The good gov., murder in Missoula, Rehberg revisited

by Pete Talbot

The topics above are too abbreviated to stand alone. So, instead of making separate posts, here’s my abridged take on some current events.

Governor Schweitzer has an electric, new message.

He was in Missoula last night for a fundraiser. I hadn’t seen him for a while so I went to hear what he had to say.

He still has it: that glad-handing, kissing babies, intimate sort of charisma.

But he has a new message, at least in Missoula. It’s not the clean coal mantra but electric. He spoke at length about electric cars, the energy to power these cars and the new, electric, alternative-energy economy, and he did it well.

Some would say it’s a pie-in-the-sky vision like coal gasification and carbon sequestration. I’ll take a clean-electric vision over a coal-powered vision any day of the week, though.

I would have liked to hear more about how this new, electric economy affects growth, transportation and sustainability in Western Montana, but it’s a start. And I’m sure we’ll hear more about it as the campaign progresses.

It will also be interesting to hear what his opponent, oilman Roy Brown, has to say on the subject of clean, alternative energy.

I’ve been disappointed on the coverage by the local media of Missoula’s most recent murder. This was a horrendous crime and deserves follow up.

I want to know more about the victim and his circumstances. How does a Missoula resident and veteran end up on the riverfront at night in the middle of winter?

I want to know more about the alleged murderers. What sort of rage prompts this kind of attack? Was there anything in these kids’ previous behavior that should have tipped somebody off?

Mainly, I want to know how this could have happened in my hometown. There probably aren’t any simple answers but I hope someone is doing some investigative reporting. Maybe if we can put a face on the victim and get some insight into the perpetrators, we can begin to understand this heinous attack, and maybe in the future we can avoid a repetition of such a sick act.

Congressman Rehberg surprised me.

As readers well know, I’m not a big fan of Denny’s. His consistent support of Bush’s policies, his total disregard for those less fortunate and his disdain for the environment are just a few of his failings, IMHO.

His statements last Friday to the Associated Press on the Republican presidential candidates, however, were a pleasant surprise and should be noted by Democratic candidates and consultants. Why is Denny plugging Rudy?

Both Jay and Matt over at Left in the West have a different take than I.

While I’m no big fan of Rudy Giuliani’s, either, I thought Rehberg had some interesting comments.

He held out no hope for John McCain’s candidacy. One would think that Rehberg would be more supportive of a fellow Westerner, and I certainly haven’t written off the Arizona Senator. What does Denny know that I don’t?

You also have to wonder why Rehberg isn’t promoting Mitt Romney, whose views seem to parallel our congressman’s. (Can you spell M-O-R-M-O-N?)

But the most surprising comments from Denny had to do with the “trust issue.”

According to Matt Gouras’ story, Rehberg said: “Montanans have a tendency to say, ‘You are more liberal than me so I don’t agree with your politics, but you are true to your philosophy, you articulate your philosophy, you don’t back off it,’ ” and voters in the state are willing to support such candidates.

Those whose positions shift, as Romney’s have, get lower marks, Rehberg said. Of the way Romney is perceived in Montana, Rehberg said, “So you look like you are changing your position to curry my vote.”

This has been a debate among political consultants for awhile: do voters prefer a candidate who stands by his beliefs and can articulate them or do they prefer a candidate who says the things that voters want to hear, whether those things change from time-to-time, depending on who the candidate is speaking to?

As the polls here in Montana start to come out, we’ll see if Rehberg is correct in his assumption of the “trust issue.”

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  1. goof houlihan

    So, did the gub come over from Helena in an electric car, or a big black suburban. No, it’s NOT a question.

    Some of that “do as I say not as I do” leadership, it seems.

    Maybe he could join Al Gore and jet around the country promoting, er, campaigning for, uh, discussing global warming.

  2. JC

    My daughter texted me a quote from a speech the gov gave to her government class at Hellgate yesterday:

    “Go live naked in a tree and eat nuts.”

    She said he was referring to ‘hypocritical environmentalists who say they are against using hydrocarbons, while still driving cars and using computers and stuff.’

    Hope we had a good production of whitebark pine nuts this year, or he might get hungry. ;-)

  3. Ayn Rand

    The gob came to Missoula in his shiney airplane, which he lives in about three days a week. BTW, I would like to know what is going to be used to produce all that electricity to charge all those batteries? Maybe, each gas ( re-charging station) could have a windmill out front. Look out birds! Or, we could use hydro-electric, no , that would hurt the fish. When will we Montanans get some answers?

  4. I’m confused. Is it a “trust issue” or “truth issue”?

  5. petetalbot

    Although I suppose “truth” and “trust” are somewhat interchangeable, it’s supposed to read “trust.” I’ve made the change. Thanks, Carol.




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