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"This Democrat thinks he can win in 2016 as the anti-Obama" on the MSNBC website by Benjy Sarlin says:

The former governor is gambling that Democrats won’t just want an alternative to Clinton in 2016–they’ll want a complete and total rejection of the Obama presidency.
(See article on MSNBC, no video.)

I don't think Democrats want a rejection of Obama's work. But we sure do need something better than more of the same.

Sarlin goes on to say Schweitzer slammed "Obama’s record on civil liberties (the NSA revelations were 'un-effing-believable'), his competency ('They just haven’t been very good at running things'), and above all, Obamacare ('It will collapse on its own weight')." I can't fault him there. And I certainly don't want the Republican alternative, whatever that will be. Imagine a Republican President in charge of the NSA. (Mitt Romney said in his campaign that there were two kinds of law, the normal law and the law of war, and if the administration thought you fell into the second category then constitutional guarantees didn't apply.)

So, I would like to find someone who will run as a real Democrat, and then govern as a real Democrat. My suspicion is that Schweitzer, however, would not be sufficiently popular with progressives.

My question for the day is: do you think Schweitzer should run?


Is Brian Schweitzer the best Democratic candidate for President in 2016?

22%41 votes
44%81 votes
30%55 votes
2%4 votes

| 181 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Given Schweitzer's positions (16+ / 0-)

    on the environment, women's rights, guns, and a host of other issues the guy is barely a Democrat. Montana wants him fine, not so much the country.

    If you are against sane gun regulations then by definition you support 30,000 deaths a year by firearms.

    by jsfox on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:02:51 AM PST

  •  I think Schweitzer is running. (15+ / 0-)

    He may find that the rest of US is not like Montana.

    Running against Obama and Clinton likely will alienate most Dems.

    He may have a problem with Latinos and African Americans, although he might play well in West Virginia.  

    I think he is going nowhere.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:04:59 AM PST

    •  From the link. (10+ / 0-)
      A Schweitzer presidential candidacy would be a long shot by any measure. He has no national profile and a heterodox political persona that’s served him well in rural, libertarian, and energy rich Montana but doesn’t necessarily sync with the average Democratic primary voter. Clinton, while still undeclared, is such an overwhelming favorite that donors-in-waiting are already competing for territory.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:06:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another point. (9+ / 0-)
        The left-leaning issues Schweitzer is most passionate about– single-payer health care, civil liberties, pulling troops out of Afghanistan – are areas where Obama has run into trouble with progressive activists. But he skews right on issues like expanding domestic oil and coal production and protecting gun rights, where Obama has held relatively strong with his base.
        Afghanistan may not be an issue by 2016.  Civil liberties are important, but many Dems don't vote on them.  Love to have single payer, but we barely got ACA.  

        Meanwhile, he alienates many progressives on the environment.  And regardless of one's views on HRC, she has strong Latino and AA support.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:10:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me add this. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TooFolkGR, FiredUpInCA, Deep Texan, doroma
          “I think what Bill de Blasio is talking about is absolutely correct,” Schweitzer said of the new mayor of New York City, who was elected in a landslide by focusing on economic inequality. “The gap between haves and the have-nots is growing.”
          Interesting article.  

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:16:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I Think This is Doable (7+ / 0-)
      Running against Obama and Clinton likely will alienate most Dems.
      Which is to say, I think it's possible to articulate Democratic position alternatives to Obama and Clinton and win... but I agree that nobody who actually directly attacks the Obama Presidency has a fractional chance of winning the nomination.
      •  I think HRC will do a dance (4+ / 0-)

        of overall support and some differences, but never alienate Obama supporters.  I expect her to be more economically populist than she used to be, at least verbally.

        It's a fine line.  She has to be herself (and not just a copy), but she can't alienate.  Gore had that problem in 2000, plus some others.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:12:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whether or Not One Thinks (12+ / 0-)

    Schweitzer is the best candidate is a completely different question than asking whether or not he should run.  It's not clear to my why your poll question is different than your "Question of the Day."

    I enjoy a primary featuring different points of view, because it forces all candidates to speak to issues they would rather not speak to.  I also expect the Republican primary to be pretty brutal, so I'm not super-concerned about the risks typically associated with a diverse primary slate.

