Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Fischer’s Victory Proves the Power of Palin’s Endorsement; Updated: Tony Lee’s Take

Big Government’s Mike Flynn provides a short summary of Governor Palin’s influence in last night’s stunning upset by Deb Fischer over the Establishment favorite, Tom Bruning:

Just two weeks ago, the battle for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in Nebraska was between state Attorney General Jim Bruning and state Treasurer Don [Stenberg]. Neither inspired the growing base of conservative voters. They were, to be charitable, standard conservative-ish career politicians. Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin shook up the race with a late endorsement of state Senator Debby Fischer. It made all the difference.

I follow politics very closely, yet I hadn’t heard of the Fischer candidacy until Palin’s endorsement. National tea party groups like FreedomWorks had put all their resources behind Stenburg, with nary a thought about Fischer. A good reminder that these groups aren’t as plugged into the grassroots as they like to claim.

Deb Fischer’s victory is even more remarkable when you consider the enormous financial advantage Bruning enjoyed in the race.

The Republican primary had been widely considered Bruning’s to lose. The attorney general reported raising $3.5 million, while Fischer hauled in a little less than $400,000 and Stenberg $700,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

As it became clear these past few days that Governor Palin’s endorsement had succeeded in catapulting Fischer past Stenberg and into a position where she had a legitimate chance to defeat Bruning, panic set in among those wishful thinkers in the DC Establishment on both sides of the aisle who’ve been telling us that her time had passed, that she was irrelevant.  But, alas, there can be no doubt today that Governor Palin’s endorsement is still the gold standard for grass roots conservatives, and it’s obvious to anyone paying attention these past couple weeks that any talk to the contrary is utter nonsense (sorry, Karl).

This prompted the mainstream media, predictably, to enter full anti-Palin spin mode. The best example is provided by left-wing loon Steve Kornacki of the liberal rag, Salon. In a piece yesterday reminiscent of the farcical attempt by the Establishment to "blame" Governor Palin for the failure of the GOP to win the Senate in the 2010 midterms (conclusively debunked here), Kornacki tries to make the case that the GOP has a "A brand-new Sarah Palin headache", and that her endorsement in Nebraska will make it easier for the Democrat Party to hold on to Nebraska’s Senate seat:

If Fischer does manage to win, Nebraska could actually emerge as a Senate battleground this fall. With Democrat Ben Nelson declining to seek reelection, the seat has long been assumed to be an automatic Republican pickup, even after Bob Kerrey, a one-time governor and senator, decided to return to the state and launch a comeback bid. Polls have shown Kerrey getting trounced by Bruning – and with Barack Obama on course to lose the state by at least 20 points, it’s not as if Kerrey is going to get any help from the top of the ticket.

Fischer, though, would be a wild card. She’s largely untested, and there’s a lot that isn’t known about her background and her skills as a candidate. If she wins the nomination, she might do fine in the general election, but there’s also the chance she’d prove to be another Sharron Angle. And, of course, it could be that she does turn out to be the next Angle, and that it still doesn’t matter, given Nebraska’s partisan bent. (It’s doubtful that a Stenberg win would do much to help Kerrey, since he’s a more established figure and has been able to win before.)

I’ll make three points regarding Kornacki’s "analysis" (I’m being charitable). Kornacki (and others) often bring up Sharron Angle as an example of Governor Palin’s "reckless" primary endorsements in order to discredit her. One small problem, though: Governor Palin did not endorse Sharron Angle in the Nevada Senate Primary. Second, Kornacki avers that Stenberg would be a more formidable general election candidate than Fischer because he "has been able to win before". Really? This is the 4th time Stenberg has run for the Senate. His record in the primaries: 1-3. In the year he did manage to win the nomination, he went on to lose in the general to Ben Nelson, he of "Cornhusker Kickback" fame. In short, Stenberg’s electoral record is anything but stellar. He’s been a perennial (and reliable) loser when he runs for the Senate.

Finally, Kornacki’s overall point that Fischer would be the weakest of the three GOP candidates is contradicted by The Cook Political Report’s Jennifer Duffy. Indeed in a CBS interview last night Duffy argues that Fischer, with neither the ethical baggage of Bruning nor electoral baggage of Stenberg, may well be the stronger general election candidate against the Democrat, Bob Kerrey:

Duffy says Fischer could pose more of a threat than either of her challengers might have to Kerrey — a former Nebraska Senator and governor who serves as Democrats’ best hope of eking out a victory in the solid red state.

"Now they face a nominee who doesn’t have very obvious flaws," Duffy said. "Yes, she’s undefined and they will try to define her quickly, but Democrats, despite what they don’t say now, really, really wanted to run against Bruning. They just felt like there was such a case to be made."

"In a lot of ways, she is the tougher general election candidate," Duffy added.

Duffy, who covers these races for a living, was even more specific about Fischer’s prospects against Kerrey in an interview with Reuters:

Despite being a relative novice in the race, Fischer has been a state Senator since 2004 and could be a strong candidate in November, said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor at the Cook Political Report in Washington.

"She’s got a good profile for the state. She does have some experience and I think that she gets some momentum out of the win," Duffy said, adding that Fischer is likely to beat Kerrey in November.

People like Kornacki really need to come up with some new material. They’re continued attempts to diminish Governor Palin are, at best, amateurish. Anyway, I’ll close by noting that even the Palin-Deranged Jennifer Rubin grudgingly admitted, albeit with characteristic snark (highest value is finding other candidates?), that Palin’s endorsement means far more than that of Establishment endorsements…or the money they bring in:

Sarah Palin still can pick ‘em. She was the only prominent pol to back Fischer. Palin’s highest value in the GOP may be in finding talented female candidates (e.g. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley).


Establishment endorsements remain of limited value. Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and DeMint endorsed losing candidates. These pols may want to think about endorsing less and thereby maintain the illusion they can influence races.


Money is overrated. Fischer was outspent $440,000 to Bruning’s $3.6 million.

Now it’s on to Texas

Update: (h/t John_Frank) Via Tony Lee at Big Government:

The Republican establishment spent nearly $3 million to support state attorney general Jon Bruning. The Washington conservative establishment spent nearly $3 million to prop up their candidate, Don Stenberg, who never got traction despite all of his endorsements. But it took just 135 words from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to propel Fischer to the head of the pack and give her the momentum, buzz, and name identification to capitalize on some of the groundwork she had diligently laid.


Until Palin endorsed Fischer by writing her a note, nobody thought Fischer had a chance of entering the general election to become Nebraska’s next Senator.

“As recently as a week ago, Deb Fischer was dismissed by the establishment. Why? Because she is not part of the good old boys’ permanent political class,” Palin wrote in a Facebook note. “The message from the people of Nebraska is simple and powerful: America is looking for real change in Washington, and commonsense conservatives like Deb Fischer represent that change.


Her final surge began, though, when Palin single-handedly leveled the playing field with her endorsement and proved her endorsement effectively wipes out the financial advantages and the endorsements other candidates have.

To be fair, had Fischer lost, the mainstream media and political establishment would have spun it as a defeat for Palin. And this is why a Fischer victory should be noted as more proof that Palin — and the Tea Party — have not faded, and their influence is only growing.

Read Tony Lee’s entire piece here.




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  • Lennart Bilén

    There’s coming a gal from Wasilla. 
    She’s said not to have one scintilla 
    of knowledge. Yeah, Right. 
    GOPe staged a fight. 
    Her Grizzly will crush their Godzilla.

    Sarah Palin endorsements that made a difference:
    Richard Mourdock! Establishment candidate: Dick Lugar. Mourdock won by 20 points. He was trailing before the Sarah Palin endorsement.
    Deb Fischer!

    Sarah, You do make a difference!!!

    Go, Sarah, Go.

    Kerrey MUST be defeated in November

    Go, Deb, GO!!

    Eat your snot, Karl!!

    • Lennart Bilén

      With Mourdock and Fischer in the bag, Sarah is up to Cruz-ing speed and on to Texas.

