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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.

Originally posted to Fred Flinstone 85 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Montana Kossaks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I like it (6+ / 0-)

    He definitely belongs on the list

    I Support Puerto Rican Statehood

    by InsultComicDog on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:34:03 AM PST

  •  I'm a BIG Schweitzer fan... (12+ / 0-)

    for lots of reasons -- in particular, he's a maverick, the gun crazies won't have anything to fear (they already don't but anyway), he'll get lots of support from mountain states and he's environmentally light years beyond President Obama.  And he MAY even be able to tell Wall Street and K Street to f**k off.

    A closed mind believes the future and the present will be the same, attempting to counteract an underlying fear that the future will be worse than the present, which inhibits the tendency to question at all. (Paraphrasing "A Course in Miracles.")

    by ceebee7 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:42:04 AM PST

    •  clean coal aside, that is (3+ / 0-)

      I agree, he'd be a great candidate.  And his profile is more appealing than any of the other B-listers.

      Of course, if Hillary ran, I'd support her.  And I doubt the governor or many others would be foolish enough to challenge her.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:47:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Many wolves would readily disagree!! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, RamblinDave, martini

      He would have a huge problem with the large and vocal animal lover crowd who would actively work against him especially in any Democratic primary.  His opponents could just 'cry wolf'!

      He also does not come across so well on live television where he seems to struggle and can be somewhat tongue-tied in live interviews.

      Those who dwell among the beauty and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. ~Rachel Carson

      by Norwegian Chef on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:17:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought Schweitzer (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, martini, Brian A, ConfusedSkyes

        gave the 2nd best received speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008?

        You know, right behind some junior senator from Illinois.....and considered better than the speech from some junior senator from New York.

        And BTW I take Hillary at her word that she will NOT run in 2016.
        FWIW

        Shalom.

        "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

        by WineRev on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:43:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He actually saved many more elk and moose. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini

        Probably between him and Tester they've saved thousands and thousands of baby elk from horrid deaths. Michael Vick and his supporters in the animal rights crowd might not like him but a lot of others do.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:43:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What is It With Wolves? (0+ / 0-)

        They are not puppies. They are not friendly. They run down the elk, tear their throats out and eat them raw.

        The coyotes are all hiding in the urban areas of Montana because they are so scared of them, (and so are the deer). Wolves kill livestock and they make it pretty scary to hike in formerly peaceful mountain areas of Montana. They do have their place in the ecosystem, but they are aggressive predators and need to be controlled like any other. AND, it sucks that idiots with no understanding of the the western ecosystem have taken the wolves on as their cause celebre. Wolves are big, grey, they have long teeth and they love Bambi for breakfast. Schweitzer and Tester and Rehberg were right to get them delisted.

        If a bunch of uncomprehending East Coasters don't understand that then they need to get a new hobby.

  •  I love this guy! (4+ / 0-)

    (I'd consider voting for him just for his witty, down-home colloquialisms. lol)

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 01:16:13 AM PST

  •  There's a slight flaw in your thesis. (7+ / 0-)

    Governor Schweitzer has been here in New York City on a number of occasions, as has Senator Tester, and the reception is usually rapturous.

    It doesn't really matter to many of us, I think at least, where someone comes from. What matters is that they deliver on the electoral map.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 02:29:06 AM PST

    •  What they deliver in office most important (0+ / 0-)

      of all. I don't know enough about Schweitzer to say one way or the other. If red state people elected him, I'm thinking there's something in there that'd be a significant compromise. Don't know what it might be and know I could be wrong, but I'd like to see a comprehensive list of issue positions. I'm inclined to think in 2016 and beyond we'll be increasingly less in need of a compromise candidate.

      Obama ran and won on a pretty progressive campaign/agenda, but he framed progressive values as American values, no apologies. This is the key to the future for us. From what I do know of Schweitzer, he seems like a guy who could sell progressivism as true Americanism, but I personally need more info to be assured that there aren't any major progressive values where he falls significantly short..

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:38:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's Run Twice as a Progressive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JTinDC

        And, for all his progressive campaigning, in term one, Obama governed with an agenda that was somewhere between Eisenhower's and Nixon's....

        Schweitzer's governing agenda was very similar to Obama's, although a bit more pro-coal than I'd prefer as a part of a very aggressive, (and very successful), Montana energy development agenda. He did a great job with creating a fiscal surplus, helped get some green energy projects funded, including a number of wind and biofuel projects (and our algae/organic-fertilizer producing Green Power House project previously diaried on DKos. He's vetoed, with a branding iron!, a lot of really bad legislation that's come out of the Republican Legislature. He was quick with a meme and a story. (Said he wasn't going to run for the House or Senate.."because I'm not corrupt enough for the House, or senile enough for the Senate!") He's fluent in Arabic, is profoundly knowledgeable on agricultural, water and energy issues and gets along really well with everyday folks on both sides of the aisle. He's definitely a national level candidate.

        •  and his views on (0+ / 0-)

          marriage equality? abortion rights? would he be a war hawk? where's he at on regulating the banking industry? will he look out for the needs of the poor and middle clas over the whims of the 1%?

          Will he go whole hog on green engery and can he get in his right mind on coal? Cuz if the next president doesn't do that then we are screwed as far as being able to even mitigate let alone avoid the coming devastation of climate change. We really cannot afford to kick that can much futher at all.

          IMO, electability isn't the issue. We're going to have several electable candidates from which to chose. I want us to chose the most progressive electable candidate and while Schweitzer may be a decent choice I'm far from convinced that there isn't a better choice.

          Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

          by JTinDC on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:04:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't mean to say the East Coast (0+ / 0-)

      has a problem with him. The "East Coast Bias" thing was mostly in jest. But it is true that the media are mostly based in the East, and they tend to talk about politicians they are most familiar with.

  •  Warren- Castro 2016!!! (0+ / 0-)

    We have to retain and expand our advantage among women, young and Hispanic voters.

    That's a fatal duo!!!

    •  I say again: No, no, NO! (0+ / 0-)

      I want Warren in the Senate for life! We haven't had someone with a bullshit detector like hers in that body for a while! She's also got a will to fight for the people that matches the guy she (should have) replaced: Ted Kennedy!

      "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

      by Oliver Tiger on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:12:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd vote for him (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tzager, WineRev, JamesGG, brooklyns finest

    ...if he got the nomination.  However, for the good of the country and the party, I think it is time to nominate a woman.  Although I like Warren, she would be 67 in 2016; if you look at Romney's run at the age of 65, he didn't have the stamina to campaign as hard as he should.  Gillibrand seems like a logical choice and would be 50 in 2016.  She must be popular in NY for a reason.

    •  Like Schweitzer, she can thread the needle (4+ / 0-)

      She got her start in a semi-red district just north of me, and beat a GOP establishment candidate and a Rich Guy who threw tons of cash at her. When she got Hillary's slot in the Senate, she tacked left to represent downstate NY as well as upstate NY. She's done solid work, and she's a name for the future. You pair her with Schweitzer and you've got a team that knows how to get both sides of the scale to relate to them and support them -- and that's how you win elections, people!

      "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

      by Oliver Tiger on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:16:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Personally, I'm all in for Schweitzer/Gillibrand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WineRev, brooklyns finest

      in 2016.  In fact, I might start placing bets.

      Culbert Olson is my hero!

      by chemborg on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:24:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Hillary will be 69 in 2016. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trillian

      That would make her the oldest President to be elected to a first term since Ronald Reagan (who was also 69 in 1980.)

      She is retiring from the State Department and RETIRING. She said it. I believe it.

      Let's move on to someone else.

      Shalom.

      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:46:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're the Democratic Party (0+ / 0-)

      We shouldn't play identity politics.  We should nominate the best candidate, whether that candidate be a man, a woman, white, or brown, straight or gay.  These factors should not play into our decision.  That is what makes us great compared to the Republicans, for whom identity politics is still a huge deal.

      "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it... unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -The Buddha

      by Brian A on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:33:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What East Coast bias? (11+ / 0-)

    In the last 8 elections, we've only nominated someone from the east coast twice (Dukakis, Kerry). Mondale and Obama are from the upper midwest, and Clinton and Gore are southerners.

    But, I do agree that Schweitzer deserves a good look for President in 2016.

  •  I like Schweitzer fine, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal, Woody

    Is he really likely to make any of the Mountain West competitive besides Montana (where we already have an outside shot much of the time)? I don't see him swinging any other state, although really we don't need it if push comes to shove. It'd be nice for bragging rights to say we picked up Wyoming or either of the Dakotas, for example, but it's not likely we'd need them.

    And I'd have to agree with Metal Prophet about East Coast bias or the lack thereof. The Northeast is probably the region where it matters LEAST to voters where you come from. For all Scott Brown's efforts to make an issue of Elizabeth Warren's ethnicity, nobody complained about her being from Oklahoma. If it were the other way around, i.e. if she were from Massachusetts and running in Oklahoma, it might not be fatal but it would certainly be an issue.

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:22:10 AM PST

    •  No state pick up but I think he expands and deepen (5+ / 0-)

      The Democratic Party.

      He's non wonky, populist, liberal. I think he can pull people toward our party and our message who won't listen to Liz Warren. I mean, she doesn't bring a state either, right?

      Schweitzer is our "GOP shiv".

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:33:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Opening up new fronts (0+ / 0-)

      First, we have to assume that just about any Democratic candidate that doesn't have major failings or skeletons in the closet is going to get most of the states that PBO just got. Battlegrounds not withstanding, of course.

      But with someone like Gov. Schweitzer, we now conceivably get some new states in play in the rural areas that weren't before. Montana, Arizona, Missouri, even the Dakotas might now be in serious play with a Westerner like Schweitzer who has delivered on a policy level and who understands how these people are wired.

      I know that the Left is all about wooing Latinos these days, but short of a complete turnaround by the GOP, it feels like they will be staying with Team Blue in the forseeable future. Nominating Schweitzer keeps Republicans off balance and scrambling to protect white votes in red states they thought were in the bank.

      Besides, who's to say that after 8 years of "change" from our black president, that a lot of folks might be willing to put up with another 4 years of a Democratic president who looked like them? Worth thinking about anyway...

    •  Even if he doesn't flip Montana in the EC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RamblinDave

      he still helps in the region as a whole. Without Governor Schweitzer, we probably wouldn't have Senator Tester and Governor Bullock.

  •  I've been beating the Schweitzer drum for (12+ / 0-)

    Some time.

    I'll be honest, I'm ready for just a regular old white guy. As an AA woman I'm completely exhausted by the racism that obamas election brought out and I swear I'm just not in the mood for 8 years of abject more overt sexism right now.

    But beyond that, as a partisan, I think putting up a populist white guy from a mountain state is the fastest way to kill the GOP. Right now, they think half the country agrees with them when in fact a good 30% of the votes they're getting are just pure racism, people who just can't bring themselves to feel ok with a black president. I personally believe many of those folks are reachable by the Democratic Party since a lot of these folks are working class people. But we need 1) a non wonky candidate and 2) no "other excuses" for those voters to feel uncomfortable. With someone like Schweitzer, they're reachable and as a bonus the GOP gets to discover exactly how unpopular their real positions are with Americans.

    If he throws his hat into the ring, for these reasons, I'd probably be an early supporter and worker.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 03:28:48 AM PST

  •  That's some bizarrely framed advocacy. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  He's had my vote since 2004! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chemborg

    Smart, funny, and right on the issues. You can't get better than that! What's more, if we nominate Gov. Schweitzer, we won't have to fight the 90's all over again!

    Say it with me now: "SCHWEITZER IN '16!"

    It's got a ring to it, don't you think?

    "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

    by Oliver Tiger on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:09:02 AM PST

  •  I'm willing to give him some consideration, BUT (0+ / 0-)

    let's make it through the next 3 years first.

    "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

    by Kimball Cross on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:40:17 AM PST

  •  I like where he's coming from and how he got here (0+ / 0-)

    I'm mostly with him on the issues and very with him on some. The ultimate test is how he does on TV because that's what gets you elected. The first requirement for any candidate is that they are the most electable one possible.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:59:59 AM PST

  •  Only if he brings his branding iron (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cincinnatus53

    And applies it to the Republicans' backsides.

  •  Well, that'd wrap up the pro-coal vote, I suppose (0+ / 0-)

    the Mitt strove so earnestly for. . . .

  •  you guys make this schweitzer out (0+ / 0-)

    to be the answer in 2016 but i, as a black woman, see him as a poorer rmoney. a white guy who's never interacted with black, hispanics, asians and other "brown" people of which there are a dearth of in montana, aside from natams. so how is he going to be able to relate to anyone other than older white guys any better than rmoney?

    •  He's just like Romney because they're both white? (0+ / 0-)

      What basis do you have to assume that he's "never interacted with blacks, hispanics, asians, and other 'brown' people?" You are assuming this because of his race and where he is from.

      Governor Schweitzer has done great work in expanding economic and educational opportunities for the Native Americans in Montana. He also speaks Arabic, having worked on agricultural development in Africa and the Middle East before entering politics.

      You don't have to be "brown" to care about all of the people in this country and want to do what is best for them.

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