Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Scott Kleeb: "I'm Exploring"

by Ryan Anderson
Scott Kleeb's back in the arena. No, it didn't come with a press conference or a parade, but that's not really Kleeb's style. It begins, as his last campaign began, with a promise. And it ends with a bang.

The promise? A new brand of politics. A lofty goal, but Kleeb's "brand" isn't really new... at least not to anyone who followed his first campaign. That Nebraska could realize untapped potential if only it could recognize common interests and goals... this is the message that inspired the uninvolved and persuaded the straight-ticket Republicans. This is the message that brought Kleeb within ten points of victory, despite negative ads and dirty tricks, in a district Bush carried by 50%.

The story of that campaign has been told and retold many times, by myself and others across this state and beyond. But what's generally gone unreported (if not necessarily unnoticed) is the story behind that story: the hard work and solid instincts that helped turn an unknown ranch hand into a transformative political figure. Because Scott Kleeb isn't just an inspiring presence on the stump, he's a student and a laborer, a man who does his homework and isn't afraid to do the heavy lifting required of his campaign.

Kleeb has also impressed some independent observers: Diane Duffin, an associate professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, categorizes Kleeb as one of the smartest candidates she has seen and said she can’t remember the last time a candidate studied the district as academically as he has. (CQ Politics, Feb. 6, 2006)

When I interviewed him in December, I was impressed by his attitude and discipline as a candidate. He acknowledges and accepts the hard tasks of raising funds and proving viability as a personal burden, not something that comes free care of the party or the press or the blogosphere. It is that pragmatism that drives his campaign today.

Though uncommitted to any race (he says he is "currently exploring several options to continue and expand our campaign", options that could include another run for NE-03 or a shot at the Senate), Kleeb realizes that Democrats must prepare now for a campaign the NE-GOP has dominated since November. He starts with $64,000 in the bank and a volunteer organization in the most Republican part of the state. Not bad.

But he also starts with a significant deficit in a state all too comfortable with one party politics and cakewalk elections. That deficit is a burden we can share. Scott's willing to put in the long hours and shoulder the hard work. He asks us now only for our money. Believe me, it'll be well spent.

Click here to donate to Scott Kleeb.

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Anonymous Jon Rehm said...

Democrat Nancy Boyda lost to Republican Jim Ryun by 13 percentage points in 2004 and came back to beat Jim Ryun down in Kansas' 2nd CD in 2006. Ten points is doable.

I'm cynical and hard-bitten about politicans, but it's time to hop on the Kleeb bandwagon wherever it may be heading

Blogger JimEenright said...

Kleeb is slick alright. Obviously he is a pro-abortion,pro-gay marriage, big spending liberal Democrat, but he knows you have to soft peddle some of the more extreme liberal Democrat views to be elected in Nebraska. Like the proposal to shut down talk radio, or the drive to end the secret ballot in union elections, or the abandonment of Iraq to ethnic cleansing and Iran, or a big tax hike,or amnesty for illegals so they'll vote for Democrats. Even rabid Republican women admit that Kleeb is a handsome guy, so the women will at least listen to him.He could probably beat anybody for the Democrat Senate nomination except Bob Kerry, of course.

Anonymous apiepc said...

y'all are so dilusional. Virginia Smith and Bill Barrett both only won their first election by a few votes.

Yes, Bush carried the district by a large percent.

But look at the history of the 3rd district. It's probably a better description to say that NE3 is a populist, conservative district, than a "Republican district" regardless of the voter registration numbers. (What you really have is a bunch of old "Reagan Democrats" out there.)

Kleeb did well at first, because he went at it with a populist message that will always play out well in NE3. BUT, Kleeb is liberal which proved to be his downfall. Had he actually been pro-life and in favor of defense of marriage he really might have won. (I assume you've read "What's the Matter With Kansas".)

At the end of the day, he still lost by ten. Please go back and study the history of the district--this last race was one of the largest Republican victories (aside from the Coach) in the history of NE-3 when the seat has been open.

Sorry, but all Adrian has to do is not screw up. I admire Lisa for keeping tabs on him, but she's nitpicking as much as we all might want it to be something else. As long as he runs his office better than he ran his campaign, then the seat will be his as long as he wants it to be.

So wake up and face reality and focus on races we can win.


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