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Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer Looking At POTUS Run?

Brian Schweitzer

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who recently passed up a chance to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Max Baucus, is hinting about running for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016:

Former Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer is considering a 2016 presidential bid, a new report says, offering the possibility of a populist candidate who would lay out the case against Hillary Clinton.

“There’s a whole lot of America that looks at each other and says, ‘Well, there’s 340 million people living in America. Isn’t there somebody other than a Bush or a Clinton who can be president in these modern times? Isn’t there hope for somebody who’s running a business or who has served overseas or comes from a different occupation to become president? Are we now in the era of royalty again?’” Schweitzer of Montana told RealClearPolitics. “ So I think there’s some level of frustration about that.”

Schweitzer would, of course be something of a long shot, especially if Hillary Clinton decides to run as everyone seems to believe she will. At the same time, though, he would be an interesting contrast to Clinton in what would otherwise likely be more of a coronation than a race if current polling is to be believed. Politically, he seems hard to pin down. He’s be much more of a populist than Clinton or any other Democrat from the East Coast, to be sure, but he’s also been a strong advocate of the Second Amendment and a critic of Federal intrusion on state’s rights. Schweitzer himself seems aware of just how much of a long shot he’d be, but also points back to the last time Clinton ran for President:

Although Clinton is widely viewed as a lock for the Democratic nomination in 2016, Schweitzer recounted how President Barack Obama used a triumph in the 2008 Iowa caucus as a springboard to the White House.

“Who would’ve thunk Obama would come out of this thing when you had, my God, Dodd, Biden, Billy Richardson, Hillary Clinton,” Schweitzer told RCP. “So the nice thing about the people of Iowa is they ain’t going to let the rest of America make up their minds for them.”

If he does get in, Schweitzer could make things interesting.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    “So the nice thing about the people of Iowa is they ain’t going to let the rest of America make up their minds for them.”

    Oh great, that reminds me again that about half the voters of Iowa (state population about 3M, or to put it another way, about 1/3rd the population of New York City) will again have a disproportionate influence on our primary process. On the other hand, the 2012 primary process had the benefit of REALLY vetting the Republican field, which gave us all a preview of just how out-to-lunch most of them were.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. gVOR08 says:

    Brian who? Judging by the number of people who do it, apparently you can make good money running for Prez.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    @al-Ameda:

    …half the voters of Iowa…will again have a disproportionate influence on our primary process. On the other hand, the 2012 primary process had the benefit of REALLY vetting the Republican field, which gave us all a preview of just how out-to-lunch most of them were.

    Life is full of tough choices…
    http://www.traileraddict.com/clip/animal-house/red-band-clip-angel-vs-devil
    (don’t know where the bold script came from)

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  4. humanoid.panda says:

    Given that he was reportedly deterred from running for the Senate by some kind of oppo research the GOP had, I seriously doubt Schweitzer is serious about running. Still, some kind of non-Biden competition, esp. from the Left, would be a good thing for both the party and Clinton. Coronations are not good preparation for a general election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. Scott says:

    He gets his name out there. If he can run without getting ugly and personal then he sounds like a good match for VP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. grumpy realist says:

    My prediction is everyone will say: “Schweitzer who?” and turn back to their coffee. Especially since he hasn’t been running for POTUS umpteen times, like Gingrich.

    I wonder if Mitt Romney will throw his hat in the ring again, or whether the mule has finally learned.

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  7. rudderpedals says:

    I want someone who who’ll stump on lowering the Soc Sec retirement age because it’s right and because it’ll help open up places for young people to move up; Upgrading Obamacare to Medicare for all; Preventing the cloaking of political expense payors.

    Schweitzer for any of this please?

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  8. Ernieyeball says:

    @rudderpedals: I want someone who who’ll stump on lowering the Soc Sec retirement age because it’s right and because it’ll help open up places for young people to move up;..

    I could have signed up for Social Security at 63 and been entitled to about the same benefit that I received when I did sign up at 64. However the State of Illinois would have cut the Weekly Benefit Amount of my Unemployment Insurance deposit in half.
    Decisions. Decisions.
    So when do you think you should qualify to draw Social Security Benefits?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. stonetools says:

    I think the best Schweitzer can hope for at this point is to raise his profile with a good primary campaign and to earn a cabinet post.

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  10. rudderpedals says:

    @Ernieyeball: I think 62 with full benefits, 59 for less than full, Medicare for everyone 59 or older, and more flexible SSI would be important and moral steps in the right direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Ernieyeball says:

    @rudderpedals: So if full benefits begin at 62 in my lifetime will I get some sort of retroactive compensation or am I just screwed because I was born in 1948?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Tyrell says:

    @rudderpedals: I am not sure how many jobs that would open up. I know a lot of people who are drawing Social Security and still work. Their pay is low enough to be under the yearly limit. Would that put a huge strain on the Social Security system, a lot of new recipients coming in at once?
    I do think that people should be allowed to borrow off their Social Security accounts, up to a certain amount. They should also be able to invest a portion of it. That way they could increase their account more.

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  13. rudderpedals says:

    @Ernieyeball: I understand. I tried but I don’t see any way for you to turn the clock back to get those monies.

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  14. rudderpedals says:

    @Tyrell: I’m not sure how many jobs it’d free up either. It seems likely it’d be greater than zero and with U6 still in the mid double digits it literally cannot hurt.

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  15. Ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell: I do think that people should be allowed to borrow off their Social Security accounts,..

    The money that was withheld from my paychecks and the money my employers paid into FICA was not put into an account for me. Those contributions were transferred to then current recipients. Like my grandparents and parents. What Social Security accounts are you talking about?
    Investing Social Security contributions was a great idea when the stock market was flying high. When it tanked…not so much.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Ernieyeball says:

    @rudderpedals: I understand.

    Thanks for caring…I think.

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  17. rudderpedals says:

    @Ernieyeball: I think I do, I’d feel put out too if it was all of a sudden made 50 years but here I am 52 and didn’t get those 2 years.

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  18. bill says:

    president schweitzer….never- the name alone kills that……….but that’s what i said about obama a few years back so you never know. he batter get a keynote speaker shot soon.

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