Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Keenan run would be healthy

If former Montana state Senate president Bob Keenan throws his hat in the ring, vying to be the candidate to challenge Sen. Baucus next year, it would be healthy for the state GOP.

Political memories are short, though, so Keenan would do well to get on in and start raising money, making phone calls, and travelling around the state. A lot has happened since Keenan's primary challenge to Sen. Conrad Burns, and even more has happened since Keenan was Senate president.

He needs to remind Montanans of his leadership qualities and ability to mount a tough campaign -- and for many who weren't paying attention back then, he will need to introduce himself.

Mike Lange was right when he responded with an upbeat note for the party:

It's encouraging from a party standpoint that folks might finally wake up to the fact that we can beat Max Baucus, despite a $6 million lead in money.

Sen. Baucus is far more vulnerable than he has been in years. We need to find out who is up to the challenge of opposing him. Lange isn't going to roll over and play dead, and neither, we suspect, will Keenan, once he is in.

Now, who else?


Anonymous said...

Run, Keenan, Run!

Senator Max Baucus is a lousy leftist lightweight!

Dave Rye said...

It would be interesting if you would analyze sometime why Max even wants to run for reelection, since he will be a couple years beyond normal retirement age by next year. Isn't 30 years in the Senate enough? Does he have any life, or even interests, besides his job? Is power that intoxicating? Would he move back to Montana if he were suddenly out of the Senate? (I have my doubts.)

I don't suppose anyone really knows the answers to those questions. Max is one of those people whom everybody in the state knows by first name, yet no one really knows well. He does have a remarkable talent for being about as non-controversial (to most minds) as it's possible for a career politician to be. But then, if you don't have a lot of enemies, you don't have a lot of true-blue friends, either.

Maybe it's safer that way. Conrad Burns had plenty of both.

Montana Headlines said...

Not sure what motivates Baucus. There are any number of Senators who have had to be wheeled out of their offices on a stretcher or in a wheelchair, so it must be pretty intoxicating.

There's nothing special about Montana -- we're just as capable of producing a Strom Thurmond as any other state.

You are certainly right about Conrad. It was hard not to love him -- at least for anyone with rural roots and a lack of pretentions.

You can be sure that the Democratic party would have put a lot of pressure on him to run, though, even if he had been inclined to retire before now.