Osborne would serve best in Lincoln

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Two weeks ago, it was considered nearly a sure thing that Tom Osborne would run for governor in 2006. He had talked about it on several occasions, and promised to make his decision known by mid to late 2005.

But things have changed. In a stunning announcement last week, President George W. Bush selected Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns as the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Calling the ag secretary's post his "dream job," Johanns said he would stay in the ag post for four years, which means he will not run for the Senate against Ben Nelson, a McCook native, in 2006.

Suddenly, that put Osborne's plans in the state political spotlight. Should be enter the Senate race, as Republican leaders are suggesting, or should be do as he originally planned: run for governor?

Having observed Osborne throughout his years as Nebraska's football coach and, more recently, as the U.S. Congressman from the Third District, we are confident he will not be motivated by politics, but rather by his sincere belief of how he can best serve Nebraska.

That being said, we believe -- and hope -- that Osborne's choice will be to seek election as governor of Nebraska. That's where his talents fit best. He is a superb administrator, as demonstrated by his years of guiding the Nebraska football program.

Osborne has done well as the Third District's representative in Congress. He has kept in touch with the people here at home, while pushing for legislation to benefit the state and nation. But, throughout his congressional service, we have seen a desire within him to be more hands on, to exercise the immediate and ongoing leadership which he did as Nebraska's football coach.

That's what we believe sparked Osborne's interest in the governor's position. In that capacity, he could truly lead. He could be an inspiration to the entire state, and he could use his administrative talents to guide Nebraska through the years to come.

In his congressional years, Osborne has become aware of the many challenges facing the state and nation, particularly the decline of rural population and opportunities, and the need to preserve America's moral standards.

In the Senate, Osborne would be one voice among many. In Nebraska, he would be a leader, an inspiration to rally around and follow into the future. Politics aside, we believe Tom Osborne could best serve Nebraska as governor.

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