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Schweitzer Backs Out

Schweitzer Backs Out

Max Baucus, as noted here, was one of the senate’s biggest proponents of ObamaCare.

But shortly after he called the implementation of ObamaCare a “train wreck” in April, he decided not to seek re-election. (Baucus apparently believes that ObamaCare’s biggest failing is incompetence, not impossibility. I rather think that both are true, especially after reading all the implementation failures the unwieldy legislation has encountered so fare.)

But not all was lost for the Democrats according to the New York Times:

As Mr. Baucus made a push to rewrite the nation’s tax laws as Finance Committee chairman, he also came under scrutiny for the expansive network of former aides who were now sought-after lobbyists on tax legislation.

And in Montana, the former Democratic governor Brian Schweitzer— still a popular and formidable politician — was making unsubtle suggestions that he might want Mr. Baucus’s seat. Expectations among senior Democrats that Mr. Schweitzer was waiting in the wings relieved some of the pressure on keeping Mr. Baucus in the re-election hunt.

“That was just a curious series of events, but I’ve been here for 40 years,” Mr. Baucus said in an interview Tuesday, dismissing any notion that he was pushed toward the exit. “I know the Senate ebbs and flows.”

Please remember that.

Because, Schweitzer has just decided to follow in Baucus’s footsteps. The “formidable” Schweitzer will not try to succeed Baucus. The New York Times reports:

Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, said he understood Mr. Schweitzer’s decision and looked forward to other talented Democrats stepping up.

“Running for the U.S. Senate is a big decision for a potential candidate and their family,” Mr. Tester said. “Just because this year wasn’t the right time for Brian to run doesn’t mean we don’t have great Montana Democrats who are willing to run and capable of winning the seat.”

The list of potential Democratic candidates in Montana includes: Denise Juneau, the state public schools superintendent; Monica Lindeen, Montana’s securities and insurance commissioner; Brian Morris, a Montana Supreme Court justice; Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, the influential political action committee that backs Democratic women who support abortion rights; and State Senator Kendall Van Dyk.

Yes that last paragraph sounds like a press release from the Democratic party! But let’s ask: how many of those “talented” Montana Democrats were mentioned as credible successors to Sen. Baucus in April? (Do I have to answer?) Without Schweitzer running, the chance’s of the Democrats holding Montana just dropped dramatically.


NRSC has a release, with lots of relevant information, including:

PPP: Likewise Daines and Racicot would both have substantial leads over the potential Democrats we tested besides Schweitzer- Daines leads Denise Juneau 48/38 and Monica Lindeen 49/37 in hypothetical contests, while Racicot leads Juneau 52/37 and Lindeen 52/35 in head to heads. (Public Policy Polling, Montana Senate looks like a toss up, 6/25/2013)

That’s a very good reason that Juneau and Lindeen weren’t mentioned in April.

The Hill adds:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee pounced after the decision, saying it was based on Schweitzer’s recognition that not even he could win in 2014.
“Just two days ago, Senate Democrats were quoted promising Brian Schweitzer tremendous resources to get in the race,” NRSC Communications Director Brad Dayspring said in a statement. “We did our homework and there was a lot of rust under Schweitzer’s hood — a LOT of rust.”
The committee had launched an aggressive opposition research campaign targeting Schweitzer as part of the GOP’s efforts to win the seat.
U.S. Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is a top GOP candidate for the seat.

Republicans still have a way to go to retake the Senate, but Schweitzer’s withdrawal makes their effort a bit easier.


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If only they’d make an effort in Mississippi.

Bruce Hayden | July 15, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Would have been a pretty vicious election. Worse though if Baucus had run. Tester was reelected last year by massively outspending his Republican opponent, at least on TV ads. Got ridiculous, back to back Tester ads showing him driving a combine around the family farm. It appears that much of that money was from out of state. Baucus would have been worse, given his strong ties to the banking industry. He could have just swamped anyone running against him with money. Schweitzer would have raised enough money to make it a competative race.

Carol Herman | July 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Yes, obama’s incompetence will spread into SWING states in the 2014 elections.

I also noticed that the “riots” are probably misnamed. Because I don’t see them standing out at REDDIT, which is a site my son sent me to, in order to escape Drudge. Where I go every day. To pick up a “progressive” perspective. Or, actually, I like to think “the place our kids go to. Where adults would come here. And, go to Drudge.

Are people whose tax money gets showered on the “entitlements” just seeing obamacare as another entitlement; where ignorant slops get hired to do a massive amount of paper shuffling? (You know, I think so.)

If obamacare were more popular? Pelosi would be put on top of shoulders so she could parade around. And, that’s not happening.

2014? People may decide NOT to vote. And, I include in this poor democratic turnout. While something like this makes it easier to measure. Because you’re data mining fewer (less?) numbers.

Right now, what hurts obama the most? His falling numbers. The fact that more and more people see him as incompetent.

I also think the “rioters” are shutting off avenues to debate. And, that means people hold their ideas privately. It happens when extremists think they can take over government … if they just get elected to office.

2014 also holds Rick Scott’s feet to the fire. Because he’s up for re-election. (I don’t know if Florida can do a recall, the way California rid itself of Gray Davis. And, Arnold Schwartzenegger came in at the end and picked up the loose ball … and thereby got elected.) The petition to recall Gray Davis was started by a very conservative republican, named Campbell. But he didn’t get to pick up the prize.

And, if the media’s lost clout with its best customers why think campaign money spent there will amount to any big difference in outcomes?)

Didn’t Marco Rubio come in in 5th place in a recent Iowa poll? What if getting face time on TV doesn’t amount to a hill of beans?

I was quite surprised when I heard the announcement. Sure, lots of rust, but even my most hard-core, redneck, gun-loving, backwoods, country, conservative and libertarian friends were already on board with his campaign. Even with rust I think he would have handily won with his significant popularity and Baucus’s connections and money helping. Would love to know what really tipped him into not running.

– bsd

“Would love to know what really tipped him into not running.”

Schweitzer must know something we don’t know yet…

    Henry Hawkins in reply to avwh. | July 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Montana is independent heavy. Check the polls on indies – they are moving to the right in droves.

      Yukio Ngaby in reply to Henry Hawkins. | July 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      I think you’re absolutlely right. The more the Dems push their Big Government agenda the more indies run to the right.

      Many states are swing states by virtue of their independent voters. This does not bode well for the Dems in 2014.

    Estragon in reply to avwh. | July 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    From “Schweitzer’s decision surprised many Democrats, who viewed him as their best chance in Montana despite recent reports about the ex-governor’s ties to nonprofit groups that Republicans intended to raise in the Senate campaign.”

    I’m guessing they weren’t going to complain about him working with the homeless. One of the non-profits in question was intended to work on “affordable” housing, though.

    It is possible the NRSC is just bragging about their effect, though, and that he just decided living well in Montana beats being a yes-man for Harry Reid in DC, even if Democrats kept the majority.

Badger Pundit | July 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I enjoyed adding, even in a small way, to the pile of ammunition usable if Schweitzer ran, via this video of Schweitzer calling Montana citizens redneck racists, and bragging about how he cheated to get Tester elected to the Senate back in 2006: