May 16, 2012

Who is Deb Fischer — whose "stunning come-from-behind performance" got her the GOP Senate nomination in Nebraska?

Politico reports:
Fischer, a rancher and little-known state lawmaker, maintained a positive, above-the-fray tone while Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg consistently traded blistering barbs. But she also benefited from a flurry of outside spending against Bruning, the front-running establishment favorite for more than a year who watched his polling lead evaporate during the final week of the campaign.
The victory sends Fischer to the general election as a favorite over former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who easily disposed of four lesser-known opponents for a shot at the open seat being left vacant by retiring Sen. Ben Nelson. Nebraska is a must-win for Republicans if they are to acquire the four pickups necessary to flip control of the Senate this fall.
Must win and will win, pretty obviously.

Who is she? I'm up to page 2 of the article where I see that she was "poorly funded," but she released an internal poll that showed her "surging," at which point, she was endorsed by Sarah Palin and Todd Palin. Is she Tea Party?
Fischer’s victory comes just a week after another unlikely insurgent — Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock — ended the 36-year Senate career of Dick Lugar.

While her victory can’t be claimed by outside groups, it will stoke further anti-establishment fear among front-runners sitting on seemingly comfortable polling leads.
Politico won't say Tea Party, but Mourdock was Tea Party. Let's check the Washington Post:
While Fischer’s win wasn’t necessarily a tea party win, it was reminiscent of the insurgent GOP candidacies of 2010, in which a candidate’s character and politics often meant more than money and infrastructure....
What counts as Tea Party? There's this not-necessarily-Tea-Party type of candidate. An interesting category. Let's define it/talk about it.

49 comments:

campy said...

The Tea Party is powerless and ineffectual, so anyone who wins obviously isn't Tea Party.

QED

Original Mike said...

Tea Party is fiscal sanity. I hope Fischer is Tea Party.

PatCA said...

A Tea Party candidate is anyone who runs from outside the current conventional GOP set, anyone who surprises the tone-deaf MSM, anyone who acknowledges the reality and danger of our huge government debt.

TosaGuy said...

Nebraska politics are unique.

Nebraska divides its electoral votes by district and Obama picked up one vote from the Omaha district -- he isn't getting that one this year.

The unicameral legislature is also non-partisan (even though everyone knows who is D or R).

Bob Kerrey hasn't lived in Nebraska for years and people of the state were exceeding offended by the idea of the Cornhusker Kickback.

Hagar said...

Mitch Daniels was on TV last night stating that Mourdock was backed by a solid majority of Indiana Republican county chairmen. Daniels does not like this media narrative of "Tea Party" vs. "Establishment."

Chef Mojo said...

Politico is being sloppy. This wasn't a win for Tea Party Express, which claims to represent the Tea Party as a whole. It does not, as the Tea Party is a far more local and grassroots phenomenon, constantly at odds with TPE. TPE supported Bruning, along with Santorum and Huckabee.

The Palin endorsement of this win makes it a Tea Party victory in any case, and an embarrassment for TPE, which should have reevaluated it's support when Fischer began to surge.

MadisonMan said...

Just glancing at what you wrote, I am reminded of Feingold's first win over the bickersons, Jim Moody and Joe Checota.

Tank said...

The Tea Party platform is summed up pretty well here.

From the Dem/Liberal viewpoint, Tea Party candidates are batshit crazy racists. End of story.

edutcher said...

If you follow the Rightsphere, her Tea Party cred is pretty good.

Question is, can she win?

Mourdock knew his way around and will probably make it, but Bobby Kerrey is an old hand with the Lefty Establishment firmly behind him.

It will be interesting to see if she raises that unfortunate incident in 'Nam that killed his political aspirations in the Empire State.

Original Mike said...

I would think Bob Kerrey would be pretty stiff competition.

eric said...

It's important to the Republican establishment that she is not called a Tea Party candidate. Just look at what Jennifer Rubin wrote today about her, making sure to point out that she wasn't Tea Party.

