President Donald Trump speaks at the Young Black Leadership Summit 2019 on Friday in the East Room of the White House. Kearyn Bolin, back left, of Texas State University listens. Trump continued to seethe Saturday, denouncing Democrats' impeachment investigation as yet another "Witch Hunt!" and "a fraud against the American people!"

"Nebraska Republicans Abandon Trump"


That was the headline in the Journal Star on Oct. 9, 2016.

Not a headline you are likely to see again.

Three years ago this week, Sen. Ben Sasse, Sen. Deb Fischer and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry all said that Trump should step aside as the Republican presidential nominee in favor of vice presidential nominee Mike Pence in the wake of the Access Hollywood video disclosure of Trump's lewd comments about women and behavior toward them.

It was the beginning of a short-lived Republican coup that never happened.

Tim Alberta of Politico writes about "the 48 hours that almost brought down Trump" in his book: "American Carnage."

"Not for a moment would Trump consider quitting the race," Alberta wrote in constructing the scene as campaign captains and Republican heavyweights confronted him and Republican officeholders jumped off the ship.

"He was unmoved by the rebukes of the Republican lawmakers who were piling on with excoriating statements; most of them, he scoffed, were the same people who had opposed his candidacy from its inception.

"Trump cackled as one of his aides read aloud the rolling list of disavowals from the likes of (Paul) Ryan and Mitt Romney."

Trump stood his ground, refused to budge and the mutineers quietly returned to the ship.

* * *

Matt Innis, who is challenging Sasse for the 2020 Republican Senate nomination, says he decided to be a candidate in order to "be supportive of a president who is doing a lot of good things."

Although Sasse has Trump's Twitter-bestowed endorsement, the senator is "not representing Nebraskans (in reflecting) how they feel about this president," Innis said during a talk-radio interview with Jack Mitchell on KLIN.

Innis said he considered it "very unfortunate" that Sasse would characterize a classified whistleblower's warnings about recent Trump activities with respect to Ukraine as "very troubling."

While recognizing that opposing an incumbent senator in his own party's primary is a daunting challenge, Innis said: "I couldn't just stand by."

* * *

Skip Hove has received extraordinary tributes and recognition for his leadership of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation since his death in August.

Hove, a former Minden banker with a lifetime of service and accomplishment, was appointed to the FDIC board by President George H. W. Bush, reappointed by President Bill Clinton, and served in the roles of vice chairman and interim chairman for 11 years.

Flags flew at half-staff at FDIC centers across the nation following his death in Lincoln and employees scheduled a memorial service to honor him this month.

"Dad ate every meal in the common dining room," daughter Nancy Hove-Graul writes. And he wouldn't ride on the executive elevator, she said, "insisting on taking the regular ones with everyone else."

He drove himself to work until he was informed that his assigned driver would have to be transferred elsewhere if Hove didn't use the limo provided to the FDIC chairman, she said. But then he insisted on riding in the front seat with Gerry, his driver.

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"He knew everyone by name, their kids and their stories," his daughter says.

That sounds like leadership.

* * *

Finishing up:

* The family of Nicholas Oviatt, the 25-year-old who might challenge Rep. Fortenberry in the 2020 Republican primary, owns the wondrously named Rusty Rooster Saloon in Yutan.

* Gov. Pete Ricketts was saluted by ALEC, the strongly conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, for his State of the State proposals to enhance economic competitiveness and growth. Ricketts was one of five governors cited, with the other four coming from southern states.

* As Kate Bolz enters the 1st District House race, it's a reminder that two of the five members of Nebraska's congressional delegation served in the nonpartisan Legislature prior to their move to Washington. Sen. Fischer and Rep. Adrian Smith were state legislators.

* A former governor held one or both of Nebraska's Senate seats for 36 consecutive years until Mike Johanns decided not to seek re-election to a second term in 2014. Dave Heineman probably would have been a virtual cinch to continue that streak, but he didn't want to go to Washington.

* Plenty of talk about state sales and local property tax reform; the state income tax, whose top rate of 6.84 percent is applied to everyone with income of $30,420 or more, and even much more, is off the table.

* SI taken hostage and looted; a devastating blow to long-form sports journalism.

* Huskers struggle as they work to rebuild Nebraska football, but the recent Twitter traffic faulting Scott Frost is dumb. Twitter is a negative playground.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.


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