MT Senate 2014: Daines’ Day

About 308 days ago Steve Daines was sworn in as Montana’s at-large U.S. House member. It is his first term, and he probably hasn’t found all the restrooms and places to hide from his staff in the U.S. Capitol – let alone build up any seniority to help his state.

According to several reports linked to GOP officials, Daines will announce he is running for Montana’s open U.S. Senate seat today in Bozeman. It’s been one of the worst-kept secrets in the history of Montana politics. Reporters can have their story written and fill in a few blanks – and then take the rest of the day enjoying the sights and sounds of beautiful Bozeman.

A poll conducted here at The Western Word asked “Will Republican U.S. Representative Steve Daines run for U.S. House, U.S. Senate, retire from politics, or run for some other office in 2014?”

71% of those participating said he would run for U.S. Senate and 29% said he would run for re-election in the U.S. House.

Although the Democrats’ top dog, Brian Schweitzer, decided against running (which if he had, it might have kept Daines out), Daines has several problems to overcome before moving on up to the senate.  Continue reading

Daines Disappoints Base

Friday I wrote about Montana Congressman Steve Daines voting to reopen the government saying, “Daines may suffer some blowback from his Tea Party base for not staying the course and fighting longer. Some may even call him a RINO (Republican In Name Only).”

It did not take long.

On Sunday, Dr. Ed Berry over at the PolyMontana Blog wrote an article with the headline “Montana Congressman Steve Daines voted for Obamacare” in which he asked several questions like, “Why did we elect him if not to stop Obamacare?” and “Does he think he has the Republican primary race for US Senate wrapped up?” and, “Who will run against Steve Daines for US Senate so we can elect a Senator who will not cave in to the Democrats?”

You can read Berry’s column HERE.

Daines has not indicated if he will run for re-election for Montana’s At-Large U.S. House seat that he currently holds, or if he will run for the open U.S. Senate seat. No matter which race he enters, with his vote to open the government (and for Obamacare) he created a big problem for himself. Daines is a rookie and he’s only held elective office since January, so some might forgive him for straying to the middle, but not the Tea Party.  Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Welcome to the first “Caught My Eye” of September! I’m glad you stopped by!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning right here! It’s where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week – and I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or maybe to irritate you just a little. So, get ready to head into your weekend armed with knowledge and a smile.

Today I write about Steve Daines, Cory Stapleton, Champ Edmunds, Obamacare and the GOP, Former Senator Melcher’s birthday, Beartooth NBC, the unemployment rate for August, Alyssa Milano and Syria, plus there are three winners who are Making Montana Proud, so read on!

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Thursday Numbers

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by The Western Word for another edition of “Thursday Numbers!”

If you are new here, this column is where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes spiked with a little sarcasm).

NOTICE: By reading this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. This is your only warning.

This week I write about PayPal, the Corn Palace, Jackalope, Jay-Z, fundraising, loudest crowd, Olbermann, unemployment, B-52s, Congressional approval ratings, Tester in Wyoming, more votes to repeal Obamacare, World Series odds, Great Falls (MT) commission, Morris & Watters nominations, and much more! Continue reading

Caught My Eye…

Here we go – it’s Friday and time for another (almost) award-winning edition of “Caught My Eye!”

So you may be asking, “What is ‘Caught My Eye?’” Well, it’s the weekly column where I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. Often I throw in some sarcasm and poke fun at people just to make you smile.

Today I write about MT Senate 2014, Responsible Republicans, Political Practices, Road Kill Bill, Internet Taxes, Obamacare Exemption, Twinkies, Birthdays, and much more! Continue reading

Baucus: I Think I Will Go Home Now

The Washington Post citing Democratic sources reported yesterday morning that six-term United States Senator Max Baucus of Montana was retiring. A little later Baucus released a statement affirming that he was, in fact, retiring.

Then the speculation began about who would replace Baucus. Today, among that speculation is a love feast in Montana newspapers for Baucus.

Baucus had been raising money for his reelection, but he had also started building a home near Bozeman, which raised some doubts about his running again. Baucus will be 72 in 2014 which means he may have channeled Forrest Gump after that long run when he said, “I’m pretty tired…I think I will go home now.”

So far, Baucus raised almost $5 million for his race. That money will come in handy for Montana Democrats in 2014.

Last election (2008), Baucus disposed of his competition by a 73% to 27% margin. In 2002, he beat his opponent by 31%. Baucus was a great campaigner. He and his staff would go for the jugular on his opponents. They did not lose.

This year there was a lot of talk about former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer taking on Baucus in a primary. A recent Public Policy Poll showed Schweitzer beating Baucus “54% to 35% with Democratic primary voters.” As for running for the U.S. House or U.S. Senate, Schweitzer told the Associated Press last year “I am not goofy enough to be in the House, and I’m not senile enough to be in the Senate.”  Continue reading

TWW Poll: Who Should Replace Max Baucus?

Who Should Replace U.S. Senator Max Baucus?  (Pick One)

Brian Schweitzer (D), Denny Rehberg (R), Steve Bullock (D), Steve Daines (R), Denise Juneau (D), Rick Hill (R),  Linda McCulloch (D), Tim Fox (R), Kim Gillan (D), Cory Stapleton (R), Monica Lindeen (D), Champ Edmunds (R), Other (You May Leave the Name Comments).

Click on Continue Reading to take the poll!

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