    As long as the candidates respect each other, and their supporters respect the outcome of the primary, let Schweitzer and anyone else for that matter run.

    That said - I have pretty significant reservations about his ability to carry Montana in a Presidential election... and anybody who says Obamacare will "collapse under its own weight" (which is pretty straightforward code for opposition to "entitlement" spending in general) is almost certainly not going to get a primary vote from me.

    •  Yes, It's Two Questions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That way I get more comments.

      I have pretty significant reservations about his positions on a number of things. Let's just mention oil, for example. I'm not a proponent of oil, even for the purpose of energy independence. But I do like what he says about many things, healthcare included. And, we still backed Obama (and in the primaries, Hillary Clinton and others) even though we did not agree with all their positions.

      ACA is not the final answer to the healthcare crisis. It has a number of nice features, but it does not cut costs enough to be viable as a long-term solution. In the economic sense, it will "collapse under its own weight". I think Schweitzer is right about it. There are good parts and bad parts to ACA, and I'm against the bad parts and for the good parts. I think Schweitzer may be in the same category.

    •  "As long as the candidates respect each other" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma, TooFolkGR

      Schweitzer lost that particular invisible primary where he said he couldn't name a single major accomplishment of Obama other than being the first black president.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:01:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I still prefer Elizabeth Warren (6+ / 0-)

    but its good to hear other Dem leaders speaking out on the need to restore our Party's good reputation.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:09:35 AM PST

  •  No, this is stupid (6+ / 0-)

    He doesn't understand politics very well if he thinks this is a path to the nomination or a way to strengthen the party.  Doing better on these issues is a great idea.  But you're not going to get close if you can't talk the talk.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:10:28 AM PST

  •  I'm having flashbacks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Loge

    to the days of "Joe-mentum."

  •  Depends on how bad the economy is (3+ / 0-)

    for the next three years.  Stays like it is or gets worse running against Obama might work.  The ACA is unpopular enough I doubt it will matter one way or another.

    •  It's all about the economy (8+ / 0-)

      Unless DC Dems can create some jobs and reduce unemployment, we face an uphill battle defending our party's candidates and policies in 2014 and 2016.

      Voters don't like the GOP, but they expect Democrats to follow older tradition by standing up to them when their policies become abusive and counterproductive.

      If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:20:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dems Can't Do Anything, That's a Given. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, TJ

        There's no serious chance of retaking the House.

        They got nothing but the one thing they're consistently worse at: motivating.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:49:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  a skilled politician (5+ / 0-)

    will adapt his/her positions to the electorate.  What I like about Schweitzer is he does not take any crap from the ReThugs and knows how to stage good political theater.  He would not need 5 years of abuse to learn to stand up to the RePiglicans. He could end up as more effective for us than Hillary.   I say give him a chance and see what positions he advocates as a presidential candidate.

  •  The nomination is available and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scott jones, Liberal Thinking

    Schweitzer sounds to me as if he's interested.  

    He likely isn't going to be the only Democrat in the mix, though.  And a lot of Democratic primary voters who might otherwise like him are not anti-Obama.

    I'd like to see Brian Schweitzer reconsider his policy on wolves, for example.  

    It's a political risk, IMO, for someone to run to the right of the party's center.  It's understandably difficult to mobilize progressives in support of a candidacy which, if successful, would potential erode the things that usually motivate progressive in the first place.  

  •  The only real way he might be the "anti-Obama" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking

    is that he's much more upfront about his antipathy towards progressives.

    And maybe there's more blizzards in Montana than Hawaii, but I'd have to look into that more carefully to be sure.

  •  Interesting story in the article (7+ / 0-)

    About Obama's pressure on Schweitzer when he was promoting the public option.

    From the MSNBC article in your diary

    Schweitzer was concerned the emerging legislation would rely too heavily on expanding Medicaid, which he complained could prove too costly for states and give conservative governors room to undermine coverage. He wanted a strong public option, which Obama favored but the Senate would soon jettison to appease wavering Democrats. Schweitzer had campaigned on importing cheaper drugs from Canada (he personally bused seniors across the border to buy medicine) and wanted the government to negotiate lower prices, two policies that the White House rejected to secure alternative savings and pharmaceutical industry support.

