About ten months ago, I wrote a column suggesting that Kara Eastman should not be our nominee in 2020. I believed then that she was spending too much time focusing on Trump, negativity and pushing an agenda that was alienating too many of her potential voters. She was such a great candidate and ran such a strong campaign, I felt her tactical errors ruined her chances. My mistake was, that I should have expected she would learn from the first experience and pivot to a campaign in 2020 that had a great shot at winning.
At present, Kara is leading in both internal and external polls. Her lead is within the margin of error, but momentum is growing. She raised over $715,000 in the second quarter, has raised $1.5 million in this election cycle and is currently on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” list, which means the power’s that be in Washington believe she has a legitimate shot at the prize.
A year ago, I thought her constant criticism of Trump was a negative for her, but this year, it is likely that Trump’s coattails or entrails, will decide who will win her congressional race. She might as well be all-in on burning him down, because like everything else this year, it’s all about him.
My criticism of Kara in the past has always been about tactics, not the quality of her candidacy. She has always been the real deal when it comes to being a brilliant candidate – the kind of candidate in which every Democratic should be proud. She absolutely walks the walk. She built her non-profit, the Healthy Kids Alliance, from the ground up, and in the doing, created an amazing organization that has had a real impact on the lives of Nebraskans. Today, the Healthy Kids Alliance has served over 4,000 Nebraska families, has created many jobs and is a nationally recognized, award winning, non-profit. She’s also made a difference serving on the Metropolitan Community College’s Board of Governors and the Mayor’s Fair Housing Advisory Board.
The biggest thing she changed in her approach this time around has been her focus on Medicare-for-All. In 2018, Kara’s support for it directly undermined one of Omaha's leading industries - health care insurance. Further, her efforts were in direct contradiction to President Obama's warnings to not try and topple the system as a whole, but rather work incrementally from the edges to improve it. In truth, we’ve got serious, systemic health care problems in America, but that approach was no way to win an election in Omaha.
This time around Kara has been measured and prudent in her policy objectives. She’s still viewed by many as a left-leaning candidate, but her efforts now clearly identify her as mainstream. I’m proud to support her in 2020 and look forward to her big win. She’s a lovely woman, with a beautiful family and would make a first-rate Congresswoman!
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