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I remember the first time I met Ben Sasse, sitting and chatting next to him at a GOP fundraising breakfast in Virginia in June 2014. My former boss, retiring US Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), introduced us. “He’s the real deal,” Kyl said. Coming from the highly respected Assistant GOP Leader, that meant something. I’ve long held Kyl in high regard as one of the most effective and intelligent Senators I’ve worked with.
The Harvard and St. John’s educated Sasse was the favorite of National Review magazine among US Senate candidates that fall, winning a cover photo. Then-42 years old, the bright, brash young conservative was seen as a potential presidential candidate.
The Ph.D. historian (Yale University) and, in his 30s, a successful college President (he turned around Midland University in Nebraska) immediately impressed. He homeschooled his children and wrote about their education, including detasseling corn. “Ben is focused on the future of work, the future of war, and the First Amendment,” his official website states. “He worries that the Senate lacks urgency about cyber and about the nation’s generational debt crisis. An opponent of perpetual incumbency, he has no intention of spending his life in the Senate.”