Breaking: Nelson to retire

posted at 1:53 pm on December 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Add another to the list of Democratic victims of ObamaCare:

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska will announce today that he is retiring after two terms, a serious blow to Democratic efforts to hold onto their majority in the chamber next November.

Nelson is scheduled to hold a press conference back home in Nebraska as early as today to make his decision official, said several Democratic insiders close to the leadership. …

The White House and top Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), had quietly mounted a pressure campaign to keep Nelson from retiring. Nelson has more than $3 million in his campaign war chest, and his approval rating solidified after falling over the last several years.

But with Nelson stepping down, the Democrats’ hold on the Senate is in serious doubt, although Democratic leaders believe they can still do so. Republicans are expected to pick up control of the Cornhusker State seat, although popular former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) has been talking to top Democrats about possibly running again.

How big of a deal is this?  On one hand, it’s easy to underestimate the power of incumbency.  On the other, the man couldn’t even eat a pizza in peace after casting a decisive vote for ObamaCare and tossing his pro-life credentials into the wastebasket by doing so.  Nelson wasn’t going to get re-elected, and would likely have lost by a wide margin in a very red state, especially in a presidential election cycle.

Democrats could try to get Kerrey to return to Nebraska, but getting him elected will be a tall order.  He was a popular Democrat, but he’s spent most of his time out of Congress in New York as president of the progressive New School.  He retired from that position at the end of last year, but had previously toyed with returning to politics — as mayor of New York City.  That doesn’t seem to be a good resume for a Senate campaign in Nebraska, even if Kerrey defied the New School faculty and endorsed the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

I don’t think Nelson’s retirement really changes the calculus in Nebraska.  In a presidential cycle, a credible Republican candidate will be almost certain to replace Nelson, even if Nelson is no longer running.

Update: The Omaha World-Herald confirms Nelson’s decision to retire, and points out the political layout in Nebraska:

Democrats have no candidate waiting in the wings. They will have to scramble for a candidate who can quickly organize a statewide campaign and raise millions in less than a year, while competing against Republicans who have been in campaign mode for more than a year.

It’s not impossible, but the odds are long. Some Democrats whose names have been bandied about as possible contenders include State Sen. Steve Lathrop and former Lt. Gov. Kim Robak.

For Republicans, the dream of holding all five of Nebraska’s congressional seats and all five statewide offices is now within reach.

Nelson was the lone Democrat to hold a high statewide or federal office in Nebraska. The next highest-ranking Democrat in the state is Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle.

There’s a reason for that shutout in federal offices; Nebraska went for John McCain in 2008 by 15 points and nearly 140,000 votes in a race that Obama won by seven points nationally.  After ObamaCare and the betrayal of Nebraskans by supposedly conservative Democrat Ben Nelson, it’s very likely that it will take a long time for Nebraskans to trust a Democrat to be conservative and pro-life in Washington again.


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Adios Cornsucker.

NotCoach on December 27, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Bye.

Good Lt on December 27, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Poor guy couldn’t even get a Pizza without getting booed.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

portlandon on December 27, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Not big deal. He would have lost anyways.

antisocial on December 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Well……Bye.

portlandon on December 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

See ya’ JUDAS!

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Sees the handriting on the wall.

Shouldn’t have listened to Harry, Ben.

Flora Duh on December 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Old white dude pressured by other old white dudes to stay in office.

Progress.

BobMbx on December 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Adios, MoFo.

hoofhearted on December 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Good. Now those revolting ads about all he has ‘done’ for us can disappear from my tv…

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Drats! I wanted to see this POS go down in ignominious defeat, just as I wanted to see Dodd go down in ignominious defeat.

MisterElephant on December 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Ben Nelson Traitor D NE.
Sold out his constituents for the Cornhusker kickback!
Wonder what Traitor Ben got in return. Maybe checking those overseas Swiss accounts might be a good idea.

ConcealedKerry on December 27, 2011 at 2:01 PM

There is no such thing as a “conservative” Democrat. Nelson proved it. They just need a Marxist program and an opportunity to vote for it….

volunteerstate on December 27, 2011 at 2:01 PM

I would have liked to watch him lose. Big. However, I’m not sorry to see him go.

joekenha on December 27, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Good. Now those revolting ads about all he has ‘done’ for us can disappear from my tv…

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Second that the lyin rat

ConcealedKerry on December 27, 2011 at 2:02 PM

live long enough to observe the wonderful life you created for your grandkids. they enjoy having a million dollars of debt and liablities imposed on them because you were out buying votes.

they will also enjoy that “seperate but equal” pension plan and healthcare that they’ll get while you have a lifetime guaranteed pension and the best free healthare in the country.

“let your grandkids eat cake”.

acyl72 on December 27, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Well he’s one guy that won’t have to raise his righthand to swear ’cause no one will ever believe him.

