As I see it, you needn’t put the “October surprise” label on The Omaha World Herald’s decision to endorse Democrat Brad Ashford’s effort to oust eight-term Republican Second Congressional District representative Lee Terry.
The World-Herald’s political love affair with Ashford became evident in the 2013 primary election to choose two candidates to face off for election as Omaha’s mayor.
Ashford, running as an independent after more than 20 years of being a registered Republican, was endorsed by The World-Herald—and finished a distant fourth.
About a year later he registered as a Democrat.
Republican to Independent to Democrat within three years—hardly a picture of political consistency or stability. But the World-Herald’s choice for Nebraska’s Second Congressional District seat in Congress.
Would Congressman Ashford Be Dem Or Independent?
The World-Herald included endorsement of Ashford’s indication that after election as a Democrat, he would not follow the party line but would be something of an independent.
The World-Herald also indicated approval of Ashford’s unusual campaign promise that if elected, he would organize a coalition of 25 Republicans and Democrats who would work towards resolving partisan differences and lead Congress in a bipartisan approach to national problems.
Certainly an ambitious proposal for a freshman Congressman, one among the 535 elected members of Congress, the very great majority of whom would obviously have the practical experience that a freshman Congressman would lack.
Santa Claus Coming To Washington?
I’m tempted to say if you see any chance for the success of Ashford’s proposal, you should be sure to leave out a glass of milk and a plate of cookies by the fireplace next Christmas Eve.
I think it’s a fair and logical question to ask whether a World-Herald endorsement of Brad Ashford is perhaps primarily motivated by the newspaper’s desire to see Republican Representative Lee Terry voted out of office.
After all, it is the second consecutive election in which The World-Herald has endorsed Lee Terry’s Democratic opponent.
Two years ago it was Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing, a candidate whose credentials went little further than the fact he was a Democrat and a very competent Douglas County treasurer.
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This week’s smorgasbord has a political taste.
–Should a candidate’s age be considered as part of his qualifications—or lack of qualifications—for political office?
Interesting question in regard to Democrat Brad Ashford and Republican incumbent Lee Terry contesting for the Second Congressional District seat.
People retiring at age 65 or more after a good many years on the job are typical. But people attempting to start out on new careers at age 65 or more are another matter.
Ashford would be 65 on taking his seat as a freshman Congressman. Terry would be 52 on taking his seat for his ninth term.
Ashford would be starting a Congressional career—not his political career but a Congressional career—at age 65. Terry, if re-elected, would be 52 starting his 17th year in Congress.
Does the age and experience difference make a political campaign difference?
Keep in mind that some people question whether it would be wise to start Hillary Clinton on a presidential career at age 69. And Hillary Clinton, after all, has had a great deal of experience at top levels in federal office.
–The quality of most political advertising seems especially deplorable this year. Then perhaps I’m just forgetting how bad it was two years ago.
In any case, some examples:
–Ads which are simply untrue, ads which are half true and ads which travel the political low road (the great majority, unfortunately) and some which descend into the political gutter.
Ads which are half-true, simply untrue, use such cheap tactics as showing a political opponent in an unflattering photo—Lee Terry in obvious need of a shave, for one example.
Ads which are true but totally irrelevant. Example: Candidate Brad Ashford’s ad which starts by saying that his father flew a B-26 bomber over Europe D-Day.
Ashford should, of course, be proud of his father’s World War II record. But in the world does it have to do with Ashford’s qualifications to serve in Congress 70 years later?
–Congressman Lee Terry, seeking election to his ninth term, has some explaining to do in regard to a recent ad which he put in the mail. The ad proclaimed that Terry is 100% “pro-life”, seemingly a pretty obvious effort to appeal to the anti-abortion constituents in a district where there is a high percentage of Catholic population.
Is Terry opposed to abortion in any case, even those legal under the Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade and cases which are legal under Nebraska law, which allows abortions in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy?
Some enterprising reporter should ask Terry to provide some answers.
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Lesson Learned In Another Hospitalization
The upbeat news with which I’d like to finish this column is very personal; i.e., a change in medication, after some thorough testing during hospitalization, seems to have my heart-beat rate under control.
I am on new medication and was released Tuesday with the word that I can resume normal activity as long as I continue to take the prescribed medications, including a new drug called Amiodarone designed to keep your heartbeat from racing away at a very dangerous rate.
Don’t wait, as I did, for an ambulance ride to the hospital
Pretty fundamental, you say? Yes, but I have been surprised at how many people (like me) don’t follow such a regimen and later wished they had—assuming they don’t die in the meantime.
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