NRSC wishes Ben Nelson a happy 2nd anniversary of the Cornhusker Kickback

posted at 2:05 pm on December 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

We have a cultural tendency to commemorate important anniversaries, and the NRSC has a new video out today “honoring” Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE). The 60-second spot notes the two-year anniversary of the Cornhusker Kickback, an amendment to the proposed ObamaCare bill that meant an extra $100 million for Nebraska — a change that inexplicably addressed Nelson’s pro-life concerns over the funding of abortions in the bill.  Nelson’s change of position allowed the Democrats to push ObamaCare through Congress and eventually onto the docket of the Supreme Court in this term:

Nelson has been wavering on whether to seek re-election in 2012, having become so unpopular among his constituents for this obvious payoff that he couldn’t even eat a pizza in peace in Nebraska.  Pro-life groups have already begun ramping up their campaigns against Nelson:

Two anti-abortion PACs are signing on to oppose Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) as he mulls running for reelection.

The National Right to Life PAC and Nebraska Right to Life PAC both announced Wednesday they would work to defeat Nelson if he runs again in 2012. The groups cited Nelson’s support for President Obama’s health care legislation, which was crucial to its passage. Anti-abortion groups claim the legislation made way for government-subsidized abortions, despite provisions in the bill that bar federal funding from paying for abortion services.

“Ben Nelson cannot win in Nebraska without pro-life support and he won’t have it. No pro-lifer should even consider supporting Ben Nelson for re-election,” David O’Steen, the national group’s director, said in a statement.

Nelson said that attempts to pressure him into retirement would be “silly,” but that he will have a decision on 2012 soon — perhaps as soon as this week:

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) could decide whether or not to run for reelection as early as next week, he said on Tuesday.

Nelson reiterated his promise that the announcement will come “by the end of” the holiday break, but said that it could come “maybe before then.” …

Democrats have a thin bench in the state, and if Nelson retires his seat could go from a tough battle to a lost cause for Democrats.

At this point, I’m not sure whether Republicans want to force Nelson out of the race or push him into fighting back.  It’s almost certain Nelson would lose in 2012, but another Democrat might have a better chance of running to Nelson’s right against a Republican challenger.  Either way, don’t expect the pressure to lighten up on Nelson any time soon.


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Aww I feel for the fellow. I feel he shouldn’t run and he should ask for forgiveness.

CW on December 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Gee, Mr. Nelson…I guess 30 pieces of Silver CAN’T buy you happiness.

BlaxPac on December 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Nelson HAS to retire, he really wants to go out for pizza again rather than ordering-in all the time.

Bishop on December 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

One would think that and 965 days since he voted on a budget ought to leave a mark.

DanMan on December 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

the Cornhusker Kickback, an amendment to the proposed ObamaCare bill that meant an extra $100 million for Nebraska — a change that inexplicably addressed Nelson’s pro-life concerns over the funding of abortions in the bill.

Yeah, that kind of money addresses a lot of things.

squint on December 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Now that is what I call real insider trading.

docflash on December 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Actions have consequences Mr Nelson. Imagine that!

NapaConservative on December 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

It’s time to abort this unwanted and unviable Senator’s term in office.

It’s the voter’s choice to toss it unceremoniously into the incinerator bin of history.

NoDonkey on December 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I remember this vividly. I went to Ace and saw the headline “Nelson Caves.” Then is said Godd*****. Sums it up my feelings that day perfectly.

Hey my first Hot Air post. Reader for fives years, first post. Woot!

levi on December 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Man, that Karma thing is a real “bitch” isn’t benny?

But hey….look at the bright side…..being an unprincipled wh*re of a Dem, makes your “retirement” on our dime guilt-free and blissful.

Tim_CA on December 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Thirty silvers, one soul. One hundred million silvers, three million souls. The Dem math is so simple!

Archivarix on December 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Once again the Republican Party shows why it is the Stupid Party. Nelson is toast in 2012. Why push him out now? Sit tight, let him run for re-election and then bring out the big guns.

angryed on December 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Just quit already Benny, you don’t want to go through with this election. There is a landslide in the making.

Lawdawg86 on December 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

They’re hitting him hard here in Nebraska. He’s supposedly mulling a run with a decision coming soon right around Christmas, but he’s been running ads himself, or people have on his behalf, for some time now.

Our governor said last week that establishment types from D.C. have been calling him trying to get him to run against Ben.

Dack Thrombosis on December 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Nelson never figured in a million years that voters would still be mad two years later. The voters punished the House last year. Next year the Senate will feel the pain.

NeoKong on December 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I sure hope he runs, he should get absolutely creamed by whomever the repubs in the state of Nebraska run against him. The same goes for the senate dems from Louisiana and Missouri.

buckeyerich on December 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Nelson never figured in a million years that voters would still be mad two years later. The voters punished the House last year. Next year the Senate will feel the pain.

NeoKong on December 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Ding! Ding! Ding!

SouthernGent on December 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Nelson HAS to retire, he really wants to go out for pizza again rather than ordering-in all the time.

Bishop on December 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

There is a is a restaurant in Omaha that serves carp he could eat at.

RickB on December 19, 2011 at 2:32 PM

The problem nelson had he believed what bho told him! Big mistake nelson, bho LIES to get what he wants. Now you and any person bho needs to get his work done, gets the bus by voters and in the long run bho.
L

letget on December 19, 2011 at 2:33 PM

He’s already running reelection ads here in Nebraska, so I’m thinking he’s going to run.

Nethicus on December 19, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Once again the Republican Party shows why it is the Stupid Party. Nelson is toast in 2012. Why push him out now? Sit tight, let him run for re-election and then bring out the big guns.

angryed on December 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Because Nelson calling it quits would send a frightening message to other vulnerable “moderates” in the Dem Party, and it would reinforce the media narrative that the Dems are heading for a rout for the second election in a row.

And the less time and money the GOP spends focusing on Nebraska Nelson is the more time and money spent on Florida Nelson.

Lawdawg86 on December 19, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Toast

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on December 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Once again the Republican Party shows why it is the Stupid Party. Nelson is toast in 2012. Why push him out now? Sit tight, let him run for re-election and then bring out the big guns.

angryed on December 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Exactly– remember how excited everyone was to run Dodd out of town? So instead of getting a corrupted, damaged candidate with pre-written attack ads, we let the Dims re-load and run a brand new face who waltzed into the seat. I still think we could have flipped that seat if we let Dodd have a false sense of security and run again

Let Nelson continue to limp along and think he has an actual chance, then drop the hammer

thurman on December 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Only one question; is that real or a rug? Because Ben’s hair looks as fake as his sincerity.

Marcus Traianus on December 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Exactly– remember how excited everyone was to run Dodd out of town? So instead of getting a corrupted, damaged candidate with pre-written attack ads, we let the Dims re-load and run a brand new face who waltzed into the seat. I still think we could have flipped that seat if we let Dodd have a false sense of security and run again

Lately, I haven’t had much faith in my NutJob Nutmeg State, if we vote in the likes of Blumenthal and now Malloy as Governor. You could say the alternative (McMahon) wasn’t that attractive, but I’m not sure that would’ve outweighed the overall stupidity of the electorate.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on December 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

levi on December 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Welcome to commenting on HA, levi.

Hope they upgrade the servers again here at HA for this coming election of 2012. This will be the mother of all battles for the future of our country.

lukespapa on December 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Just a symbol of what has happened as a result of our lawmaker-for-life system. Too many of these slugs are looking for short term political benefit from ear-marks that will endear them to the folks at home while bankrupting this country.

They spend all their time and energy pandering to gain contributions to extend their political life.

One helping of short term limits please.

Alferd Packer on December 19, 2011 at 2:43 PM

“But Obowma and Reid said that you all would have forgotten about that…!” – Ben Nelson

Seven Percent Solution on December 19, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Heh Ben, don’t worry, this time you’ve got me!

/barack hussein obama mmm mmm mmm

lukespapa on December 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I’m personally glad that someone is taking the time to do this. So many “bad” politicians would be able to be put out to pasture if the voting lemmings of the USA had long enough memories. But they don’t, and that IS a large part of the problem. Good on the folks reminding us of Nelson’s shenanigans during the ObamaCare debacle.

Someone also needs to do one for Landrieu now, right, hers was the “Louisiana Purchase” when equated to Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback” if I recall correctly.

GuitarSlinger on December 19, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Can I have some Pizza?

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2011 at 2:48 PM

May his vote haunt him the rest of his life!

jqc1970 on December 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Our governor said last week that establishment types from D.C. have been calling him trying to get him to run against Ben.

Dack Thrombosis on December 19, 2011 at

Hey Dack, Your Governor is a Dem? When will Nebraska wake up and understand that at their core ALL Dems are liberals first and always. Maybe when you figure out that the big red “N” doesn’t stand for KNOWLEDGE!

eatbeef on December 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM

GuitarSlinger on December 19, 2011 at 2:48 PM

I agree we need to take out Landrieu for the ‘Louisiana Purchase’; but she is not up until 2014 [if I remember correctly]…I am not sure we will even have a country by then if obowma is re-elected. GOD, I fear for my grandchildren.

lukespapa on December 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

No pizza for you!

unclesmrgol on December 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

C’mon, Cornhuskers. Dump this guy for an easy GOP pickup.

BuckeyeSam on December 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

But wait…Nelson’s intentions were good, right? Therefore he should be reelected in a landslide.

GinSC on December 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Being a Nebraska native I have to disagree with:

At this point, I’m not sure whether Republicans want to force Nelson out of the race or push him into fighting back.

Republicans badly want Nelson out of the race. For all of his popularity issues, he still has a lot of money, he’s a good campaigner (beat his Republican challenger in 2006 by 30 points….in Nebraska), and the Republican field isn’t great. Not bad, but it isn’t great. Nelson has been attacking the GOP field for a few months now while the ad buys against him are just starting, so I expect these numbers to improve, but the most recent polling I saw showed Nelson either ahead of or within 4 points of all 3 of the strongest GOP candidates.

As it is, I’d give the Republicans about a 60% chance of ousting him. Should he drop out, the Democratic bench in the state is pathetic. If Governor Heineman gets in, it’s likewise over, Nelson would struggle to lose by less than 20 points to him.

The best turn of events, however, is Nelson deciding to “retire.” In that event, the two most prominent Democrats in the state are Scott Kleeb and Jim Suttle. Kleeb ran and lost for the 3rd district seat in 2006 and then ran and lost for the other Senate seat in 2008. Suttle is the mayor of Omaha and is about 9 months removed from surviving a recall election 50.5-49.5. In other words, it’d be a walkover, and the RNC and RNSC could spend their resources in other states.

LukeinNE on December 19, 2011 at 3:15 PM

The only reason most Dems ever win an election is they lie anyway.

Speakup on December 19, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Boot him and let him apply to deliver pizza, he should understand the value of that service…

hillsoftx on December 19, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I forgot a third (and possibly the strongest) candidate the Democrats could field out of Nebraska. Lincoln mayor Chris Beutler. He was narrowly elected in 2007 but then won re-election in a landslide in 2011. He’s not well known outside of Lincoln, but does hold the distinction (along with Nelson so far) of being the only Democrats in the state that haven’t been basically repudiated by their own constituents at the polls. Even still, he wouldn’t be much of a statewide candidate. He’d get killed out west (which votes very Republican, but Nelson is from there so that holds down the margins for him) and no Democrat can lose the west by 20-30 points and still win the election.

LukeinNE on December 19, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Being from Louisiana I’m hoping the RNC saves some money to re-expose Mary Landrieu and her sponsorship of Obamacare and her buyout via the Louisiana Purchase.

She is not up until 2014 which is probably one of the reasons she felt comfortable supporting it. I attended one of her town hall meetings and the crowd was overwhelmingly..90% I’d say ..against her supporting it…she did anyway.

She’s counting on the lapse of time erasing that memory in the minds of Louisiana voters.

LaRepublican on December 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Exactly– remember how excited everyone was to run Dodd out of town? So instead of getting a corrupted, damaged candidate with pre-written attack ads, we let the Dims re-load and run a brand new face who waltzed into the seat. I still think we could have flipped that seat if we let Dodd have a false sense of security and run again

Let Nelson continue to limp along and think he has an actual chance, then drop the hammer

thurman on December 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

That was true in deep-blue CT (where all 5 House members are Democrats) where only a “corrupted, damaged” Democrat can be beaten by a Republican, and Tricky-Dick Blumenthal wasn’t exactly a “brand new face”, having been repeatedly elected as State Attorney General before “waltzing” into Dodd’s Senate seat.

Nebraska is a much redder state than CT, where all 3 House members are Republican, and a “generic Democrat” replacement would have a tougher time getting elected than two-term incumbent Nelson. If we hit Nelson hard early, he might be intimidated into retiring instead of risking losing the 2012 election.

Steve Z on December 19, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Fred Flintstone Nelson has no clue as to what his Obama butt-kissin’ vote revealed to the voters here in Nebraska.

It revealed to the pro-life voters that all his “support” for them over the years had been a charade and that when the chips are down, old Ben was just another Demoncrat baby-killer.

It revealed that he has viewed his constituents as a bunch of hayseed hicks who would swallow any crap he put out for money. “Sheeewweee, Ben, ye shur put one over on them city slickers gettin’ our medicaid paid fer us.” Ben is a money-grubbing fool/the vast majority of Nebraskans are not.

It revealed that Ben is just another Demoncrat – say “Howdy” now and then to the folks back home and then back to D.C. to say “Which cheek do I kiss today, O’ Barack Messiah?”

BTW – little press reporting, but Ben also got funds for a new VA facility in Omaha to be paid for by the taxes of y’all in other states. As a vet, I think the present VA in Omaha is just fine. More waste of taxpayer dollars. Probably made a deal to name it after Ben, too.

Ben can run ads, twist and turn and lie all he wants. People here are ready for him this time. The tar is bubbling, the feathers are ready and we’re shining up the rail.

No Demoncrat will win in Nebraska in 2012. We are vying with Oklahoma for the title of “Reddest State.”

Horace on December 19, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Nelson took his 30 pieces of silver, now he has to live with it.

madmonkphotog on December 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Horace, we love the color of red at election time!

jazzuscounty on December 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Hey Dack, Your Governor is a Dem? When will Nebraska wake up and understand that at their core ALL Dems are liberals first and always. Maybe when you figure out that the big red “N” doesn’t stand for KNOWLEDGE!

Err…no. He’s a Republican and a fairly popular one. He’s the guy that actually defeated Tom Osborne in an election for governor. Osborne is an extremely popular figure he thanks to his years as the head coach of the Huskers and his three terms in Congress. Dave Heineman, our governor, managed to beat him in a primary.

He said Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove have been calling trying to get him to take down Nelson. Polling says Heineman would massacre Ben whereas the other declared Republican candidates might not have as good of a chance.

Dack Thrombosis on December 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

jazzuscounty

Yeah, ain’t it a purty color the first Tuesday in November?

One of the silly, little pleasures of living in Nebraska is that we have a one-house Legislature, called the “The Legislature.” Greatly cuts down on the costs of government. And, it is non-partisan, so Nebraskans can honestly say there isn’t a single identified Demoncrat in our Legislature. (‘Course, there aren’t any identified Republicans either, but it takes a liberal ten or fifteen minutes of simulated brain functioning to figure that out and by then I am long gone.)

Nebraskan will all be “Pizza Nazis” in 2012: “No Pizza for you, Ben. Next!)

Horace on December 19, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Nelson has been wavering on whether to seek re-election in 2012, having become so unpopular among his constituents for this obvious payoff that he couldn’t even eat a pizza in peace in Nebraska./blockquote>

..actually, Ed, I believe he was also booed out of Johnny’s on the Stockyards.

The War Planner on December 19, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Nelson never figured in a million years that voters would still be mad two years later. The voters punished the House last year. Next year the Senate will feel the pain.

NeoKong on December 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I live in Nebraska. I did not forget. I will never forget how Ben Nelson voted for the Democrat Party ahead of Nebraska. And take my word for it, most Nebraskans were as outraged by the Cornhusker Kickback as the rest of the country. We didn’t want it, and we didn’t want ObamaCare. But good ol’ Ben chose party over constituency, knowing full well and good only a tiny fraction of the state wanted ObamaCare.

catsandbooks on December 19, 2011 at 4:45 PM

This Nebraskan will do his part to vote out Ben Nelson (or any Dem that runs in his place) come 2012.

Yakko77 on December 19, 2011 at 4:50 PM

In that event, the two most prominent Democrats in the state are Scott Kleeb and Jim Suttle. Kleeb ran and lost for the 3rd district seat in 2006 and then ran and lost for the other Senate seat in 2008. Suttle is the mayor of Omaha and is about 9 months removed from surviving a recall election 50.5-49.5. In other words, it’d be a walkover, and the RNC and RNSC could spend their resources in other states.

LukeinNE on December 19, 2011 at 3:15 PM

And don’t forget: Kleeb’s wife, Jane, is a major figure in the anti-Keystone campaign. That alone shoots a major hole in his pretensions.

catsandbooks on December 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM

This lapse of integrity was nothing new for Sen. Ben. The olny thing remarkable with this one was the size of the bribe. After so many ethical compromises, there is no conscience. Sad he will probably never face up to what all know is is. Poor Mrs. Nelson, suppose when she kisses that old grill that she knows its been connected to Harry’s butt? But then, Ben can affoard the pros.

StevC on December 19, 2011 at 5:16 PM

I didn’t know there were so many fellow Huskers at HA. Their level of anger at “Sellout Ben” makes me proud to call myself a Nebraskan. Make no mistake, every conservative in Nebraska felt shamed by Ben’s Judas betrayal. I live and work close to Nelson’s hometown so I have a pretty good take on what his core constituents are thinking. Even the folks that have known him their whole lives have had enough.