JayMac1 on December 27, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Smart. 2012 is going to be like 2010. Don’t let the Dems and establishment Republicans fool you.

Bill C on December 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I’m sure he thinks “What a sad way to end my career…despised….”

CCRWM on December 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

But I thought people love Obamacare

El_Terrible on December 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Send them to Malaysia.

Mord on December 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

He did not sacrifice his seat for nothing.
Something tells me he will find himself some sort of lucrative situation.

NeoKong on December 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Drats! I wanted to see this POS go down in ignominious defeat, just as I wanted to see Dodd go down in ignominious defeat.

MisterElephant on December 27, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I’ll the “quit” without complaint.

Still waiting for The One to invoke his inner LBJ:

“I shall not seek, and I will not accept, my party’s nomination for another term as President”

BobMbx on December 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson (D) Will Not Seek Re-Election In 2012 – @NBCNews
31 Mins.ago

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Well……Bye.

portlandon

Love it…one of the best lines from Tombstone!!!

logicman_1998 on December 27, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Good news, one more absolutely worthless Democrat hack out of office.

More to follow.

NoDonkey on December 27, 2011 at 2:05 PM

How big of a deal is this?
============================

“This is a Big F****N Deal”
—————————-Joe GaffeBiden!

(sarc)

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Cowardly traitor.

jukin3 on December 27, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Enjoy that pizza :)

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Senator Ben made his fortune in the insurance industry here in Nebraska. Then he goes along with the mandate because his buddies will rake in the big bucks through insurance premiums.

Can anyone say cronyism? I knew you could!

Goodbye, Ben, and don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

Dack Thrombosis on December 27, 2011 at 2:08 PM

See ya’ JUDAS!

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM

+ 100..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Coming Soon…….to a theatre near you….

Its a story about Rats fleeing the Progressive Socialist
Ship,only to find,that they landing on Democrat Devil Island,
and then…..(snark)

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Sweet, Sweet Karma!

Tim_CA on December 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Enjoy that pizza :)

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 2:08 PM

LoL..:)

PS..Hope you had a Merry Christmas..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 2:10 PM

This despicable lout has been running ads for months touting his achievements, the peoples money means nothing to these despicable leeches. In another time they would be tarred and feathered.

ConcealedKerry on December 27, 2011 at 2:10 PM

See ya’ JUDAS!

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2011 at 1:57 PM
+ 100..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Dire Straits:Lol,too funny!:)

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Evidently ‘the numbers’ suck.

GarandFan on December 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Adding to the distinguished list of thieves and traitors leaving the sinking ship before the crew hangs them.

LizardLips on December 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Conservative Democrat = Sane Ron Paul

Neither one exist.

D-fusit on December 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Hey logic, best movie

‘I’m your huckleberry’

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Enjoy that pizza :)

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 2:08 PM

We have long memories here. I’mm sure he will still be heckled and booed if/when he shows his face…

OmahaConservative on December 27, 2011 at 2:13 PM

One less Dem in Congress. Now if we can only get the voters here in NV to not elect Shelly Berkley to the Senate…

HSmith on December 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

This just absolutely made my day!

Political pressure from Nelson’s constitutents forced him to retire, after committing a act of betrayal against his sworn imperative to be their direct federal representative, and to care for the public weal with which they had entrusted him.

Bad act rewarded with indirect but unmistakable ocnsequences. For once in a long time, in D.C., instant karma arrives.

Next on my New Year’s list would be Attorney General Eric Holder.

There may be some hope yet for the political power of We The People.

cane_loader on December 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Is there any chance a r can win? What the d’s running for nelson’s seat needs to do, get bho to come help them out for the win? bho has a good record cratering anything he get near!
L

letget on December 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I’m sure sticking it to the WH (after they ruined him) felt too good to pass up.

PattyJ on December 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

scum

sbvft contributor on December 27, 2011 at 2:15 PM

The next highest-ranking Democrat in the state is Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle.

Who is a typical Democrat crook.

tommer74 on December 27, 2011 at 2:16 PM

It’s a happy, happy day here in Nebraska. Rejoice with us.

The threat that loomed over him was that if he chose to run again, Gov. Dave would’ve hopped in the race and cleaned his clock. This way he can save just a little bit of face and, as the rumors are swirling, dontate his campaign cash to the university so he can get something named after him.

The jokes just write themselves . . .

NebCon on December 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM

If 0bama has the guts to shoot some New-Year’s fireworks by showing the guts to dump Holder, I will wish him a Happy New Year….

/see terms and conditions – wisher reserves right to withdraw good wishes if wishee acts like himself in 2012

cane_loader on December 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM

One down, 52 to go (99 if you wish to throw them all out- I highly recommend we do so).

nobar on December 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Guess that $100 million didn’t do the trick. If it’s happening in Nebraska it’s happening in other places too. Is Mary Landrieu up this year too?

