- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Kerrey changes mind, decides on Senate run in Nebraska
Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey has changed his mind and will seek the Democratic nomination for Senate after all, a decision Wednesday that significantly boosts his party’s efforts to keep one of its most vulnerable seats this fall.
Mr. Kerrey, 68, who represented the state in the Senate for 12 years before retiring in 2001, said his reversal fit his character because “doing things the conventional way has never been my strong suit.”
“I came to realize that my previous decision was the easy one, not the right one,” he said. “My commitment to serve Nebraska and America, and to be part of the debate about the challenges we face was too strong to dismiss.”
He said his family supports his decision “100 percent.”
Sen. Ben Nelson’s December announcement that he wouldn’t seek re-election this year left Nebraska Democrats scrambling to find a replacement candidate. Facing a shallow talent pool, the party pressed Mr. Kerrey to run.
Mr. Kerrey dashed the party’s hopes to keep the seat when, earlier this month, he rejected a comeback bid for the Senate. But on Monday reports spread that he was having second thoughts and might enter the race — speculation that neither he nor Democratic Party officials denied.
A Kerrey candidacy would jump-start enthusiasm, media attention and cash for Democrats in a state where registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats, 48 percent to 32 percent.
“We need a shot in the arm, we need somebody who is going to rally the troops,” said Jane Kleeb, executive director of Bold Nebraska, a liberal advocacy group. “He’s not like a typical politician … and we know he can raise the money.”
But a Kerrey candidacy will face numerous hurdles. He as lived in New York City for more than a decade, causing critics to accuse him of being out of touch with Nebraska issues and values.
“Because he’s lived in New York a couple of years, it doesn’t take away his citizenship card as being an American,” she said. “He has not forgotten his roots.”
But Jennifer Duffy, who covers Senate races for the Cook Political Report, said Mr. Kerrey’s time in New York City particularly his 2001-to-2010 tenure as president of the New School, a Greenwich Village university that conservatives label a “liberal haven” is problematic for the candidate.
“This is not to say that Kerrey can’t or won’t make this a competitive race, but I think Republicans retain an advantage here,” she said.
Republicans called Mr. Kerrey’s decision a “flip-flop,” while some in the party also have accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, of “twisting” the Nebraskan’s arm and engaging in a “backroom deal” to get him to run.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow