And Operation We Are One Big, Happy Fleet is already up and running:
Mitch McConnell’s troops are extending an olive branch to Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse after Sasse said Tuesday that he would “absolutely” support McConnell as Senate majority leader if the Republican conference chooses the Kentucky senator for the post. “I’m a team player and looking forward to supporting whoever our leader is,” Sasse told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
Praise from the McConnell camp, which vowed to oppose any candidate, including Sasse, endorsed by the insurgent Senate Conservatives Fund, was forthcoming. A McConnell ally tells National Review Online that Sasse is a “very practical conservative who’s more interested in achieving the right policy outcome than engaging in a quixotic civil war with his own party.” The Sasse campaign, for the time being, is not returning the love. “We’re focused on our get-out-the-vote operation,” says Sasse adviser Jordan Gehrke.
Come, I will conceal nothing from you: now that Ben Sasse has won neither he nor Mitch McConnell has any interest at all in operating at cross-purposes. It is doubtful that the two will ever actually like each other, but McConnell rather badly wants to be Senate Majority Leader*. If that means having McConnell’s bluff called on his no-support-for-SCF stance, so be it. And Sasse, obviously, wants to be in the Senate. If that means playing nice with the guy who was on the other side in the primary, again, so be it.
This is the way the world runs, folks. And if you’re depressed, consider the Democrats’ problem. They’re not going to be able to get elected in Nebraska any kind of candidate that they’d like at all.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*On the matter of the Kentucky Republican primary I have no official opinion at all, past the usual I am sure that the voters will decide for themselves and a general reluctance to write stories attacking Republican candidates.