DanMan on December 27, 2011 at 2:18 PM

For Republicans, the dream of holding all five of Nebraska’s congressional seats and all five statewide offices is now within reach.

Time to move to Nebraska…

Neo-con Artist on December 27, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Oh I’m sure the GOP will manage a way to f**k this up. Maybe not enough to give the Dems the seat. But enough to make it close so the GOP has to spend money there instead of spending the money in Ohio or Missouri.

angryed on December 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Good riddance!

WannabeAnglican on December 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

And the drum roll……………..

the count,7???!!!!
——————

Democrats/Independents retiring (7 seats)
*****************************************

Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (Independent)

Daniel Akaka of Hawaii

Ben Nelson of Nebraska

Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico

Kent Conrad of North Dakota

Jim Webb of Virginia

Herb Kohl of Wisconsin
========================

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_2012

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Priceless OC :)

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM

By Popular Demand!
==================

Queen – ‘Another One Bites the Dust’
************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY0WxgSXdEE

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Well……Bye.

All together now: DLTDHYOTWO.

Green eyed Lady on December 27, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Another one bites the dust.

Buh bye, jerk.

PatriotGal2257 on December 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Democrats/Independents retiring (7 seats)
*****************************************

Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (Independent)

Daniel Akaka of Hawaii

Ben Nelson of Nebraska

Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico

Kent Conrad of North Dakota

Jim Webb of Virginia

Herb Kohl of Wisconsin

Republicans have an excellent chance of picking up every one of those seats, too.

rockmom on December 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Excellent. I see that Tea Party types there are split over two potential conservative candidates, and hope that they sort it out quickly and speak with one loud voice.

Next Dirtbag to be removed: Dick Lugie. Put a conservative where these two Combine Centrists were and the Tea Party gets much stronger.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Republicans have an excellent chance of picking up every one of those seats, too.

rockmom on December 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Hawaii?! Come on, Ma…I don’t think so.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 2:28 PM

From Drudge

DEM SEN BEN NELSON RETIRING…

‘Serious blow’ to holding majority in Senate…

———————————-

One Nelson down, next up for elimination:

Bill.

Flora Duh on December 27, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Oops…and Connecticut…not a chance. But the others, sure.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 2:29 PM

rockmom on December 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM

prolly not Hawaii. Another soft republican leaving is Kay Bailey Hutchison. If we can get Ted Cruz in there it will give Texas a conservative senator.

DanMan on December 27, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Shocking he didn’t fight it out to the bitter end. The man reeked of principle and leadership.

CorporatePiggy on December 27, 2011 at 2:33 PM

I hope my senator, Mark Pryor (D-AR) is paying attention. He still thinks we won’t do to him what we did to Blanche Lincoln in 2010. He keeps voting with Obama and against we Arkansans. We won’t forget.

Charlemagne on December 27, 2011 at 2:33 PM

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Excellent choice..Fits the bill perfectly..:)

Dire Straits on December 27, 2011 at 2:33 PM

That’s one down, three (?) more to go.

COgirl on December 27, 2011 at 2:34 PM

He did not sacrifice his seat for nothing.
Something tells me he will find himself some sort of lucrative situation.

NeoKong on December 27, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I’m with NeoKong. I think Big Ben found himself a honeypot & will retire ‘comfortably’. The demos would have helped buy the election for him if they thought they could. As a Nebraskan, I’m grinning ear to ear today. As an American, I cannot wait until November 2012. Pizza’s on me!

justjulie20 on December 27, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Mite bites the dust.

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2011 at 2:35 PM

it will take a long time for Nebraskans to trust a Democrat to be conservative and pro-life

No one, anywhere, should trust any Democrat to be conservative and pro-life.

These days, you can’t even trust a Republican to be conservative and pro-life.

Witness “Republican” Dede Scozzafava, who is a Margaret Sanger award recipient (named for Planned Parenthood’s founder), and was endorsed by Newt Gingrich (over Tea Party candidate Doug Hoffman), but ended up quitting the race and endorsing the Democrat in the race.

We don’t just need Republicans in the House, Senate, and White House, we need CONSERVATIVES.

ITguy on December 27, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Yet another one that will not give us the satisfaction, of watching the door slam him in the a$$, on his way out!

KOOLAID2 on December 27, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Good riddance to Ben Nelson and his terrible toupee. He was done when voted against the will of his state. Nelson was always a liberal and he would have got crushed like Blanche Lincoln. Another Obama collaborator takes “Chicken Exit”. Nelson will not be missed.

