When people discuss potential candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2016, we see a list of all the heavyweights the Northeast has to offer: Clinton, Cuomo, Warren, O'Malley, Gillibrand, Biden, etc. I do not mean this as a criticism of any of these candidates or the people endorsing them. But out west, we have a Democrat who is the most popular governor in the country - in a red state.
While Democrats can and will continue to win elections with the current coalition, this country's future will get a lot brighter a lot faster if they can get the rest of the country on board with a forward-looking agenda. Like it or not, progressives will need large majorities if they want to retake the House this decade.
Governor Schweitzer ran 11 points ahead of Kerry in 2004 and 18 points ahead of Obama in 2008. He's maintained high approval ratings and he even had enough coattails to help fellow Democrat Steve Bullock succeed him as governor this year.
While governing a lily-white Safe Republican state with a Republican legislature, he has expanded wind power and access to higher education. Wind power could turn the Inland Empire into this century's biggest exporter of energy, but only if progressives lead the way.
Schweitzer has shown that you can win with people like Montanans without being a Republican or a Blue Dog. So far, he's got my vote for 2016.