NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

After teasing a run for Chuck Hagel's senate seat, former Nebraska governor and senator Bob Kerrey, clearly Democrats' best chance at taking the seat, has announced he won't run after all and instead will remain president of the New School in New York.

From his statement:

I have decided I will not leave The New School to become a candidate for the United States Senate in Nebraska. The reason is simple enough: For my family and me now is not the time for me to re-enter politics as a candidate.

He acknowledges he almost did decide to run for senate:

At the same time I nearly said yes to leaving [The New School]. Again the reason is simple enough: I am deeply troubled about the direction of our country. And the idea of returning home to Nebraska to lead a political campaign based on a promise to do my part to change the direction was very appealing. I love Nebraska and believe in public service. I have not given up on politics or democracy simply because both have been debased in recent years by money, corruption, and personal weakness.

So now, with Kerrey out, this seat unfortunately becomes strongly Lean Republican and is definitely a blow to any hopes of winning 60 seats next year.

From TPM:

The Democratic bench in Nebraska is very thin. Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey was courted by the Dems, but has shown a reluctance to get in the race. The next possible candidate would be rancher Scott Kleeb, who ran unsuccessfully last year in the Third Congressional District.

Will Kleeb run again for the House or perhaps put his hat in the ring for senate? After meeting him at YearlyKos, it was evident why he's a rising star in Nebraska and I believe he'd actually be a formidable senate candidate. We look forward to hearing what his plans are.

In the meantime, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, and now, for the senate seat itself, is Mike Johanns, former Bush Agriculture Secretary. The DSCC is already on it.

Tags: bob kerey, Chuck Hagel, ne-sen (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

Johanns is going to be the next US Senator from Nebraska.

by nkpolitics 2007-10-24 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

Sure, with talk like that.

Nebraska Democrats have a story to tell and Scott Kleeb will be our lead character.

But we will need your help.  Stay posted.

by Mike Nellis 2007-10-24 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

I am sorry but I have to play devils advocate.

How can a political novice like Scott Kleeb defeat Mike Johanns a former two term Governor and a former Agriculture Secretary?

Johanns has higher name recognition in Nebraska and is more popular in Nebraska- despite serving in the Bush cabinet.

Scott Kleeb's chance of winning the open NE seat is similar to Larry LoRocco's chance of winning the open ID seat.

by nkpolitics 2007-10-24 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

Where is thay fire in the netroots I hear so much about.

Didn't anything think Biden or Wellstone could win their first Senate race.  No.  I've seen you guys take chances with more at stake.  Why not now?  Why not Nebraska?

This can be done, but we need your support.

Faith is the only thing we have right now.  It's time to take a chance and invest in something real rather than give up on Nebraska in another cycle.

Johanns can and will be defeated.

by Mike Nellis 2007-10-24 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

Nebraska is a red state while Delaware and Minnesota were blue states.

The only way Johanns loses is if they are allegations of corruption or a Macaca moment.

I have no problem supporting Scott but if I have to make a bet I will bet on Johanns.

by nkpolitics 2007-10-24 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

Delaware was hardly a blue state when Biden ran.  The party was in a sorry state.  So bad that there greatest acheivement in a decade was the election of Biden to the County board.  

We can do it, but we need the support of the netroots.  MyDD, Kos, and all the others.

Put some faith in us.  It can and will happen.

Why not Nebraska?

by Mike Nellis 2007-10-24 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

Biden was the exception of the rule.

When you have to say put faith in us or we need netroots support- We have no chance in hell.

by nkpolitics 2007-10-24 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

I don't understand your obsession with throwing cold water on this effort.

It's like you think you score points somehow if you're the first person to call this seat for the Republicans.  You don't.

by Steve M 2007-10-24 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

I am not trying to score points- Besides I want Johanns to lose. But I am trying to be realistic- We cannot expect Democrats to win all 34 Senate Races or 435 US House Race.

Nebraska is a red state- Johanns has universal name recognition- He is very popular in Nebraska. Johanns has the incumbency advantage.

by nkpolitics 2007-10-24 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

You're right, this will be tough.  But our state is ready for it.

But why does Biden have to be the exception.  Let's make it the norm.

We'll prove you wrong in 2008.

Why not Nebraska?

by Mike Nellis 2007-10-24 01:23PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run
     Delaware in the 1960s was a swing state that went for Kennedy and LBJ, elected and reelected a Democratic governor in 1960 and 1964, and elected an At-Large Democratic Congressman in 1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964. Nebraska is, and has been for a century, one of the three most Republican states in the Union.
     It does no good to get 60 Democratic senators in 2008 when Feinstein, the Nelsons, Pryor, and others will never be there when we need them--just look at the vote today confirming another right-wing judge, and the one a few weeks ago condemning moveon.org. What we really need is 40 strong Democrats who will filibuster FISA, the judicial nominations, and the war funding. It might take ten years just to get to that point.
     
by Ron Thompson 2007-10-24 04:21PM | 0 recs
Devil's advocate

I'm sorry, but I play advocate only for myself and my neighbors, and we deserve better than Mike Johanns for Senate.  

But that's all right if you're not on board.  Our job now is to identify allies.  There'll be plenty of time to win converts after Election Day 2008.

by Ryan Anderson 2007-10-24 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Devil's advocate

Don'y worry Ryan.  Supporters will come out of the wood works, but we have to give them something to believe in.

by Mike Nellis 2007-10-24 02:37PM | 0 recs
So Kerrey won't run.............

Zzzzzzzzzz............

by jgarcia 2007-10-24 10:21AM | 0 recs
Sen: Bob Kerrey

Once a flake, always a flake.

by hwc 2007-10-24 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

Thank God.  Pro-war, pro privatizing social security, seemed to always be ready with a Fox News quote.  We can do without another Lieberman.

by msaroff 2007-10-24 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Won't Run

The standards on how liberal a democratic senator  should be is different in Nebraska and Connecticut.

by bentheben 2007-10-24 01:32PM | 0 recs

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