      Go, Sarah, Go!!

    • Patriot Games

       Terrific limerick, Lennart. I love it.

  • JELRGrandma

    Well put that one in your "snot" Karl Rove!

  • Cricket Nichols

    The Democrats and Republicans in Alaska will wish they had not filed all those ethics complaints and told all those lies about Sarah, if they had left Sarah alone and let her be a hard working governor. she would still be in Alaska doing her job as governor.  She will take all the RINO’s and liberals out one at time.  She flipped the house in 2010 and she will flip the senate in 2012.  You just got to love Sarah Palin!!!

    • CharterOakie

      And we surely do!!!

  • Spec 5

    On to Texas!!!   :o)

    • MarkLeisNjConservative

      Keep an eye on New Jersey!

      Traditionally a blue state this could be the year NJ goes red for the U.S. Senate. The AGU listed candidate is Bader Qarmout, a constitutional conservative "citizen" candidate running against the Chris Christie endorsed establishment/career politician. Here’s hoping tha SP can work her magic in NJ with an endorsement of Mr. Qarmout.

  • Nathan Webb

    Newt just didn’t know how to use her support.


      NONE of the other candidates were listening. It’s a fine line….still is…that Palin is walking….telling the candidate(s) how to do things, yet not telling them.

    • Steve_Flesher

      Newt had no problem with her support.  In fact, on the basis of ideas and debate performance, everyone knows Newt was a better candidate than Romney.

      This is why the Romney campaign set to destroy after SC no matter how low they had to sink, and they did it alright. 

      They lied about Newt’s resignation without pointing out he’d been cleared on all the ethics violations in the 90’s.  They lied about the IRS finding him innocent AFTER he resigned and paid.

      Palin knew firsthand what Newt went through and she knew he had the biggest and best ideas. 

      Newt’s failure in Florida and beyond came from the same politics-as-usual we know needs to stop.  I warn you (and your Mittens) that after the Tea Party cleans up the Senate, we’ll be moving on up to the Presidency.  Your guy is now in the position to listen. 

      He won’t win a general election with the poor turnout he’s delivered across the entire nation.  He’s going to need the energy of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin to pull it off.

      Bruning’s campaign was Romney’s campaign on a much smaller, localized level where corruption and favors were harder to hide.  Decency always prevails.

      • Nathan Webb

         "Decency always prevails"  <- exactly why Newt lost 48 of 50 states, and Mitt is the presumed nominee today.

        • Steve_Flesher

           Solely because millions of dollars were spent to perpetuate lies. 

          You don’t have to be a Newt supporter to realize the same old game of the Old Guard and that Romney was dishonest in his tactics. 

          And by the way, the latest poll released just discussed on Fox News has Obama up over Romney with independents at a higher rate than he was one month ago.

          Just saying.

      • excopconservative

        The impression I got from Newt’s campaign was that he was never serious about winning the nomination in the first place.  He alienated his staff by cruising while there was work to be done. They were capable of putting together a campaign but they left.  When Sarah told SC to vote for Newt it may have scared hell out of him.  He won a big victory and then promptly folded in a Florida debate where he should have shined. 

        He should have been capable of getting the nomination or at least blocking Romney from getting it.  His performance never measured up to his potential.

        As we proceed to get conservative candidates nominated, how do we expect Romney to head a ticket of candidates whose principles he doesn’t believe in?  How does he expect to be elected without using the issues that have been successful for TEA Party candidates in 2010 and 2012?  If his team succeeds and selects a VP that is the anti-Palin and that is boring and uncontroversial, why will anyone attend their rallies?  Will Romney go to the states where "severe" conservatives are running for Senate and campaign with candidates that he doesn’t agree with?  Won’t voters be getting an inconsistent message?

    • willegge

      Sorry Nathan but that fault lies with Tea Party people, they did not follow her lead, if they had, Newt would still be in it and maybe wining. That has be the problem still with the Tea party, it has been  divided and I think Michelle Bachman and Cain are partly to blame that was the beginning of it. That’s my opinion. People began to choose, and divided the mindset of the tea Party. "A house divided against itself cannot stand".

      • Carolyn Dixon

         those who supported snarly santorum thought he was the real conservative.  he wasn’t.  Sarah knew he didn’t have a chance against obama.

      • Steve_Flesher

        Actually William, I agree with lots of what you say but the thing is most of us were set on only one person being President.  I know in the future to hope but to remain open minded.  This immaturity on the Tea Party level explains the youth of the movement as a whole.  Yet it doesn’t mean it’s not devastatingly effective as Palin proved with this Nebraska race.  The kicker is learning how to coalesce behind one candidate before the establishment forces something else down our throats through outspending and smear campaigns.  But you’re right, Tea Party energy marches on and we’ve learned our lessons from 2012.

        • willegge

          I agree.

      • susiepuma

        Well, I am a TEA Party person and I did not like any of the dwarves that were running – Governor Sarah Palin is the unelected leader of the TEA Party and she is the one who should be running for President……………………..

        And, Sarah did not endorse or push for Newt – she made two statements – one that if she lived in SC, she would vote for him – this was an implied request to keep the process going — secondly, she stated when the polls closed that she voted for Newt in the Alaska primary – how those two statements turn into people not following her lead so that Newt could still be winning is pure fabrication………………… she should not have to drag anyone’s sorry azz across the finish line ………… give them a little support and encouragement but if you can’t complete the race by presenting the best reasons for people to vote for you then you lose………………………. unless you manage to buy the nomination……………………..

        • willegge

          I agree Frank but what I see is the tea party has to many people trying to lead, they did not support Fischer. I believe Sarah Palin pointed the way , she got behind Newt, not a full endorsement, but told people to vote for him, and people did not. The one problem with the Tea Party of which I am a member is they are not unified, I believe it needs to unify around the most solid conservative, and that is Sarah Palin. It would make an enormous difference in electing conservatives.


    Dewhurst is next and then we’re coming after you gope….you will
    never, ever force us to accept your terrible, non-conservative
    candidates again.

  • 99Dual99Citizan99

    Thank you, Doug Brady for posting another great article about Sarah Palin. Much appreciated and thanks, again.

  • WEL2

    Drudge is ignoring the extremely important Fischer-Palin victory in Nebraska, and Fox News is giving it minimal attention. Why?

    • NoMoreMeh

      Because they are wee-wee’d up?

    • hrh40

      Because they are the GOP Establishment.

      And they just got their tuckus whupped.

      So they’re slinking off with their tuckus wrapped between their legs.

      Don’t ask me what a tuckus is.

      It can be whatever you want it to be. ;)

      • goldenprez

         hrh40 … The correct word is tuchus, and the pronunciation is with a gutteral sound on the "ch."  It is a Yiddish slang word literally meaning "ass."

        Most non-speaking Yiddish (or German) people have a tough time pronouncing the gutteral "ch" sound, as that sound does not exist in any other language, including English.

        And yes, they definitely got their tuchuses (asses, plural) whupped.

        However, slinking off "with their tuchus’ wrapped between their legs" is a physical impossibility … lol

        Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.

        Illegitimi non carborundum.

        Barracudas Maximus.

        • IsraeliCojones

          Me, I say "tuches".

          Like in:

          "They got their tuches handed to them on a silver platter."


          • goldenprez

             IsraeliCojones … I have no quarrel with either your spelling, or the use of the singular "tuchus" to represent the collective "tuchus."

            Whichever suits one, is fine "by" me.

            There are many, many more tuchus whippings to be administered from now through November 6. After which, there will be an overwhelming number of tuchuses to be whipped in both houses of Congress.

            Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.

            Illegitimi non carborundum.

            Barracudas Maximus.

    • lanahi

       There is a place on Drudge’s page to Comment.  Ask him where news of the Nebraska primary is, or give a link to the best story.  If enough of us do that, we can change it.

  • Ken Kates

    Sarah is a wicked powerful lady….go get ‘em Sarahcuda!!  I will be interested to see if/when Mitt compaigns with her….Sarah would bring out the vote and crowds he can only dream of alone.  

