It is early to start being concerned about the November 2014 Democratic primary U.S. senatorial race in Montana, but speculative rumors are already flying that ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer will challenge his friend, incumbent Max Baucus. The early polls are showing a relatively easy Schweitzer victory.
The problem is Schweitzer is more of an executive than a legislator and would probably be best suited to run for President of the United States.
His strengths lie in getting out the Democratic vote in the red states, which is the current favorite Hillary Clinton’s weakness, while she can get out the Democratic vote in blue states better than Schweitzer can. Together, on the same general election 2016 ticket, they would make a formidable team. At this point, Clinton, whom I met and spoke to only once, would be at the top of the ticket, leaving Schweitzer to run as Vice President and wait his turn in the subsequent 2020 or 2024 elections to run for the presidency.
He would still be young enough (57 now) and it would give him time to become better known in the blue states that currently would not like his poor record on the environment (pro-Keystone XL pipeline) and wildlife protection (anti-Endangered Species Act).
The dilemma for Montana Democrats is how to choose between Baucus and Schweitzer if Schweitzer contends for the U.S. Senate seat in the Democratic primary in 2014?
For me, an independent, it is the quandary between voting for the ex-governor who selected me to serve on National Forest Committees three times, and who I talk to when he visits his Whitefish home, or the incumbent U.S. Senator who corresponds with me via email regularly about many diverse political issues, and I see on his rare visits to Flathead County. Who to choose?
Bill Baum, Kalispell