I don't know anything about her except that Sarah Palin endorsed her. I don't see how you can get a Sarah Palin endorsement and not be a Tea Party candidate.


I understand she endorsed McCain, but the guy picked her for VP. I would say it's a pretty good way to get Tea Partiers to vote for you if Sarah Palin endorses your candidacy.

virgil xenophon said...

But eric, I thought Sara baby had lost her juice and was a has-been?--at least that's what the chattering classes all say. You mean to tell me that all the really smart people at the WaPo, MSNBC, NYT and CNN could possibly be wrong? Oh NOOOooooo....Calling Mr. Bill!

bagoh20 said...

I jumped on the Tea Party wagon as soon as it started and never left. It's not a group, a party, or an organization. It's a belief in a solution and a direction of smaller government and fiscal responsibility.

It's a rejection of the borrow, tax and spend solutions to virtually every problem or hick up.

Other people want to claim a piece of it or fold themselves into it, but that's what it started out as and that's what it is at it's core. It's also non-partisan.

When I attended early rallies, here in L.A., their were old, young, rich, poor, gay, straight, of all colors, and they were only railing against spending, taxing, and borrowing.

These rallies were the most universal, clear and single minded demonstrations I've ever seen. Very simple message with little collateral junk attached.

It's developed some clingers since then, but it's still mostly that.

The exact opposite of Occupy protest, would be a good description.

David said...

It's hard to define tea party, since TP has not defined itself very clearly. Its detractors have had the greater hand in the definition. These detractors include a large part of the media.

My sense is that TP candidates' greatest strength is having defined the problem effectively. The problem is excessive government control and government spending, enabled by over promising candidates, politicians of all stripes who feed their supporters with taxpayer money, entrenched, self interested bureaucrats. Our budgetary profligacy is a genuine crisis, presently slowly showing its chronic symptoms, which will become acute and life threatening at some point.

Having made the correct diagnosis, TP candidates are not very good with the cure, which in its worst forms is the fiscal equivalent of bloodletting and leeches.

But they are better than the left, who either do not recognize the disease, or treat it as a minor ailment when they do.

Saint Croix said...

Is she Tea Party?

If she's not now, she will be.

Bruning was nuked by ads like this one.

Saint Croix said...

And it's so odd how a Sarah Palin endorsement actually means something. It's so weird how these underdogs, these dark horses, these women come out of nowhere and stomp the establishment choice.

Mitt Romney is not tea party. But I hope he's paying attention. If he does not reduce our debts substantially, he can expect a primary challenge from Palin, I think.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

As usual the coverage is all about the political horse race with nothing about Fischer's substantive positions.

Bender said...

What counts as Tea Party? There's this not-necessarily-Tea-Party type of candidate. An interesting category. Let's define it/talk about it.

The so-called "Tea Party" is not an organization, much less a political party, it is a more of a state of mind, more of a philosophy (e.g. freedom, government is the problem, not the solution), resulting in an organic movement.

Hence, anyone claiming to be the "leader" of the Tea Party is a fraud. There is no leader. The establishment has "leaders," people who dictate what the serfs are supposed to do.

That is largely why "Tea Party" is such an epithet by establishment Republican types and by pro-goverment types (Dems).

Saint Croix said...

If he does not reduce our debts substantially, he can expect a primary challenge from Palin, I think.

In 2016, of course.

Saint Croix said...

I would think Bob Kerrey would be pretty stiff competition.

He's getting reamed in the polls.

traditionalguy said...

To our MSM being a Palin endorsed women makes you quasi Tea Party.

That's because being a Palin endorsed woman makes you a border line crazy politico-path that says terrible things and gets attention. The Litmus test is that she embarrasses Karl Rove.

Actually Tea Party means rebels against the GOP wing of the "We will compromise anything for payoffs" charade in DC. After Ben Nelson, the Nebraskans figured out the difference.

Steve Koch said...

Tea Party wins another GOP nomination battle.