    • stevethird

       Right, and then her spirit and presence will dwarf him on whatever stage they appear together.

  • Patriot41

    Winning a primary is one thing, winning in the general election is quite another.  Fischer is going to need all of the financial support she can get now in order to take that senate seat.  Conservatives and Tea Party members need to get behind her and see to it that she comes out on top in this upcoming election.  Senate control is a must in this upcoming election!

    • Carolyn Dixon

       let’s pray and hope karl rove won’t sabotage her election like he did the other women o’donnell and angle.

    • exodus2011

      may I remind people that someone with extremely high credibility has said:

      ‘A Party of Freedom ‘ will emerge from Tampa (‘mark my words’ Sean, an ‘unconventional process’) and a ‘Conservative President’ will return to address you at CPAC next year.

      Etch is ruled out by these descriptors.

      The Freedom Ticket of Palin/West will have such gigantic coat-tails that they will sweep all the down-ticket Conservatives in to DC


      RAGE Against The Machine!


      • goldenprez

         exodus2011 … Please do not be so quick to hand the VP slot to Mr. West.

        Allen West has voted with the "establishment" GOP leadership many more times than he has not. Do not be fooled by his rhetoric. Keep a close tab on his actions (votes).

        Let us not go off half-cocked, evaluating Mr. West with our emotions, instead of our common sense. Just a little research will show anyone interested enough that Mr. West is "mostly all blow and very little show."

        Here are some common sense qualifications:

        Whoever takes the VP slot under Mrs. Palin must be from outside the "establishment."

        Whoever takes the VP slot under Mrs. Palin must have some executive experience.

        Whoever takes the VP slot under Mrs. Palin must be a proven reformer.

        These three things alone disqualify Mr. West.

        Let’s start thinking in terms of someone who is unafraid of the Ministry of Propaganda, and someone who has run something major, from the top. Someone who has boot-strapped thier way up, and is beholden to no political party.

        Actually, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin would be an excellent model.

        Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.

        Illegitimi non carborundum.

        Barracudas Maximus.

        • exodus2011

          I am favouring Allen West because that’s who Gov Palin has named, twice

          there would be very good reasons for her to make that public statement

      • RebinTexas

        Exodus – You have no idea how much I pray that what you just said turns out to be true. IMHO, Sarah is THE ONLY person who could best lead the party in the election and, much more importantly, do what is necessary for our beloved country – even explaining things so the great majority of We The People will support her…….and help her pull Congress along.

        • exodus2011

          I have known this from the beginning Reb, as far back as when she gave the Sudden and Relentless Reform speech at Indianola

          The Real Deal is the only one who understands the major problem which is causing America to die a slow death (much faster with BHO at 1600 of course), knows how to address that problem and has the WILL to get it done

          As long as she is fighting for this outcome (and her not endorsing Etch tells me *she is*) I will be pushing for SRR too, each day, on the blogs, via Twitter and FB

          IMV, Divine Providence did not bring Gov Palin to prominence on a whim, for no reason …

  • bigsun24

  • bigsun24

    ted cruz endorsed by austin newspaper…

  • DocBarry1

    Gov Palin’s Power is powerful because she is true to her values and political philosophy – she also will get behind candidates that have a more liberal record when she believes that they have seen the errors of their way.

    One can trust Gov Palin to be honest and genuine – Go Gov Palin and thanks!!!

  • carltonwest

    Conservative Queen Sarah Palin crushes revanchist Rovian RINOs & establishment elitists. She is the Badlands Boadicea.

  • John_Frank

    Doug, thanks for this post.

    Tony Lee has a good piece up at Breitbart which you may want to reference in an update to your post:
    Deb Fischer Primary Victory Shocks Political World

    Also, there are reports in today’s open thread that Byron York was on FOX News earlier this morning and gave Governor Palin significant credit for Deb Fischer’s primary victory.

