Posted by Mike Zahara on Apr 17, 2011
Political ambition however, got the best of both of them and it will likely be many, many years before another Nevadan sits on the House Ways and Means Committee—the tax writing committee and the most powerful body within the US House.
It speaks volumes to our corporate retardation in Nevada—they did choose an effete Art fancier in James Murren to run MGM-Resorts into the ground and then let his grossly incompetent Wall Street whore wife Heather Murren destroy the Nevada Cancer Institute too!—that none of them saw any value in having a Nevadan on Ways and Means and thus no one tried to talk one or the other out of the senate race.
Both senate candidates have carved out credible niches for themselves within their respective constituencies and Dean Heller had a scare from Sharron Angle a few years back that has his political ship listing a more to the right today. Shelley Berkley hasn’t had a credible race in what will be 12 years, so she is out of practice against a credible challenger who many believe is the favorite to beat her in 2012.
A. Harry Reid hatin’ is as strong as I have ever seen it and it will only get more poisonous as the election draws nearer—Harry Reid is absolutely toxic to any Democrat on the 2012 ballot—he enjoys zero support amongst Republicans and Shelley shares the 2012 ballot with Harry Reid for a GOP base that is singularly focused on settling scores from 2010 even though they were the idiots who gave Sharron Angle the primary win.
These two clowns hurt Rep Shelley Berkley the most–and she knows it too–both are a substantional drag on her senate ambitions and she actually helps Obama’s 2012 efforts in Nevada–and he knows it too!
B. Obama hatin’ is just as strong and those Republicans who crossed over in 2008 wishing to be on the right side of history aren’t planning on coming back to him in 2012. Barack Obama has lost the Great Suburban/Exurban Middle that elects our presidents; his only saving grace is that there is no credible Republican for Nevadans to support besides Mitt Romney, so Obama is expected to win Nevada by a hair (I’d say 4% today with NC and IN hopeless for Dems in 2012) and voters—especially independent voters without choices—always vote to place a check on a presidential candidate that they don’t like.
Voters are ‘jonesing’ for a hard check on President Obama and the US Senate is expected to have 58 Republican senators when the dust settles and the possibility of 60 seats will be the real GOP goal for 2012 if they can manage to nominate electable candidates this time around.
That’s no sure bet.
C. Sheldon’s Shelley hatin’ is going to be worse this time out too. Shelley has never fixed that and had no desire to do so either! When Jewish folks get to hatin’ on each other it truly is something to behold!
That’ll be a sideshow in this race worth the price of admission!
D. How Dina Titus and the new seat’s race effects the senate race won’t be known until they unfold. Shelley will have to take a stand on a minority-majority district and if that turns out to be her current seat, a cranky old white woman in Titus may not play well with the minorities she claims to love so much.
If Rory Reid decides to enter further complicates things for everyone on the Dem side; he would beat Titus in a primary or give Dr Joe Heck heatburn in the general if he goes for CD03.
Here in Nevada, Republicans will nominate a man in Dean Heller who goes against the hard-assed Tea-Partiers to his benefit but he has to navigate that and them deftly. Shelley already calling him an ‘extremist’ won’t have a resonance for reasons I’ll get to in a minute.
I’ve always known of Dean Heller and we had seen each other at events and said ‘hello’ to each other, but I never really talked with Dean until last year.
I really liked him!
I was embarrassed for myself having bought into the Dem mythology that Heller is a ‘himbo’ and a lightweight pretty face with nothing going on inside of his head.
I’m a better guy than that but I just hadn’t talked to the guy to find out for myself until last year and I found him to be bright, funny, self-effacing, and likeable.
For anyone running for any public office, we all have to like you before we’ll vote for you!
But the Dean that I spoke with that night is not the Dean Heller you see on TV interviews; he’s most definitely created ‘The Two Mr Hellers’ after the Angle scare and is apprehensive with media types ever since.
That could hurt him if regular voters don’t ever see the guy I talked to last year; there’s a genuineness and comfort in his own skin that his people have to—must—capture for voters.
Dean Heller is also no dipshit either.
During the Obamacare bill building fiasco, Heller introduced five proposals in committee on Ways and Means that were just plain common sense and what regular people were demanding from Congress!