Main points of Tea Party platform
1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes
2. Eliminate the National Debt
3. Eliminate Deficit Spending
4. Protect Free Markets
5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States
6. Promote Civic Responsibility
7. Reduce the Overall Size of Government
8. Believe in the People
9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics
10. Maintain Local Independence

puccetta said...

According to Jennifer Rubin
"Neither Fischer nor Bruning was the tea party candidate and neither is a non-politician. Bruning is state attorney general. Fischer is a state legislator. Club for Growth, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Freedom Works backed state treasurer Don Stenberg."
So that would suggest that the third place finisher is the tea party candidate.

Steve Koch said...

Evidently Bob Kerrey commanded a group of soldiers who massacred women and children at point blank range.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jun2002/kerr-j06.shtml

"Vietnam charges ex-Senator Bob Kerrey with war crimes
By Bill Vann
6 June 2002

The Vietnamese government has accused former US Senator Bob Kerrey of committing “war atrocities” during the Vietnam War. The charge came in response to a recently released autobiography, When I was a Young Man, in which Kerrey evades his responsibility for a massacre carried out by a Navy SEAL unit that he commanded 33 years ago.

“We have deeply understood and shared the pain and incomparable losses suffered by the families of the innocent victims in Thanh Phong who were mercilessly shot by Kerrey’s unit,” said Phan Thuy Than, spokeswoman for the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry. “Whatever Senator Kerrey says, it cannot change the truth. It was Kerrey himself who admitted his shame about the crime he committed,” Ms. Thanh stressed.

According to a report in Nhan Dan, the Vietnamese Communist Party daily, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman declared that Kerrey and “others who committed war atrocities” should take practical steps to “help heal the wounds they caused.”

Kerry wrote:
“My point man led the way. He came to a house he said he believed was occupied by sentries. We had been trained that in such situations it would be too risky to move forward knowing that they would warn the men in the village unless we killed them or aborted the mission. I did not have to give an order to begin the killing but I could have stopped it and I didn’t.”

Did he give the order or not? Did he participate in the killing, or was he merely an innocent bystander? The reader is left in the dark.

Kerrey’s account evades the detailed description of the bloody start of the Thanh Phong raid that appeared in the New York Times magazine last year. A Navy enlisted man who served under Kerrey reported that there were five people in the house. An older man resisted and, according to this account, Kerrey knelt on his back while another raider cut his throat. The four others in the house—by one account a woman and three small children—were taken out and slaughtered separately.

Continuing the narrative in his new book, Kerrey says that he and his men proceeded into the village where they found only women and children, awakened by the noise and standing in front of their homes. Someone fired a shot, he said, and the SEAL squad returned “a tremendous barrage of fire.”
“I saw women and children in front of us being hit and cut to pieces. I heard their cries and other voices in the darkness as we made our retreat to the canal.”
This constitutes Kerrey’s sole description of a night in which he and the men he commanded massacred 21 women, children and elderly men.

One of the raiders, Gerhard Klann, offered a far more detailed account of the killings to the Times. He insisted that no shots were fired at the SEALs and there was no “crossfire.” Rather, the Americans rounded up the civilians in the center of the village and massacred them at point-blank range. Vietnamese survivors of the attack have since come forward to confirm Klann’s rather than Kerrey’s version of the raid."

I wonder if Kerry eventually paid off the government of Viet Nam to stay quiet about these atrocities.

Bender said...

Make no mistake -- things like this do not make the Romney camp happy. Never forget that many of the anti-Palin attacks in 2010 and 2011 originated from the Romney slime machine.

EMD said...

I would think Bob Kerrey would be pretty stiff competition.

He's getting reamed in the polls.


You read 'stiff' wrong.

Steve Koch said...

puccetta,

Looks like you did not read this post in this thread:

Chef Mojo said...
"Politico is being sloppy. This wasn't a win for Tea Party Express, which claims to represent the Tea Party as a whole. It does not, as the Tea Party is a far more local and grassroots phenomenon, constantly at odds with TPE. TPE supported Bruning, along with Santorum and Huckabee.