Remember that the “Cornhusker Kickback” came about a few weeks after Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana purchase”. You would have thought that Uncle Ben would have learned a thing or two from the firestorm following that buyoff.

bruntdog on December 19, 2011 at 6:20 PM

“Nelson said that attempts to pressure him into retirement would be “silly,” but that he will have a decision on 2012 soon”

Umm ! Ben, here’s a secret you should think about , from the comments written, Nebraska puts you on the same level as Judas. if not lower.
No place to run, no place to hide.

stormridercx4 on December 19, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Bruntdog: Judging from the comments on this thread, I suspect half the state of Nebraska managed to sign up during the last two open enrollments. And we’re all p1ssed at Ben.

catsandbooks on December 19, 2011 at 6:59 PM

bruntdog

Not so fast there, pardner. I was born and raised in Nebraska and am now living in the Sandhills in retirement. But I am a Nebraskan, NOT a “Husker,” because that suggests I am a Huskers football fan.

I loathe the Huskers. I despise that walking corpse, Tom Osborne, one of the most corrupt coaches ever (think Lawrence Phillips University) and I think Bo Pellini is a psychopath. The Huskers went from being mediocre in the Big 12 to being mediocre in the Big 10.

I live and breath gold and black – obtained my graduate degree at the University of Missouri (Columbia).

So, other than all that, how’s it goin’? Will join you in ridding the state of Fred Flintstone Nelson, but me, a Husker? Never

`

Horace on December 19, 2011 at 7:40 PM

an extra $100 million for Nebraska

What did that buy, an extra mile of interstate highway somewhere? Wow, talk about selling out cheap…

Moose Drool on December 19, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Nelson proved, as did Blanche Lincoln (defeated handily) and countless other Democrats who lost or retired out of fear of losing (Bayh, Conrad), that these vermin are Democrats first…and representatives of their constituents a DISTANT second.

So for anyone who ever thinks “Yeah, but he’s not a REAL Democrat! He’s a ‘moderate’ Democrat!”, remember the vote on ObamaCare. They are Democrats first, period.

crushliberalism on December 19, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Go to Hell, Ben Nelson, where you belong.

Stepan on December 19, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I’m from Nebraska and Nelson has ALWAYS managed to play the odds, voting conservative….when the outcome wasn’t in jeopardy for liberal causes.
But finally it came down to ONE vote. Crunch time came and finally he couldn’t fake being the good little conservative. He had to pick his state or his party. And BOOM he picked his party.
Well, Nebraska will not forget, Senator.

MAC1000 on December 19, 2011 at 8:54 PM

“Ben can run ads, twist and turn and lie all he wants. People here are ready for him this time. The tar is bubbling, the feathers are ready and we’re shining up the rail.” Horace on December 19, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I will bring the pitchforks and torches. Bomgaars is having a sale!! :)

sablegsd on December 19, 2011 at 9:07 PM

@Horace at 7:40:

Really? Osborne one of the most corrupt ever? Your diatribe makes you sound exactly like one of the enlightened fools who thought Bob Kerrey and Ben Nelson would go to Washington with a D behind their names and actually vote for the interests of their simpleton farmer constituents back in Nebraska. I guess I shouldn’t expect more from someone with a degree from Hillbilly U- sounds like the fact that Nebraska is now reaping the rewards of belonging to the Big Ten is still stinging you Mizzou backers pretty badly! Have fun being King of the Hill (as opposed to NU’s “mediocre”) in the SEC, right?

Cornhusker on December 19, 2011 at 9:17 PM

“another Democrat might have a better chance of running to Nelson’s right against a Republican challenger.”

I don’t think so. The possible Dem candidates mentioned, like Kleeb and the mayor of Lincoln, are more liberal than Nelson. You can count on the fact that they would support Obamacare.

I really wish Gov. H. would jump in the race. Nelson would drop out, and we’d have two pretty darn good conservative senators.

NebCon on December 20, 2011 at 12:46 AM

I think my screen name shows pretty clearly how we view Senator Nelson here in Nebraska

Benedict Nelson on December 20, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Old Ben was counting on voters having short memories. Now he has to find some serious pork to throw at them between now and election day to buy them off. Problem is, they may not be as easily bought as he was.

Extrafishy on December 20, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Ben Nelson — shame on you. You disgraced your office, embarassed your state, and sold out the American people.

Conservchik on December 20, 2011 at 2:53 PM