Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The shot heard 'round the blogosphere

I'm sitting here at my computer with nearly a dozen websites open that sport current pieces on DraftSchweitzer2008 -- and most of them because of the shot heard 'round the blogosphere -- yesterday's Roll Call article covering the nascent movement.

Tynan heard it. Taegan heard it. Sirota heard it. The Big Sky Young Dems heard it. Bob Brigham heard it, which is perhaps not surprising as he was interviewed for it -- and, consequently, felt within his rights to post nearly the entire article on his site. I'll make it clear here for copyright purposes that I'm quoting Bob at SSP, not Roll Call.

It is this willingness to criticize Republican policymakers in plainspoken ways that has some Democratic activists touting Schweitzer as a dark-horse candidate for president in 2008.

“I’m still waiting to see if the Democrats will get behind a pro-choice, red-state governor, who says what he means and means what he says,” wrote Bob Brigham, co-creator of the Swing State Project, a Web log affiliated with a political action committee for Democratic bloggers. “Bonus points for a western candidate, double bonus points for speaking Arabic. Triple bonus points for a dog named Jag.”

Schweitzer’s supporters think the governor, a rancher and farmer who picked a Republican state Senator to run with him as lieutenant governor last year, has a knack for critiquing GOP policies in a way that sounds more populist than partisan.

Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is also backing Schweitzer, whom he called “a genuine version of Bush’s fake ranch.”

Because Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is seen as the overwhelming early favorite for the Democratic nomination, and because so many better-known politicians are gearing up for 2008, the idea of Schweitzer running for president may seem preposterous. Brigham doesn’t think so.

“What do the insiders know?” he asked. ...

Democratic strategist Chris Lehane doesn’t think anyone can be elected president in 2008 who is not seen as strong on national security. But the former spokesman to then-Vice President Al Gore does not think Schweitzer is at risk of looking weak.
“The way he communicates, the way he looks, the way he talks — he obviously is a hunter,” Lehane said. “His whole character and personality profile make it clear that he is no softie.” ...

Another potential problem for Schweitzer would be time on the ground in the states that host the early contests. Warner will be out of office starting in 2006. Former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), another Democrat hoping to upend the Clinton train, is already out of office.

But in a party with a history of nominating heretofore obscure governors, nobody is writing Schweitzer off just yet.

“It’s a huge leap to go from being the governor of Montana to a presidential campaign in a couple of years,” Lehane said. “On the other hand, the guy seems to be a huge talent. He could be the Jimmy Carter of 2008.”
Big stuff. But not quite so big as the other guy that noticed the story -- and us: Ron Gunzburger of Politics1.com, which now has our site on the front page. We've gotten nearly a hundred hits from their site in the past three hours, and three petition signatures (bringing the total to 39), and our total money pledged to Schweitzer is now a whopping $865.

Wow. Wow. Um -- thanks, Ron. Thanks a heck of a lot.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm proud to say I'm a frequent visitor to Politics1.com and one of those three signers. I've always felt Schweitzer was a wonderful candidate, but thought I was alone in thinking this. Its nice to see I'm not.

July 13, 2005 12:51 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

I just learned about Schweitzer about a month ago-- and I think he and Evan Bayh could be the new difference in the party.

I have yet to study up on him -- but he looks like a great guy.

July 13, 2005 1:24 PM  

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