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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Nebraska's Ben Sasse could be the GOP's new Jack Kemp, a voice for 'principled prudence'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Republican Party,Nebraska,2014 Elections,Ben Sasse

Quick, which winning Republican Senate primary winner said these words while claiming victory Tuesday night?

"We may not get every vote. But we'll speak to every heart," and we will seek to "represent the entire American family. We will aim not just to win, but to be worthy of winning."

The correct answer is "Ben Sasse in Nebraska." Given the Cornhusker state's deep red hue, he almost certainly will take a seat in January in "the world's most exclusive debating club."

Remember Jack Kemp?

An oft-heard claim in Right circles since before the Reagan era is that "a rising tide lifts all boats." Originally a JFK maxim, it came to be most closely associated with former Rep. Jack Kemp in his tireless advocacy for tax cuts.

Kemp was a bit of a maverick in the GOP, since he also advocated aggressively going after the votes of blacks and taking on the challenge of winning the war on poverty through enterprise zones and school choice.

The former AFL champion quarterback devoutly believed that a growing economy that generates jobs and opportunity for all Americans is the answer to virtually every political problem.

Sasse, Kemp, Lee

Comparisons of the new GOP Nebraska Senate candidate with Kemp were probably inevitable because their approaches are quite similar.

Like Kemp when he was ascending, Sasse is relatively young, articulate, energetic and rather telegenic. Plus, he's more of an ideas conservative than an interest conservative.

Assuming he wins in November, Sasse will most likely follow a script that combines Kempian enthusiasm with the principled prudence of a Mike Lee.

Bridge for GOP divide?

What Sasse won't be is a firebrand like Ted Cruz or simply another Tea Party insurgent looking to battle the GOP establishment every step of the way.

In a background memo circulated by Sasse strategists, the Kemp analogy is prominent:

" Who Is Ben Sasse? The best comparison is to Jack Kemp. Jack Kemp provided real ideas and real solutions to real problems ... Conservatives will be thrilled with Ben Sasse as a U.S. senator if they are looking for a leader who will propose and fight for conservative solutions from a constitutional perspective, but they shouldn’t expect him to adopt an instinctual reaction of ‘no’; nor should they expect that he will go out of his way to annoy establishment GOP leaders.

"There are certainly times he will take them on as Senator [Tom] Coburn did a decade ago over earmarks, but he will also choose his battles carefully."

Principled prudence. Now there's a concept!

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Congressmen shouldn't fly first-class on the taxpayers' dime.

EXography: 13 states end or hike campaign contribution limits.

Watchdog/Mark Flatten: Committee chief wants Obama to appoint special commission to probe VA scandal.

Columnist/Noemie Emery: Monica Lewinsky affair ripped the mask off identity politics.

Columnist/Ron Arnold: Mainstream media don't know Big Green has more bucks than Big Oil.

Beltway Confidential/Philip Klein: Obamacare insurer says Americans must get over having health insurance choices.

Legal Newsline/Heather Gvillo: Jeff Flake introduces bill requiring asbestos trust transparency.

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The New York Times: EU courts says users must be able to erase records on web.

CBS News: Karl Rove questions Hillary Clinton's health.

Righty Playbook

The Weekly Standard: Eric Holder says no plans to investigate VA deaths.

American Thinker: Black Americans and the Obama dilemma.

The American Spectator: Downplaying Jihadism.

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: On liberal campuses, a point of personal privilege.

Lefty Playbook

Salon: "Fraser" proves the limits of the Internet's nostalgia.

The Washington Monthly: On Rand Paul's disavowal of voter ID laws.

The American Prospect: Moral Monday movement gears up for round two.

Bonus must-read

Mother Jones: Tim Geithner explains why President Obama passed over Elizabeth Warren to head CFPB.

Blog Right

Blue Collar Perspective: A solution for resolve-challenged Republicans.

Hot Air: Capito, Tennant primary wins set stage for all-female Senate race in West Virginia.

Gateway Pundit: Leftist professors claim "white privilege" was invented in the American colonies.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: Tea Party favorite Ben Sasse wins Nebraska GOP Senate primary.

Slate: Paging Dr. Rove, paging Dr. Rove.

In These Times: GOP once again takes aim at Obamacare.

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Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner