With Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau saying no to a 2014 U.S. Senate and U.S. House bid on Monday, the bench is getting a little empty for the Montana Democrats.
Brian Schweitzer – No. Monica Lindeen – No. Stephanie Schriock – No.
The Montana Democrats may be forced to hold a convention, place everyone’s name in a hat, and draw a name. That person would have to run for U.S. Senate.
Frankly, if the Democrats lose the Montana Senate seat to the Republicans, it’s Max Baucus’ fault. Baucus’ sudden decision to retire without a heads up to someone he wanted to take over the seat he’s occupied for decades has left his Montana Democratic Party in a pickle. They are also several hundred thousand fundraising dollars behind Steve Daines, who may be the GOP’s candidate for U.S. Senate.
Max will have to write some checks from his campaign coffers to get back in the good graces of the Montana Democrats.
But there’s good news!
Even in what seems like the darkest of days the Montana Democrats’ glass should be half-full (unlike what some political scientists are saying in the state). The Democrats just may have a secret weapon.
That secret weapon is Lieutenant Governor John Walsh. No, this is not the John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted.
Walsh was Adjutant General of the Montana National Guard and picked by Steve Bullock as his running mate. I happened to see him on the campaign trail, and I was impressed by the way he worked the crowds. Those who know me know that I don’t impress easily. As far as I know that was his first campaign, although as an officer in the good ol’ boys club of the Montana National Guard one learns the art of campaigning rather quickly.
Walsh’s stock will undoubtedly go up, as he becomes better known.
Plus, and this is a big bonus in my book, Walsh was an enlisted guy and became an officer. Those of us who served in the military know that enlisted people make better officers. We need more veterans serving in elected office instead of the wannabes who never served a day.
There are over 102,000 veterans living in Montana. We vote. Walsh is one of us; Daines is not. That, my faithful readers, would be a big advantage for the Democrats if Walsh decides to run.
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