In the summer before an election year, a Midwestern Republican announcing he’s running for reelection to the Senate shouldn’t be particularly newsworthy.
But then there’s Nebraska senator Ben Sasse.
A sample Twitter reaction to his reelection announcement this week: ‘In the annals of absolute uselessness, whole chapters will be devoted to the political career of Ben Sasse.’ Indeed, the Harvard-educated Sasse had become a sort of folk hero for the Acela corridor. He was the one member of the Senate who wouldn’t just respond to your tweets, he’d clap back. He wrote books that weren’t about politics. And he was shamelessly nerdy, taking on issues like cybersecurity and the sharing economy – the latter of which he explored by becoming an Uber driver during a Senate recess – that many of his colleagues fail to prioritize because they don’t fall along an easy left-right divide or get voters to the polls.