    After the speeches were over, Obama sat Schweitzer down for a private talk. According to Schweitzer, the president said his voice wasn’t helping the health care debate and asked him to step away. The White House, through a spokeswoman, disputed his account.

    Emphasis mine.  I agree with Schweitzer's message about how corporate donors have had a debilitating influence on current DC Dem public policy.  As Democrats, we can't continue down this road and gain the respect of the voting public.

    If cutting Social Security & Medicare benefits for low income seniors is what Democrats do after they win a budget standoff, I'd hate to see what they do after they lose one.

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:17:18 AM PST

  •  I think he's good. (5+ / 0-)

    I think he would have a hard time winning the primary though.

    He is more of a populist than a liberal. I think he would have more broad appeal in the general election due to some of his libertarian type views regarding individuals and his views of gov't where it comes to inequality and economic fairness.

    However he would face the same problem as Christie in the primary.  He's not quite socially liberal enough on some issues.

    In a contest between he and Hillary I think it would come down to the issues.

    If you were for a more hawkish foreign policy, and stronger regulation on guns and the environment, minority rights,with less emphasis on reigning in the corporate elite, and wall street then Hillary would be  your woman.

    If you were more concerned with middle class jobs, inequality, and doing something about the financial industry and maybe taking a look at some of the spying issues and so called free trade agreements Schweitzer might be the one.

    •  I Think That Gives Him a Good Chance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The country really cares about jobs and inequality. They are also quite tired of having all their hard work stolen by Wall Street and entrenched elites. So, I think Schweitzer has a strong case. And I doubt many people like our hawkish foreign policy unless they work for a defense contractor.

    •  So really, (0+ / 0-)

      if Governor Schweitzer were on the ticket as VP, he would offer a great deal of balance, and likely do no harm to, lets say, Hillary.

      But he first has to show us he's ready for prime time by entering the ring.

  •  Runing for VP, perhaps? (4+ / 0-)

    Notice: This Comment © 2014 ROGNM UID 2547

    by ROGNM on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:28:28 AM PST

    •  His VP Ought To Be Inslee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If he wants to appeal to progressives in the party, he could look to someone like Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who is a real progressive. A candidacy with two strong governors would be extremely attractive and I think on policy they would have a very compelling message.

  • just changed their headline (8+ / 0-)

    from the "Anti-Obama", to "the Democrat's Prairie Populist".

    I guess someone must have complained - and rightfully so.  If he's running as the "Anti-Obama", he ain't goin' nowhere.

  •  Work Calls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    I'll be back later to see what other comments have come in. Thank you all for commenting!

  •  Since I'm pretty sure Warren isn't running (4+ / 0-)

    Schweitzer might just be the person who can force Hillary Clinton leftward on economic matters.  I can definitely see him getting traction in Iowa and New Hampshire where they like maverick-y insurgent types.

    I still think Clinton will win the nomination largely because as TomP writes above I don't see Schweitzer connecting well with social liberals, minorities, and women who make up the Dem base.  But Clinton needs to be pushed strongly to the left on economic matters.  That's where a guy like Schweitzer can be of great utility.

    I'll also add that if Obama's popularity is in 2016 where it currently is, whoever the Dem nominee is will have to put some distance between herself/himself and Obama but not completely break from Obama lest they alienate a goodly number of the Dem base, minorities in particular.  

    "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

    by puakev on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:15:56 AM PST

    •  She Will Need a Good Push (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree that Clinton would need a very strong push from the left to make her acceptable to progressives. I can't see her pushing the healthcare issue again on her own. I don't think she'd rein in the NSA or the other 20 spy agencies, or the Pentagon. I can't see how she'd rein in Wall Street, either. No Democrat is going to go after guns, at least not before their second term.

      Schweitzer might not be perfect for progressives, but Hillary is not a progressive and probably can't be made into one. Can you think of one progressive cause Hillary would take on and really push?

