I apologize for only now getting around to blogging about Jon Bruning’s appearance a couple of days ago at the quarterly luncheon sponsored by Omaha’s Business and Professional Persons for Life over at the Venice Inn. Naturally, Bruning, Nebraska’s Attorney General for five years now and a fellow who established a solid pro-life record during his 6 years as a state senator, was well-received by the group. In fact, BPPL’s President, John Kellogg, noted that the turnout for the luncheon was the best it had been in a long while. That, in itself, is perhaps a notable indication that Senator Chuck Hagel, despite his own pro-life record, may have a formidable foe if he decides to run for re-election against an already declared Bruning.
Bruning is a Lincoln Southeast and UNL Law School graduate whose pro-life convictions, he himself admitted, have evolved considerably from his carefree college days. In fact, in answer to a question about the origins of his pro-life views, Bruning candidly admitted that he hadn’t thought seriously about abortion (and many other things for that matter) until he fell in love and started to think about family and the values he wanted to represent to his children.
He also explained that he is a prime example of how critically important pro-life education efforts are, specifically citing pro-life friends and mentors, visual presentations such as those being offered to our area by Virtue Media, lobbyists and constituents, and educators like UNL Law School's Rick Duncan, a pro-life activist who Attorney General Bruning referred to as one of the best thinkers he has ever encountered.
Bruning, actually ahead of Hagel in the public opinion polls, owes much of his early lead to his aggressive actions against child molesters and other bad guys who endanger and corrupt Nebraska’s citizens (“I fight for innocence every day and I love my job!”). But his responsiveness to citizen complaints, his efficiency in running the A.G. office, his energy, and his pro-life credentials (he took the handoff from Don Stenberg and fought diligently to secure the partial-birth abortion ban) are also strengths that the public has found impressive.
Bruning did not do any overt campaigning that afternoon. Chuck Hagel was never mentioned nor any of his actions or positions criticized. Bruning addressed the group simply as our attorney General, asking for our assistance to make his job effective (“Why did you act on the ____ case, people ask me. Because somebody called me!”) and promising to keep the powers of his office moving towards enforcement of Nebraska’s laws (“Hey; we got guys with badges and guns. Give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.”).
Thus, in the end, Jon Bruning’s talk (and q and a session afterwards) made for as effective a political appearance as a “non-political appearance” can be. After all, he’s no rookie at this game. And with his demeanor, his honesty, his conservative positions and track record, he showed himself as not just a force to be reckoned with but, quite possibly, a U.S. Senator to depend on.