CoolChange80 on December 27, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Like your John McCain, Nelson is a traitor to his party.
Good riddance. Hopefully we can get a democrat in that we don’t have to twist his arm or pay off to vote the right way.

BedBug on December 27, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Like your John McCain, Nelson is a traitor to his party.
Good riddance. Hopefully we can get a democrat in that we don’t have to twist his arm or pay off to vote the right way.

BedBug on December 27, 2011 at 2:38 PM

I saw what you did there ;-)

cane_loader on December 27, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Mites and bedbugs are parasites.

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2011 at 2:40 PM

BedBug is a sock puppet.

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2011 at 2:41 PM

this dog is no loss to the democrats, hit the road jack. both R & D’s are happy to see him go

residentblue on December 27, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Wonder if the Larry Sabato and Charlie Cook sites will finally list this one as leans/likely R?Tired of seeing this as a toss up when everyone knows it’s going to switch over. This seat and ND should put us at 47 seats (with MA and NV as toss ups). Still trying to figure out how to get to 60 seats this election without having to wait until 2014 when almost half the Ds will be up on the chopping block.

seven_of_8 on December 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Buh-Bye, Ben! Have a nice life.

Calamity Jane on December 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM

My List

Senators 2012 retiring
John Kyl (R-AZ)
Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Jim Webb (D-VA)
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
Jeff Bingaman, (D-NM) (announced on 2/18/11)
Daniel Akaka, (D-HI) (announced on 3/2/2011)
John Ensign (R-NV) (announced on 3/7/2011)
Herb Kohl (D-WI) (announced on 5/13/2011)
Ben Nelson (D-NE) (announced on 12/27/2011)

Score D = 6, R = 3, I = 1 == 10

I think that is up to date.

Dasher on December 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Hey DS :)

Christmas was fun, hope you had a good one

cmsinaz on December 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Waiting on Bill Nelson to say his bubbyes. He’s going to lose in a landslide.

Key West Reader on December 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

I hope he is forced to start his own busines…

Seven Percent Solution on December 27, 2011 at 2:46 PM

this dog is no loss to the democrats, hit the road jack. both R & D’s are happy to see him go

residentblue on December 27, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Proof what a charlatan he is…same as Arlen Specter

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Hawaii?! Come on, Ma…I don’t think so.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 2:28 PM

It could happen! If anyone could do it, it would be Lingle.

RRFCL on December 27, 2011 at 2:48 PM

BedBug is a sock puppet.

Schadenfreude on December 27, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Nope. Just a voice of reason.

BedBug on December 27, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Like your John McCain, Nelson is a traitor to his party.
Good riddance. Hopefully we can get a democrat in that we don’t have to twist his arm or pay off to vote the right way.

BedBug on December 27, 2011 at 2:38 PM

That’s the spirit, lib-douche. Say goodbye to the only kind of Democrap you’ll get in Nebraska. Their next Senator will be a solid conservative and he’ll be b!tch slapping the Cornholer Dems.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Leave BedBug alone; he was just being cute. There’s no way a comment like that was serious!

justjulie20 on December 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM

PS You chose your nom de guerre well. Most liberals are just bed bugs … hiding from sight and nibbling on flesh in the dark.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Hopefully we can get a democrat in that we don’t have to twist his arm or pay off to vote the right way.

BedBug on December 27, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Because voting “the right way” worked out so well for your party in 2010, didn’t it?

Flora Duh on December 27, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Senators 2012 retiring

John Kyl (R-AZ) R
Joe Lieberman (I-CT) D
Kent Conrad (D-ND) R
Jim Webb (D-VA) R
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) R
Jeff Bingaman, (D-NM) (announced on 2/18/11) R
Daniel Akaka, (D-HI) (announced on 3/2/2011) D
John Ensign (R-NV) (announced on 3/7/2011) R
Herb Kohl (D-WI) (announced on 5/13/2011) D
Ben Nelson (D-NE) (announced on 12/27/2011) R

New Score D = 3, R = 7

Dasher on December 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM

How does that look? CT, WI and HI stay Dem, GOP wins the rest? We could win WI, but we could also lose VA.

Jaibones on December 27, 2011 at 2:57 PM

buh bye! Take Dick Lugar and some more with you!

MeatHeadinCA on December 27, 2011 at 3:01 PM

…his approval rating solidified…

His approval rating solidified in the toilet or else he’d be running again.

jnelchef on December 27, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Rats. Himself and I were so looking forward to voting against the miserable SOB come November.

catsandbooks on December 27, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Maybe he will open his own pizza place where he can eat in peace.

teri_b on December 27, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Solid B+

Tar Heel Sooner on December 27, 2011 at 3:02 PM

RT @MAlexJohnson: Bob Kerrey is indeed considering running for Ben Nelson’s Senate seat, @NBCNews reports
1 Hr.ago

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on December 27, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3