      I also agree that the next candidate needs to put some distance between him/herself and President Obama. I'm just hoping that the way they do it is to point out where Obama did not go far enough in the liberal direction. Like on healthcare. It's obvious that what we needed was to dump the for-profit system and go to a more progressive answer. One thing I like about Schweitzer is that the distinction he makes is that the President didn't go far enough. Obama adopted a Republican position on it. The message here should be: "The Republican position is never right. I might compromise, but only if they move equally or more in the Democratic direction."

      Once you give up the high ground of having the correct position, you can only retreat and retreat. The person at the top of the ticket has to be a strong advocate of Democratic positions. In general, the core Democratic positions are liberal positions. That's because that's just the best answer to political questions. So, a Democratic candidate, like Bill Clinton, who bites his lip and says that maybe conservatives are right on some things is not a leader of the Democratic Party. It has to be someone with a liberal core. It's vital for protecting all the candidates for down ballot offices.

      Can Schweitzer be that? I don't know, given his positions on some things, but that's what we need. Let's see if he can measure up.

  •  Brian Schweitzer is a coal pimp. (0+ / 0-)

    Opportunistic stunt man.

    •  Here's the question though on coal (4+ / 0-)

      OK in most coal states a significant part of the state's revenue has to come from coal taxes.

      Coal jobs are not that much of a big deal anymore because many mines  are scab and with mountaintop removal they just don't employ that many.

      BUT in many rural communities mining is the only good job.

      A LOT of people would be WITH the democrats in coal country if they didn't think they were trying to take their jobs.

      So really it comes down to this:

      Does the democratic party totally write off coal producing areas??

      If Al Gore had won WV for instance we would have had no 9/11, probably no Iraq. No Bush tax cuts. Hell we might have even had a surplus.

      The less coal is part of the economy in those states and the less coal jobs then the more the residents want a clean environment.

      But can that goal be achieved by using regs to shut down mines and coal fired plants and moving the people from their 70K mining jobs to 8 bucks and hour Subway??

      Or should we try to build a majority INCLUDING those people and then use democratic social and economic policies to create a diversified economy in rural area where mining is not the only thing generating prosperity so people have an education, and other good jobs??

      Something to consider.

    •  Coal is a toxic loser. (0+ / 0-)

      The coal industry destroys the landscape, poisons the water, pollutes the air and corrupts our government.

      Take those jobs and shove 'em.

      Development of just a small fraction of Montana's wind power potential would create enormous local economic benefits. In 2010, the wind industry supported 100 to 500 jobs in the state, directly or indirectly. According to results from a recent modeling analysis, a single 150-MW wind project in Montana would produce 806 jobs and $81.2 million in local economic activity during its construction phase. Operating the plant would generate 42 full-time-equivalent local jobs, $2.2 million in property taxes, and $6.1 million in economic benefit to the local economy each year.

      If 25 such wind facilities were built in Montana (for 3,750 MW of wind power, an achievable goal), the result would be tens of thousands of construction jobs, 1,050 permanent jobs, $56 million in annual property tax revenue, and $152 million per year in ongoing positive economic impact on local communities.

  •  This: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, Sylv, Deep Texan

    "Anybody who says Obamacare will "collapse under its own weight" (which is pretty straightforward code for opposition to "entitlement" spending in general) is almost certainly not going to get a primary vote from me."

    Me neither.  That's GOP/liberal purity bullshit.

    •  That's Not What the Economy Says (0+ / 0-)

      Healthcare became an issue when costs soared over 15% of GDP. Until they go back down, they will continue to eat away at the economy. One reason we don't have a roaring economy right now is that healthcare soaks up so much of the money. That money has to come from somewhere and it comes from other sectors: food, clothing, housing, transportation.

      The good news is that ACA has cut the increase this year. But that's still an increase. It still went up about another 0.1% of GDP.

      So, yes, it will collapse under its own weight. We have to compete with countries paying vastly less than we do. And Schweitzer is correct that we should have had a public option and we should have had group buys for drugs. That's not even that radical, but it's clearly necessary if we will continue to see extreme costs.

      To get our healthcare down to an "affordable, universal" system we would need to cut about $650 billion a year from costs. We are not going to get there on a for-profit system.

      I don't understand why you equate his position with being against entitlement spending. He's praised the Canadian system, which sounds like an entitlement to me.

      I wish he'd go all the way and embrace my position, which is that we need to a publicly-funded healthcare system. By that I mean one where the federal government pays for all essential healthcare out of a progressive tax. That would immediately cut the costs by eliminating hundreds of billions in waste. We don't need for-profit companies to do what is essentially a government service: collect money for healthcare and distribute the healthcare.

      But fundamentally, his criticism of ACA is the same as mine: it doesn't solve the basic economic problem that made this a political issue. The next effort better solve that problem. I think it will because the books don't balance. That can only go on so long.

  •  If the white guy from Wyoming (6+ / 0-)

    wants to run as "the anti-Obama" in the communities of color that supported the President, let him.  Frankly, I'd fire whomever thought that was a winning slogan to "unite" the progressive wings of the Democratic coalition.  If he wants to run for the "disenfranchised" straight white male vote against Barack Obama or even against Hillary Clinton let him - Romney won white men and white women by large margins.  And lost.

    If he wants to run as a progressive, let him remember that people of color have historically supported the Democratic Presidential candidates even as they often sold us down the river on bread and butter issues.  If Schweitzer believes he could have gotten us a pure single payer through the same Blue Dog Dems and Republican haters of the last 6 years, then he's delusional.  He's right to criticize some of the failings of ACA, but if he believes it will and should collapse on its own weight, I'll never vote for him.  Millions more individuals, parents, children, families have health care now who didn't have it before Obamacare.  It may not be good enough for Schweitzer who can afford his own health insurance without ACA, but for millions who can't, it's a godsend.

    I'll vote for Elizabeth Warren!  or Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden.  I'd like to vote for Schweitzer because I have liked him in the past but if this diary is reflective of him today, he's off my list.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:59:27 AM PST

    •  born in and governor of Montana (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox, Uncle Moji

      It's kind of a wide square state above Wyoming.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:17:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup, I know. It was an attempt at a "duh" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Thinking, ban nock

        but I forgot to put "Wyoming" in quotes before I hit the post button.  

        I am from the West.  Traveled through both Wyoming and Montana.  Lived in Colorado.  And I know how to pronounce Nevada.  

        But thanks for the official correction.  Though I consider Montana more rectangular than square.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:47:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Anti-anti-Obama (0+ / 0-)

      I think the "Anti-Obama" was the idea of a headline writer at MSNBC, not Schweitzer.

      While I understand your criticism, Schweitzer's criticism of ACA was that it wasn't Democratic or progressive enough. I think even Obama could have gotten a better deal with the Republicans, probably even a public option, if he'd put more into it and Democrats had been less willing in general to compromise. YMMV.

      Schweitzer is obviously a long-shot. His value at this point is to create debate on the liberal side of the equation. I don't think Obama is hurt by discussions of how he could have been more liberal. What are the Republicans going to do with that information? Claim Obama isn't liberal enough?

      A bigger problem for me is his cavalier attitude about fossil fuels. Still, that isn't going to mean much. The political climate on that is going to be dictated by the climate. By 2016 I think the question the public will be asking is how quickly can the next President act to avert a climate crisis. But being a big proponent of shale oil and coal isn't exactly a platform to inspire confidence with that public.

      So, I guess, chill. You may need it in the decade to come!

      •  Schweitzer couldn't "think of" anything (0+ / 0-)

        significant Obama has done that he can support.  Schweitzer has a bigger problem than his cavalier attitudes about fossil fuels, he has an ego problem.  And like Governor Traffic Jam, this will not end well for him.  

        He thinks he can alienate Democratic constituencies of color (who are tired of being promised access to health care by decades of liberal Democratic politicians - including Ted Kennedy who were never able to deliver anything but "wait wait, we promise we'll get you something better even if you have to die and go bankrupt waiting for us another 30 years") by dismissing the only Black President (to deliver some access to non-junk health care for millions who never had it before him) we've had in 300 years as irrelevant or not progressive enough.  Spoken from the privilege wealth and access can use to buy the time to "hold out for something better, honest."  We're tired of buying well-meaning promissory notes that come due either never or could have come due if only if.  BS

        Schweitzer's answer is the white guy's answer from a state with 0.3% black people, 0.5% Asians, and 2.0% Latinos.   All members of the Democratic coalition without whom no Democrat can win - no Democrat has won the white vote since Lyndon Johnson.  

