Scott Kleeb: "I'm Exploring"by Ryan Anderson
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.