NPR logo New START Can Wait: Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson

New START Can Wait: Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson

President Obama had former Secretary of State Colin Powell at the White House Wednesday to push for Senate ratification during the lame-duck Congress of the the new START treaty, the nuclear-arms pact between the U.S. and Russia.

Powell is a moderate Republican whose views often resemble Democrats.

Providing a symmetry of sorts, was a Democrat whose positions often line up with Republicans, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, told the National Review Online that START could wait until next year.

“I think we can hold off on START; I don’t want it to crowd out taxes, debt reduction, and jobs.”

Nelson faces re-election in 2012 in a very red state. He clearly paid attention to one of the messages voters told exit pollsters on Election Day, that the economy was their top concern.