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Baucus to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014, strategists say

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is retiring rather than seek re-election in 2014, according to two senior Democratic strategists familiar with his plans.

First elected in 1978, Baucus has been the top Democrat on the powerful committee since 2001. The likely Democratic candidate to succeed him would be former governor Brian Schweitzer, sources said.

Let's just hope that Schweitzer does indeed run. It's my understanding that he's repeatedly stated that he has no interest in going to D.C. as either a Congressman or for POTUS, cabinet position, etc., but I could be wrong (and hope I am).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Brian Schweitzer (10+ / 0-)

    Cmon down youre the next contestant for Montana Senator!

    Hey you, dont tell me theres no hope at all Together we stand, divided we fall.

    by marcvstraianvs on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:03:16 AM PDT

  •  Yeah, we don't have a deep bench in MT (0+ / 0-)
  •  I see that good news travels fast! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NewDealer, Avilyn, George Pirpiris

    You beat me to it.

    Let us now celebrate the chance for a new beginning.

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:06:16 AM PDT

  •  Schweitzer would be an improvement. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avilyn, George Pirpiris
  •  Thank you, Max (11+ / 0-)

    For taking that completely gutless, soulless vote on background checks while knowing that you're not going to face your precious voters again anyway--voters who by a majority, even in your state, disagree with you.   One last gasp at NRA cash?

    What a d-bag.

  •  Schweitzer would have to be REALLY strongarmed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Pirpiris

    into this.  He does NOT want it.  At all.

    Assume he is on the sidelines, who else do we have?

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:09:49 AM PDT

    •  Who doesn't want to be Senator (0+ / 0-)

      Baucus is going to make at LEAST one million if not more in 2015.

      Now the gov is not an evil guy, but even Dodd, love him or hate him for the music industry lobby group for 1 mill a year.

      Also, you realize Senators rank as some of the most powerful folk in the world.

  •  So I guess that means... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill

    that Ole' Max is going to lobby for AHIP, right?

    Yeah, probably.

    "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side."~Little Ricky Santorum

    by Dahankster on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:14:32 AM PDT

  •  can anyone but schweitzer win? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap

    I have no idea if he has any interest but he would probably be unbeatable. Seems like neither side has a deep bench here. Hope he can be convinced to run, he would be a colorful character.

  •  Thank you for your service.....that's the standard (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill

    line..yes?

  •  My recollection of events is faulty ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and my perceptions formed by incomplete information and colored by personal preferences and biases, but here's what sticks in my mind ...

    In the spring of 2009, the President was off to a good start, having passed the stimulus bill and getting the crashing economy turned around.  Turning to healthcare reform, there were five committees in Congress writing bills.  By summer, all but one had finished their work.

    The one committee that hadn't finished their work was Baucus' Finance committee.  Instead of letting his committee put together a bill as the other committees had, and as committees normally do, Baucus decided on a "bi-partisan" approach naming three Democrats and three Republicans to write the bill.  The ranking Republican he appointed was Grassley.

    On into the summer we were all still waiting, and Baucus assured us they were close.  It had been my hope that the legislation would have been written by then, and that attention could then be turned to climate change legislation.  But no.  As the August recess approached, all eyes were on the committee.

    But nothing.  The August recess arrived, and congresspersons left Washington to return to their home districts.  Grassley immediately stabbed Baucus in the back, telling crowds and cameras about "death panels".  He had been dragging his feet all along, and had no intention of finishing a bill.  Republicans immediately began attacking healthcare reform, decrying "death panels"; and, from my perspective, the Tea Party began gaining significant strength.  When Democrats returned to their home districts they were met by coordinated attacks, echoing Grassley's "death panel" claims.

    Baucus had to write the bill himself.  His panel of six produced nothing but a long delay which Grassley and the Republicans used to consolidate a powerful momentum to thwart healthcare reform.  And the rest of the year was spent battling over passage of a healthcare bill.

    So, from one perspective, it can be viewed as a good thing that Baucus will no longer be chairing the Finance committee.

    On the other hand, of course, it does seem that we will need Schweitzer if we hope to hold the seat.

    We can't know how history would have unfolded had Baucus allowed his committee to timely craft a bill as the other committees had done.  Supposedly, if legislation had reached the floor of the Senate in late spring, the whole August recess disaster might never have happened, the "death panels" misdirection might never have happened, and the Tea Party's consolidation of strength might never have happened; or they all might have happened anyway.  We can't know how things would have unfolded.

    But I think it not unreasonable to suggest that Baucus' chairmanship of the bill was poorly handled, and that much of the negativity that has followed since then regarding the ACA can be to some degree attributed to his failure to timely finished his work on the bill.

    It was a disappointment to say the least.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Love one another

    by davehouck on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:55:38 AM PDT

  •  Baucus's apprentice, (0+ / 0-)

    and Obama's employee.
    With ten companies in between.
    Everything in this video is fact checked.

    Please see front page for my other positions.
    I cant repost here.

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