        White democrats have to stop thinking that they can win without understanding the impact of how they frame progressive positions as if they are race neutral, and theoretical, they are not.  Access to health care, poverty, public schools, the death penalty, gun control, clean air and water, unemployment insurance, mortgage fraud by banks, reliance on fossil fuels, global climate change are all issues that disproportionately impact or harm Democratic communities of color.  

        We're all in this together.  And Schweitzer seems to have forgotten that.  But he's a very bright man, and perhaps he has time to remember.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 09:06:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Any democrat (5+ / 0-)

    is better than any republican.

    And even though I opposed the wars, I voted for Hillary in 2008.  I thought Senator Obama was too young, but would have been an amazing choice for VP.

    Senator Obama won the right to be president; he beat both the seasoned Hillary Clinton and two-time presidential loser Senator McCain.

    If Governor Schweitzer can impress democratic primary voters, then he too will earn my admiration.

    I need to see him stand toe-to-toe with other democratic hopefuls before determining that his gravitas is Presidential.

    More people come and go from Manhattan island each day than live in Montana.  So it's not as if he ran a large state government.  Also, his positive record on job creation has more to do with the discovery of natural resources than growing jobs via public policy.  His folksy nature (i.e., bolo ties) makes me curious about his foreign policy understandings.

    Is he a nice, likable guy?  Yes.

    Is he qualified?  Maybe.

    Regardless, he's still better than any republican.

  •  He's sounding more like Rand Paul (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    than any Democrat I know of.

    Screw him. I wouldn't vote for him for dog catcher after his latest screed.

    Libertarianism is just Fascism with a facelift. Scratch the surface of Libertarianism and you will find the notion that corporations should rule supreme, just as it was with Fascism..

    by Walt starr on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:12:36 AM PST

    •  That's funny. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Thinking

      When we leftists proclaim we'll never vote for another 3rd Way pol like Hillary, we're lambasted as Naderites and told we'll be responsible for the makeup of the Supreme Court. It's OK, though, to boycott a Dem candidate who disses Obama?

      In 2006 Obama explicitly and definitively ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Can we please stop the "Warren won't run" bullshit?

      by WisePiper on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:50:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Your Problem With Rand Paul Is? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Generic Democrat


      I don't think Rand Paul is ever going to be the overwhelming choice of the Democratic Party, but he occasionally says things that make sense. His criticism of the government spying on you (that would be Paul or Schweizer, take your pick) is spot on.

      And, if we could just teach Paul simple human traits like empathy and charity, he'd probably make a good Senator.

      But comparing Schweitzer to Paul is probably leaving out quite a lot of material.

    •  When did Rand Paul (0+ / 0-)

      Advocate for single-payer?

      “The Republicans believe in the minimum wage — the more the minimum, the better.”-Harry S Truman

      by Generic Democrat on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 12:23:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  His position on issues or how he likes the Prez (0+ / 0-)

    is inconsequential. The only thing that matters is can he get the votes and does he have the stamina and self control to win.

    First duty of a Dem candidate is to win, all else is secondary.

    I'd like to see more of him on TV, especially fielding tough questions. How does he do when he's rattled or tired?

    I'd no idea who Obama was until after he was elected, and to tell you the truth I didn't care, all I knew was Obama had the mojo and the smarts to win.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:13:49 AM PST

    •  ban, your bald declaration epitomizes why (0+ / 0-)

      the Party is in the sorry fucking state it is now:

      His position on issues ... is inconsequential.
      First duty of a Dem candidate is to win, all else is secondary.
      This attitude, adopted by our base over these past three decades, is the get out of jail free card for our elected officials. Ever since the so-called Reagan Revolution, as the Repubs have moved radically rightward, we've cast our votes out of fear of their agenda, rather than in support of ours.

