After Kicking the Tires, Brian Schweitzer Says Nope to Senate Run

by lizard

Jon Tester “bet the farm” that Brian Schweitzer would throw his bolo tie into the race for Max’s senate seat. This morning Brian proved Jon wrong, and said no thank you to a senate run, so it’s a good thing the folksy phrases our politicians toss around are just rhetorical.

The Hill’s piece declares Brian’s decision “a major blow” for Democrat efforts to retain the seat.

And, of course, Republicans are trying to use today’s announcement to salt the field. From the article:

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.”

How much of that “rust” came from disgruntled Democrats? This politico article made folks like Don Pogreba very angry. This is how Don concludes his post:

As a final note to the Democratic sources who found it necessary to run to a D.C. journalist to tear down Schweitzer, why not have the courage of your convictions and give your names? It seems an awful lot like “bullying” to me to anonymously attack someone online. Democrats certainly don’t have to like Governor Schweitzer, but they also don’t need to be doing dirty campaigning for Republicans.

And in response to today’s news, Don put up another post, which concludes with this:

If there is any truth to the terrible Politico reporting that Democratic sniping against Schweitzer helped push him out of the race, I hope those Democrats are terribly satisfied with themselves. There’s nothing more energizing to Democratic candidates and supporters than knowing that people within the party are going to tear down candidates who don’t massage their egos sufficiently.

Schweitzer did have great polling in Montana, and likely would have given Daines or anyone else a fierce fight. But there is discontent out there regarding how Brian governed, and I certainly don’t blame the anonymous sources cited in the Politico article for wanting to be anonymous. This comment from one of Don’s post echoes the sentiment I’ve heard:

I’m glad he’s not running for Senate. Governor Schweitzer made some terrible personnel choices in his appointments, leading me to doubt his ability to govern rather than to react to affronts to his ego. You could always count on him to be on the side of whatever position would garner the most votes this week and get TV/radio/print time rather than making quiet, difficult choices. There was very little benefit in abusing the Republican’s in the legislature, and abusing staff in his executive departments, which he did routinely.

I’ve had beers with the guy at the Blackfoot, met him several times at his house and at events around town, think he is a likable fellow when he chooses to be, but he is clearly in need of adult supervision. I would not advise any close friends to work with him because I do not trust him or his motives. I agreed with some of his larger policy/budget choices, but not his style of governing or his willingness to shaft people who worked for him to get his way. It wasn’t a one time thing: it was a hallmark of his administration. We don’t need more people like that in positions of influence in DC.

Brian isn’t running, so squeeze out a few tears over a few beers, folks, and move on.

Oh, and I’d be willing to knock on doors for Denise Juneau. Just saying.


  1. The Democratic carpers have certainly guaranteed a Republican win. I don’t expect they understand what this will do to the national scene.

    I do know that Brian took many principled positions. Thank goodness he was there with his veto pen to curb some of the worst excesses of the Republican legislature.

    I’ve only met him once but our brief talk helped to resolve an anticipated major issue that came up a couple of years later.

    Juneau doesn’t have a chance, though I like her. She didn’t raise dough for her reelection.

    She ran a weak campaign against what should have been a very vulnerable candidate, based on the woman’s largely unexplored past in California and Montana.

    I found all sorts of questions to be raised and think there were many skeletons in her closet.

    Denise allowed herself to be trashed with no response. Politics is not for the faint hearted, these days.

    Anyone else of the stature needed to run? I’m certainly not aware of any.

    • lizard19

      did Jon Tester have the “stature” in 2006 to challenge Conrad Burns?

      defeatism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. if you and every other lamenting democrat say no one else has a chance, then no one else will have a chance.

  2. Big Johansson

    I was blown away. How does a mega-naricist ignore the whines and slobbering pleas from his party?

    Unless of course he’s looking at a bigger prize.

    Regardless, something tells me it wasn’t a lock. And a loss at this stage spells doom for anything else.

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