  • Patriot Games

    God bless Sarah Palin! She is a one-woman Good Angel for America, and she hasn’t lost a bit of her fight, her charisma, her courage against monsters, and her determination to serve her country. I don’t care how long it takes, she should become the first female  U.S. President (or is Obama claiming that he is? He no doubt will, with the polls showing women turninmg against him).

    What a trifecta Sarah is pulling off!  She was instrumental in helping Mourdock dump Lugar in Indiana.  Her endorsement of Deb Fischer–an excellent candidate but huge underdog– propelled Fischer past not one but two Establishment bores in Nebraska. The Texas primary is coming soon and last week Sarah gave Ted Cruz a big upward bump with her endorsement. And there’s a lot more to come before November.

    Patriotic Texans should rally to Cruz, an outstanding candidate who like most outstanding conservatives has to fight not only the commie Democrats but the Establishment Club of his own party. Cruz is 41 yet has long experience and success  before the U.S. Supreme Court as the Texas Solicitor-General defending the U.S. Constitution against the sabotage of Obama and other left-wingers.

    By the way, the Breitbart website, always supportive of Palin, is on fire with praise for her today.
    If there’s any justice, Andrew Beitbart, an Amertican with real guts and genuine respect for Sarah, is looking down from above, sitting behind his computer with a big smile on his face.

    It’s important and encouraging to know that candidates like these have had crucial support from loyal grass-root groups and individuals who sustained them until Palin got on their case to push them over the top, but she can’t do it all by herself. The great new group "She-PAC" was among those that helped Fischer. Palin is the lightning rod with the energy to do wonders but it takes broad support to defeat the saboteurs.  I hope Americans will comcentrate on helping Cruz in the next couple of weeks to score a big victory for the USA by winning the Senate GOP nomination in Texas, and continue towards the November election for Cruz. Fischer, Mourdock and all good Republican candidates in every state. 

    And that goes for the Presidential election too. I’m bracing for the next discovery by the Obama camp
    following the big news that Mitt Romney had high spirits as a high school kid and that Ann Romney raised her five children at home  instead of turning them over to Hillary Clinton’s communist village. The Romneys attended the same grade school so no doubt we’ll hear that they got together because both were serial murderers in kindergarten.

    • fb274

       "before the U.S. Supreme Court as the Texas Attorney-General defending
      the U.S. Constitution against the sabotage of Obama and other

      Cruz was the Solicitor General.  Greg Abbott was the Atty. General.

      • Patriot Games

         You are correct. Cruz was the Texas Solicitor-General, representing his state  before the U.S. Supreme Court. just as the U.S Solicitor-General represents the federal government before the Supreme Court. All the better for his experience to be a U.S. Senator. And Cruz did a bang-up job. I’ll correct his title in my post.

  • fb274

    Rush Limbaugh giving Palin credit for Deb Fisher win. 

    • Sarah4Prez

      I heard Rush say something to the effect the only war on women the GOP has been engaged in is their war against Sarah Palin.

      • n4cerinc

        Yep, Rush Went There today! He got on the Golden EIB Mic and proclaimed to millions of listeners, that the ONLY war the GOP is involved in is taking on the woman who took down the Corrupt Bastards Club. – (I like this comment so much I will post it again at he top.)

  • WEL2

    John Gizzi’s article at Human Events goes to great lengths to avoid giving Governor Palin the credit for Fischer’s victory that Palin deserves.  Why?

    • Patriot Games

       Because many people, including some conservatives, are too dense to understand what a great
       public servant Sarah Palin is, what a great American she is, and what a great woman she is.

    • exodus2011

      FEAR … the writer has been to cocktails with TheBORG most likely

    • Sarah4Prez

      Because Gizzi has electron-sized balls.

  • conservativemama

    The media, the culture, the Dems, the RINOs are all a reverse barometer.  Whatever they’re saying, be it a prediction or an explanation is not only wrong, it’s the exact opposite of the truth.  Understand that and you’ll know what the truth is.

  • mder4thegov

    The best part: Gov. Palin wants NO credit. Now, that’s leadership and class.
    Next up, Texas.

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