Friday, August 10, 2007

Three-Time Loser Hal Daub Still "Undecided"

by Kyle Michaelis

by: Dave Sund

When last we saw Hal Daub, he was embarking on a 93 County "listening tour" of Nebraska. Evidently, after 87 counties, he's still undecided.

As he considers a run for the U.S. Senate, Hal Daub is winding down his listening tour across the state. The former Omaha mayor and congressman said that after visiting 87 of Nebraska's 93 counties, he is still undecided about whether to seek the Republican nomination, but he plans to make a decision this fall. "I may not be a candidate," Daub told 16 people gathered Thursday at a Fremont coffee shop before presiding over discussions about the Iraq war, illegal immigration and rural economics.
It's been difficult from the outset to figure out what, exactly, Hal Daub's motivation is in seeking this Senate seat, and why he's going about it in this way. Everyone in political circles has assumed that Daub's going to run if Hagel drops out, but Daub's "listening tour" seems to be his way of running without really running - to seem like he's running against Chuck Hagel when in actuality he has no intention of doing so.

Daub, known as someone who loves to talk, has been crisscrossing the state for the past few months with a blue pen and notebook, asking questions and scribbling down voters' comments. He said he is interested in hearing voters' concerns and, even if he does not run, he will sit down with Gov. Dave Heineman and Hagel and discuss what he's learned.
Is Hal Daub the de facto establishment candidate in this race? Is he hoping to gain the favor of Hagel and - more importantly - Heineman to take the Republican nomination? Or is he the stalking horse for the only candidate the Heineman faction can count on to beat Bruning - Mike Johanns? Time will tell - Hal Daub gave himself a Labor Day deadline to make a decision. I suspect we'll know a few more things by that date, as well.

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