The Palin endorsement of this win makes it a Tea Party victory in any case, and an embarrassment for TPE, which should have reevaluated it's support when Fischer began to surge."

----------------------------------

It is pathetic that there is such hostility in the GOP to a bona fide grass roots and conservative phenomenon like the Tea Party.

Steve Koch said...

Bender said...
"Make no mistake -- things like this do not make the Romney camp happy. Never forget that many of the anti-Palin attacks in 2010 and 2011 originated from the Romney slime machine."

Bender, do you have any proof for those statements?

rcommal said...

Why can't there be more than one Tea Party candidate in any given primary?

I'm not saying this is the case in this particular race; I'm not informed enough to opine, having only become aware of it in press accounts today. But in theory, and especially given the independent, loosely organized, largely local nature of the movement, why couldn't there be? Heck, isn't this possibly even desirable?

Steve Koch said...

Bender,

Now that Paul, Newt, and Santorum have all dropped out, it is certain that Romney will be the 2012 GOP prez candidate. Given that you are still attacking the GOP's prez candidate during the campaign, why don't you just admit that you really don't want the GOP to win this election?

Bender said...

Is that your "vote for Romney" sales pitch? To bitch and attack the people whom Romney needs if he is going to win?

You really think that that is a winning strategy?

Christopher in MA said...

It is pathetic that there is such hostility in the GOP to a bona fide grass roots and conservative phenomenon like the Tea Party.

Pathetic, yes, but entirely unsurprising. Once you've found a place at the DC trough, with all its perks, it's nigh on impossible to pull you out. As an example, see the loathsome sore loser Lugar.

The Tea Party wants politicians to be accountable public servants, not divine right rulers. To the establishment GOP, that's heresy.

Comanche Voter said...

Out here in Los Angeles, the morning funny paper (aka The Los Angeles Times) reported that Stenberg, who came in 3rd, was backed by "conservative Republicans". So one would think that the Tea Party wasn't all that strong in this race--unless you count Sarah Palin as the dark evil force that controls all.

I'm not claiming that The Los Angeles Times is a serious newspaper--it hasn't been one for nearly 20 years. But they do tend to get themselves all lathered up whenever they get up off their kneepads for Obama.

And they are having an extremely hard time understanding what's going on. Ace professional journalists--yes indeedee.

Steve Koch said...

Bender said...
"Is that your "vote for Romney" sales pitch? To bitch and attack the people whom Romney needs if he is going to win? You really think that that is a winning strategy?"

I'm not trying to sell you but I do want you to admit that you don't want Romney to win this election. There are 6 months to go until the election, if Romney does not win then Obama does. Romney is infinitely preferable to Obama.

It seems reasonable for conservatives to criticize Romney before he got the nomination and after he wins the election but during the actual campaign it is likely to be counter productive. What are you trying to accomplish?

RonF said...

The Tea Party is not an organization that holds conventions, raises money and endorses and funds candidates. It's a movement that brings issues and candidates to the attention of those in sympathy with it.

So if you're looking for someone to be labelled "the Tea Party candidate" by some group who will then go out and organize rallies and give them money, you will look in vain. But what you will see is word of mouth get around about someone that few people have heard of and who then garners individual contributions and votes.

dreams said...

"What counts as Tea Party? There's this not-necessarily-Tea-Party type of candidate. An interesting category. Let's define it/talk about it."

My definition is candidates who are strong advocates for small fiscally conservative government and aren't part of the party establishment and enjoy the support of many tea Party voters.

Bender said...

It is likely to be counter productive for the Romney camp to continue to criticize Palin.

Your strategy of alienating people you need by attacking them and various other conservatives, and telling people to "shut the hell up," is only going to lead people to want nothing to do with Romney.

John said...

I am so well informed on this that I didn't even know there was an election until I heard Rush Limbaugh comment on it today.

