losses. We'll cross those roads when we get there, and we'll have some time to put things into perspective. But the most important thing to recognize is not that we stand on the verge of glory but that we are so much stronger than we have been. Here, we have the opportunity to show our fellow Nebraskans how far we've come in so short a time, while giving them a hint of just how far we have yet to go.
Our work is making progress possible. Each day, it's bringing the dream of a new Nebraska just a little closer to reality. With that goal, you don't need poll numbers to remind you how important this election is. And, you don't need me to tell you so either.