NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Readying A Run To Replace Chuck Hagel

Bob Kerrey, former Nebraska governor, two-term senator (from 1989-2001) and current president of The New School in New York City is making moves toward running for another term in the senate.

Kerrey placed a conference call to New School University trustees in New York City to inform them he may be returning to Nebraska.

A decision on whether to return to his roots and attempt to once again represent Nebraska in the Senate is likely "within the next couple of weeks," Kerrey said in a telephone interview.

There's one condition to his runnning, however: that his friend and former colleague Chuck Hagel doesn't seek re-election. So the question is, does Kerrey know something we don't know?

Kerrey said he has become convinced Sen. Chuck Hagel will not be a candidate for a third term next year.

"I am more and more certain Chuck is not going to seek re-election," Kerrey said, "and my intention is to make my decision before he makes an announcement."

Senate 2008 Guru fills us in that Nebraska's Republican Attorney General, Jon Bruning, who's announced his intention to challenge Hagel for his seat, may be getting the same signals from Hagel. As of late, Bruning has gone from attacking Hagel to attacking yet another Republican in the race, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.

Bruning, who had been targeting Hagel for his views on Iraq and immigration, may see Johanns emerging now as the chief obstacle standing between him and the 2008 Republican Senate nomination.

Kerrey's entrance into the race would immediately make it a top tier pick up opportunity, expanding the playing field even beyond the 10 or so seats most commonly cited as in play for Democrats. And it would be yet another feather in the cap of recruiter in chief Chuck Schumer.

Tags: Bob Kerrey, Chuck Hagel, ne-sen (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Readying A Run To Replace C

I'm not too happy about the prospect of Bob Kerrey returning to the Senate.  He's not really a progressive.  IMHO he's really just another VSP, albeit one with a Congressional Medal of Honor ...  

by LarryK 2007-08-24 09:51AM | 0 recs
Run Bob Run!

I've had a few disagreements wqith the always thought provoking Bob Kerry since I worked my heart, soul & wallet for him in 1992 but one thing is for sure, he is the best we are ever going to get from, arguably, the reddest state in the country.  This is fantastic news!

by howardpark 2007-08-24 09:53AM | 0 recs
Please Bob

Oh, and please Bob, pretty please...don't hire Bob Schrum.

by howardpark 2007-08-24 09:56AM | 0 recs
As someone who worked

for Kerrey in '92, I REALLY now what you mean.  

Please, no dumb and soak us.....

by fladem 2007-08-24 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey

Should also note, from today's Omaha World Herald:

"The odds still favor me saying no," Kerrey said ....

http://newnebraska.net/showDiary.do?diar yId=92

by Ryan Anderson 2007-08-24 09:59AM | 0 recs
A Run To Replace Chuck Hagel

Yes, Kerrey isn't necessarily a huge progressive.  He's pretty moderate and he doesn't fly with us on some big issues.  

Compare him to Jon Bruning.  Those may be what our two choices boil down to.  So what do we do?  Fight with Kerrey or surrender the seat to Bruning?  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-08-24 10:04AM | 0 recs
A second Nelson I could live with....

...a second Lieberman, especially one with valid combat experience but a jaundiced view of the world, not.

What do Huskers on this site think is the case?

by palamedes 2007-08-24 10:12AM | 0 recs
As a Husker

I would welcome Kerrey back, gladly.  He's not my first choice, but certainly not because I disagree with him about the war (I don't mind an honest disagreement, and I think it's to the Senator's credit that he never minds dishing one out - either to his allies or his enemies), but mostly because I think it's time the NDP start building a new bench for the next generation.  

by Ryan Anderson 2007-08-24 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: A second Nelson I could live with....

As a former Husker, I agree with Ryan on this.  I would rather have Mike Fahey or Scott Kleeb run, but I also think Bob Kerrey would give us a serious shot at winning an open seat.  

Nebraska is a little bit more moderate than people give it credit for.  It doesn't play out that way during Presidential elections, but moderate Democrats can do well.  

Given the right candidates, I could see Democrats holding both Senate seats AND the 2nd Congressional District.  

by Jason B 2007-08-24 11:47AM | 0 recs
Kerrey will march to his own tune

But based on his run in '92, he is at least likely to support a run at Universal Coverage.

by fladem 2007-08-24 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: A second Nelson I could live with....

My thoughts are pretty well summed up in this diary from a couple months ago.

by Dave Sund 2007-08-24 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Readying A Run To Replace C

Kerrey is pretty bad, but I firmly believe you have to take whatever Democrat you can get in a state like Nebraska.

by Steve M 2007-08-24 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey

Definitly better than a republican in this spot: the one vote we can guarantee from Kerrey, will be the first vote, for majority leader of the senate. But once we get down to filibusters and veto override votes (hopefully not necessary w/ the right pres) then the details begin to get murky.

by bjschmid 2007-08-24 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey


His fellow Democrat Ben Nelson doesn't vote with us as often as we like.  The real test is whether, in addition to not voting our way, he goes out of his way to make speeches slamming other Democrats and the Democratic party, appears on Fox Noise, etc.

Nelson quietly votes the way he feels he has to to keep his voters happy, and is otherwise loyal to his party. Traitor Joe, not so much.  I figure Kerrey would be more like Nelson than like Lieberman.

by admiralnaismith 2007-08-24 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Readying A Run


I'd take Kerrey in Nebraska over a Republican in a heartbeat. Odds are he'd support Democratic legislation more often than Hegel or any other Gooper. Not to mention a Democratic majority leader.

In fact, I'd take Traitor Joe himself, in Nebraska.  Seems to me he'd be a great Democratic Senator from Nebraska, Utah, Alabama, those states that don't usually elect Democrats at all and where Democrats have to persuade very conservative people to vote for them.

It's having Lieberman represent us from deep-blue Connecticut that sticks in my craw.

by admiralnaismith 2007-08-24 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Readying A Run To Replace C

Markos posted some interest group ratings for comparison.  The first number is Kerry's rating from 1998 when he was in the Senate; the second number is Ben Nelson's 2004 rating.

Americans for Democratic Action (liberal group)
95 (65)

ACLU
86 (33)

AFSCME (labor union)
100 (86)

League of Conservation Voters
100 (67)

Concord Coalition (fiscal conservatives, pro-balanced budget)
86 (81)

National Taxpayers Union (conservative anti-tax group)
22 (34)

Chamber of Commerce (conservative pro-big business group)
56 (81)

American Conservative Union
0 (52)

Christian Coalition
0 (83)

I think it's obvious that Kerry is better than Nelson on the issues, and far, far better than a wingnut would be.  The fact that he's occasionally going to be a Lieberman is just something we'll have to live with.

by Steve M 2007-08-24 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Readying A Run

I don't see Kerrey running if Johanns gets in, and I think Johanns is likely to get in.

Even if Kerrey does run against Johanns, I would still give Johanns the advantage in the race. I would have to give Kerrey the advantage over Daub or Bruning, though.

by Unabridged 2007-08-24 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: NE-Sen: Bob Kerrey Readying A Run

I can guarantee you that Bob Kerrey is not afraid of Mike Johanns. And I can guarantee you that no Democrat in this state is going to concede a race to Johanns, either. If Kerrey doesn't run, it won't be because of Johanns.

by Dave Sund 2007-08-24 10:00PM | 0 recs

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