He says that Stenberg was the "official" (whatever that means) tea Party candidate.

However, he also pointed out that the conventional wisdom had been that Bruning as the chosen, groomed, designated, Repo party insider candidate was expected to win a majority with the 2 conservative candidates splitting the rest of the vote.

Instead, a conservative (rush's word) candidate, even with the split vote, won.

He sees it as a very impressive victory for conservatives. Whether or not is is a victory for the tea party on which he seemed agnostic.

Me, I like seeing anyone win who is A) not an incumbent B) Not the establishment party candidate.

I don't even care which party label they have.

Not being the party establishment candidate improves chances that when she gets to DC she will not roll over and play dead for the party whip.

John Henry

John said...

Someone mentioned Kerrey getting reamed in the polls and I looked at the link.

Worse than reamed. He was way behind each of the 3 in hypothetical matchups.

It will be interesting to see where he winds up next week against a designated candidate. I suspect even worse.

Why does Kerrey do this? Is he "taking one for the team"?

In exchange for what?

It will be interesting to see what he is doing this time next year regardless of whether Obama wins or not.

John Henry

John said...

Re Palin,

Romney may be the presumptive nominee but don't count Palin out yet.

She will be at the convention. No official roll, just hanging out, I suppose.

Could there be a surprise?

Nor, contrary to news stories, is Paul out. All he has said is that he is not going to waste money on advertising in the remaining primaries.

He will continue to work to acquire both bound and unbound (to him) delegates right up to the convention.

Will Romney have enough delegates to get the nomination on a first ballot? Everyone says yes but if you look closely at the delegates he has, the better answer is "maybe"

It is going to be really interesting.

John Henry

John said...

Re above:

For "delegates Romney has" add "and expects to win in remaining primaries"

He may not be able to get to the magic number.

John Henry

Sue D'Nhym said...

She is tea party.

What she is not, is Tea Party Express.

The media (in general) keeps trying to foist the leftist top-down structure on the tea party, and as such they listen to the "Tea Party Express", who is headed by people that most tea party backers have never heard of and certainly don't listen to.

The grass roots of the tea party are not the backers of Santorum and Huckabee, even if the former got a lot of tea party support at the end. He did not have their support early on and only got their support since he became the anti-establishment candidate in so far as Romney was the establishment candidate.

Palin, for all of her faults, is very much in tune with the tea party. Unlike the TPE.

I see as I type this that Chef Mojo gets it.

Sue D'Nhym said...

"It's hard to define tea party, since TP has not defined itself very clearly. "

It was really fun reading your reply, following immediately after bagoh20 defined it perfectly and clearly.

Sue D'Nhym said...

"You really think that that is a winning strategy?"

I can't and won't speak for what they think are winning strategies.

But if you are following a strategy, I am fairly certain that it is not a winning one for anyone but Obama.

NTTAWTT (if you like Obama)

Carnifex said...

I was tea party before tea party was cool.

What you are seeing is the winnowing of the Republican party. This stupid "Big Tent" idea. We got a big tent alright. Filled with Rino's like McCain, dead elephants like McConnell, and clowns like Boehner.

Sue D'Nhym said...

"Your strategy of alienating people you need by attacking them"

Pot. Kettle.

No one to the right of Garage (if anyone at all) attacked Palin in this thread, yet you came in and attacked Romney.

Opfor311 said...

The view from here in Nebraska is that this was a race between three conservatives to see who would be the next senator. Bruning was the man who had the 'official' party backing; Stenberg was the candidate who was most backed by social conservatives but has been despised by many here as a real jerk on a personal level; and Fisher, who is little known outside the western part of the state, but who was a conservative for her years in the Unicameral.

Any of the three had a big lead in the polls over Kerry, who most of us want to see cross the bridge named for him on his way back to New York.

Danno said...

The lamestream media likes to simplify their candidates into the Tea Party types, i.e. Christine O'Donnell, or a establishment GOP candidate, such as Sore Lugar.