Probably none of the following is 'new' material but the Denver Post ran a column today about Governor Schweitzer and his recent foray into Washington D.C.:
Winning tips for Democrats
By John Aloysius Farrell
Denver Post Washington Bureau Chief
Washington - Here's what it takes for a Democrat to get elected governor in Montana, a state that gave President Bush 58 and 59 percent of the vote in the last two national elections:
You wear blue jeans, boots and bolo ties.
You run TV ads that portray you on horseback, or out hunting with your family. You oppose gay marriage, and flaunt the "A" you received on the NRA's report card.
You stand by abortion rights for women. You listen to the voters about jobs, medical care and schools. You talk about the price for crops and the high cost of fuel, and vow to protect your state's great natural riches.
And you do it with plain-spoken Western purpose and cheer.
"People vote for people that are for something," Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who won in Montana in 2004, told victory-starved Democrats here last week.
"People vote for people they like, and they like people who say they have a plan," said Schweitzer. "They don't like people who just say rotten things about other people."
It was an apt critique of the Democratic Party, which despite Republican disarray and the president's sagging standing in the polls, is still more defined by what it's against than what it's for.
Schweitzer's got plenty of things he's for. One is early education in Montana public schools.
"I am going to hog tie, break arms, twist noses until Montana has full-day kindergarten for every single child," he promised.
But the big enchilada - which earned him a recent profile on "60 Minutes" - is energy. Schweitzer wants to strip mine the plains of eastern Montana, turn its low-sulfur coal into liquid fuel and break America's dependence on foreign oil.
On his second day as governor, Schweitzer attended the funeral of Cpl. Raleigh Smith in tiny Troy, Mont. Smith was killed on patrol in Fallujah, defending his fellow Marines in a firefight. He died two weeks after his 21st birthday, and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for valor. He had enlisted to earn money for college, the obits said, in the hope of becoming a history teacher.
Schweitzer was moved that day. He promised himself, and at each subsequent soldier's funeral, that "the next generation will not be sent to some foreign land to subjugate an oil field. If we don't produce our own domestic energy, if we don't create new systems of conservation," he warned, "we will be beholden to those dictators and crooks for generations to come."
Schweitzer is no lonely zealot. His enthusiasm for coal gasification is shared by the governors of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, which have their own huge coal reserves.
There are formidable economic, environmental and technical issues to be resolved. Where's the needed water going to come from? What will be done with the surplus carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming?
But Schweitzer brushes aside such questions with typical self-assurance. Environmental groups may look at him warily, but he has gained a reputation
For the rest, go here