      Result: Our candidates don't give a rat's ass about keeping faith with the Party's traditional values. There's no accountability. We'll pull the D lever regardless of stated agenda or job performance, as long as they tack on that D suffix. We've become a party of lemmings, willfully marching through the Overton Window, and right off the cliff.

      In 2006 Obama explicitly and definitively ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Can we please stop the "Warren won't run" bullshit?

      by WisePiper on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:00:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm Going to Respectfully Disagree (0+ / 0-)

      I think it matters a great deal what the candidate stands for, and getting votes is strictly secondary to that. This is especially important for our party's presidential candidate. Whoever is at the top of the ticket provides cover for thousands of Democratic candidates. They cannot run on liberal positions if the person running at the top doesn't make a strong case for liberalism.

      That has an enormous impact on what kind of country we live in. Take Bill Clinton as an example. He ran on the premise he wasn't as liberal as the previous Democratic candidates. He therefore had to cave on issues like AFDC. And this wasn't necessary. I believe Clinton would have won just as well running as a Democrat. But the fall out would have been different. It would have knocked back Reaganism and restored some balance.

      Or, take free trade. It's been an economic disaster for the U.S. We've lost enormous numbers of jobs and it's hurt compensation for workers here. He could have run on managing trade, in a way that protected jobs and created balanced trade.

      All this gave the Democratic seal of approval to conservative ideas. The radicals on the right have taken that and run with it. The result was George W. Bush.

      And we are responsible for that. We, in the Democratic Party, allowed our candidate to take on that pseudo-conservative mantle and run with it.

      That was a mistake. Liberalism is the core of the Democratic Party. There's already a party for the establishment. That's the Republican Party. That's the party of the haves. That's the party for everyone who already gets what they need and want from the system as it runs. They don't need progress because they already get what they need. So, they aren't progressives. They don't need anyone to defend them against abuses of the establishment because they profit from those abuses. So, they aren't liberals.

      Liberalism is standing up against abuse. It stands up against the abuses of individuals by the government, of individuals by corporations, by religion, by tradition, by ideology, by all the powers that can abuse.

      We need a candidate that embraces liberalism and goes out in front of the public and defends it with all the strength that person has.

      So far, I haven't seen any candidates lately do that. Time's come.

  •  if he wants to run as a Thrid Way candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Free Jazz at High Noon

    then he should, and i'm sure he'd get plenty of support. He doesn't support core Democratic positions though, and i wouldn't vote for him in a primary (if that matters).

  •  I guess running (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, doroma

    against Obama in the democratic party is a winning strategy  on a national level we will see. Good luck to him because he will need it. I don't agree with everything this administration has done but to take this pasture is not going to get him anywhere . He won't get my vote.

  •  his personal decision (0+ / 0-)

    His real problem against Hillary will be his big impediment. That will be her huge money advantage.

    •  Money Is Her Disadvantage (0+ / 0-)

      Actually, Hillary's money is a huge problem. It ties her to Wall Street in a way that few Democrats feel comfortable with. I can sum up her problem there with two words:

      Goldman Sachs

      (Or, is that one word?)

      Schweitzer could do in this advantage with one commercial:


      Announcer: And Brian Schweitzer is an authentic Democrat from Montana. Hillary Clinton is from New York City.

      Chorus: New York City!

      Voice: Get your chaps, boys. We gotta ride!

      (With apologies to Pace.)

      I mean, the material practically writes itself.

  •  if he runs and Hillary is smart... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She'll distance herself early and often on his Obama issues revealed in this article, like...

    --is a talker but screws up his face and thinks and thinks, but can't come up with anything good Obama has accomplished except getting elected while Black--

    And other stuff like "there are no good guys in the Middle East, just bad guys and allies,"

    But use him as a foil for getting pushed to the left on economic and other issues. If she wins the nomination, though, the last thing she will need (if she plans on recreating the winning Obama coalition) is this guy and his views doing the albatross thing should he be selected as VP. After 2008, she simply can't afford it.  

    As for him winning the nom himself, with articles like this rattling around out there, I think that's already pretty much a "no."

    True radicalism is finding reasons for hope, not grounds for despair. - Ray Williams

    by Nanette K on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 12:54:44 PM PST

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