No, Kleeb has not voiced the degree of skepticism and sometimes even outright hostility toward government advanced by Smith. But Kleeb is hardly a Ted Kennedy clone - consider, for example, Kleeb's repeated, sensible expressions of skepticism toward the regulatory excesses of the Endangered Species Act. Kleeb, who describes himself as a devoted Catholic, also generally adheres to conservative positions on social issues that have resonated with many 3rd District voters over the years.
Indeed, Kleeb's actions and statements during this campaign should provide a lesson to the left-leaning activists who hold such sway in his state party. If they would genuinely listen to Kleeb (as opposed to opportunistically hoping that he'll merely gain them a political office), they could learn a thing or two about how a Nebraska Democrat can impressively look to this state's political center rather than clinging feverishly to impractical liberal rhetoric and policy stances.