They were so good that he forced Shelley Berkley to vote ‘yes’ on one of them!
Frankly, I was surprised and I wrote here about whether he or his staffers came up with them. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if he has smarts like that, or if he is smart enough to surround himself with smart people, citizens come out on the plus side!
You don’t just pull work like that out of your ass—I was impressed!—Dean Heller looked and sounded tactically and strategically brilliant then and he shored up his bona fides with Republicans and had an independently minded Dem guy like me taking notice.
The very best leaders always surround themselves with smart people and with people who are smarter than they are!
I don’t know Dean Heller’s staff well at all, but I do know his political people and worry about too many cooks in his kitchen and what role Robert Uithoven—the guy who gave us Jim Gibbons and lost Sue Lowden’s race—will play is troubling some people.
Shelley’s staff is loyal perhaps to a fault. Mrs Lehrner cannot be managed because she needs no managing and it is her unpredictability on votes that engenders bipartisan affections for her. Heller has far more to shoot at with her votes than she does with his; a residual benefit or curse of moving from one house to the other in DC and she’s been there twice as long as he has.
Her blind support of Israel could sting her a bit, but shouldn’t matter too much, her pollster is one that I have never respected and disagree with his methodology. Her first mistake was not hiring someone else to tell her what she wanted to hear and then going back to her regular polling house for the campaign.
I’ve called her ‘Nevada’s favorite Drag Queen’, but she has toned down the $10,000 couture and sparkly shoes and hasn’t been showing up in the ghetto with clothes priced higher than the average incomes there anymore!
The more understated Shelley is far more attractive a person and candidate rather than the cartoon image she created for herself since she first went to DC.
That cartoonishness gave birth to a very high crossover vote largely because Republicans keep sending the same idiot to run against her.
This time, she’s not so fortunate.
Dean Heller has a hottie wife and attractive kids and has the perfect nuclear family imagery that senate voters gravitate to. He has credible Republican beliefs and isn’t a media hog or grandstander, something Nevadans appreciate.
At first glance, he is more senatorial appearing and the kind of senator the founders desired; she is more the candidate the founders thought the House would be populated by: Raucous, rowdy, and exuberant.
He isn’t well known in Clark County and will have to spend a fortune on introductory ads and mailings, she’ll have to do the same in the Northlands, and so that’s a spending draw for both of them. Her announced Dem challenger poses no threat to her but helps soften her up for Dean Heller depending on how much he’s planning to spend and on what.
There is much about her that is distasteful if not offensive to conservative and rural voters; yet another of her many major challenges.
Both will raise and spend enormous amounts of money and this should be a close race on paper—maybe 2,500 votes separating the winner and loser.
The public’s intense dislike of Barack Obama and Harry Reid are the intangibles that defy prediction.
Despite the phony public charade, Harry Reid has never liked Shelley Berkley for the affection she engenders with Dem partisans.
Shelley Berkley wrasslin’ away the party from Harry was just the elixir needed to energize Dem partisans; all are firmly and affectionately in her corner and that won’t change.
Shelley’s never liked Harry either and with surgical precision, she took over the entirety of NVDEMS’ operations in recent months and she consolidated her power over the party. She knew she had no other choice as Harry withers away and becomes less powerful and more inconsequential by the minute.
Dean Heller too has demonstrated a surgeon’s touch in lining up every Republican in the state within minutes of his announcement; their party badly burned by IAP interloper Sharron Angle and had no other choice either!
We are a backward, inconsequential, tiny tumbleweed state but for some reason we are gifted with a US Senate race that matches two top tiered candidates and most Nevadan’s are too stupid to know how good their choices will be next year.
My hope is that this will be a good old-fashioned knock down, drag out campaign, but experience tells me that this will probably top Reid/Angle in caustic distastefulness.
That’s too bad because both Dean and Shelley have plenty to offer to all of us as our next US Senator.
Because of a midlife crisis dalliance that ended one political career, another will be reborn and reenergized and still another will end their political life in 2012 and go off to make a fortune in the private sector.
For that, no tears are to be shed for either Shelley Berkley or Dean Heller when one or the other lose on November 6, 2012.
Let’s all hope that Nevada will become a better place for the caliber of candidates we’ll have for US Senate in 2012.