I guess we are going to have to hire agents now since the Washington talk shows will certainly be beating down our respective doors and Newsweek, Time and the rest will be after us for the most pithy and eloquent of quotes about the political terrain today and prospects for the future. Watch out George Will, you're just keeping the seat warm for us! Right.
Schweitzer for president?
By DAVID CRISP
The Billings Outpost
Brian Schweitzer for president? Sounds wacky, perhaps, for a first-term Democratic governor from a state with only three electoral votes. But Schweitzer is making a splash on the national scene, and his candidacy is quietly being boosted by bloggers and Democratic insiders who like his plainspoken talk and bipartisan political appeal.
Perhaps, they speculate, Schweitzer is the sort of Democrat who can reverse the party’s national image as big-spending liberals who are weak on defense and out of touch with the rural ways of the West.
On the web, schweitzerforpresident.blogspot.com bills itself as “Your online center for news, views, and action alerts on Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, the next President of the United States.” The site links to pages where visitors can sign petitions asking Schweitzer to run, pledge donations or buy “Brian Schweitzer for president” buttons for $1.89.
The site is run by Jeremy Young, who describes himself as an “Arizona/Maryland occasional blogger,” and Kevin McCarthy, a California resident who describes himself as an “unreconstructed McGovernite.” The men hope to do for Schweitzer what bloggers did to make Howard Dean an early leader for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.
“Why Brian Schweitzer?” Young asks. “Because he is the most intelligent, most eloquent politician I have seen in a long time. Because he knows how to frame issues like the environment and individual liberties and progressive values in ways a large majority of the American people can understand. Because he’s not afraid to stand up and say “No!” to special interests, or to tell the downtrodden that they matter. Because he’s shown he can win in the reddest of red states. Because he’s supported strongly by progressives and moderates alike. Because he is honest and decent and kind and visionary.”
Schweitzer’s projected candidacy also has drawn attention in more influential circles. Roll Call, a widely read Capitol Hill publication, said that Schweitzer’s “willingness to criticize Republican policymakers in plainspoken ways” has some Democratic activists “touting Schweitzer as a dark-horse candidate for president in 2008.” Salon.com, one of the most prominent online political journals, said in April that he “may be the next best hope of the Democratic Party.”
Who’s taking all of this talk seriously? Certainly not the governor.
“I’ve got the best job in America,” he says.
He has called the Roll Call story “kooky.” When Rolling Stone magazine labeled Schweitzer as the nation’s “hot” governor, he sniffed to a Lee Enterprises reporter, “Since Hunter S. Thompson left, Rolling Stone hasn’t been worth reading.”
To read the rest of this obviously fine article written by the most insightful David Crisp, go here