Monday, October 29, 2007

Roy Brown for Governor

The waiting and the rumors are over.

We have a candidate for governor -- and a good one. An outstanding one.

It will be an interesting race, since the governor and the Dems poured money into defeating state Sen. Brown in 2006, but failed to unseat him. It was, as we recall, the most expensive state legislative race in Montana history. Brown is a tireless, smart, dedicated public servant and a formidable politician -- there's a reason the Dems wanted to knock him off.

Brown is a common-sense conservative, soft-spoken and quick thinking. From what we understand, he is a successful businessman who earned it the old-fashioned way -- hard work and private enterprise.

And by all appearances he is a gentleman and a man of integrity. One struggles to think of examples where Democratic legislators had bad things to say about him in past sessions -- on the contrary, we recall him as being acknowledged to be a man of his word. In short, while he sticks with his principles, he does so while working and playing well with others -- an invaluable trait in a chief executive.

Of course, now that he is running for governor, the gloves will come off, and old friends will become new foes. Every aspect of his record, life, and work will come under scrutiny.

Not all of this is bad -- the scrutiny works both ways, and we should indeed scrutinize the behavior and records of our high officials.

But even after all of the inevitable mud is slung at Sen. Brown, we find it hard to believe that Republicans won't be enthusiastically working for Roy, donating to his campaign, and voting for him.

It is the Montana Headlines opinion that Republicans shouldn't and don't need to run a negative campaign against the sitting governor. Comparing policy positions and public actions, yes. But it would be both unseemly and counterproductive to engage in personal attacks at the governor. Yes, we realize that he drives many Montana Republicans crazy in just the same way that Clinton drove national Republicans crazy and that has led to the famous "Bush derangement syndrome" on the left in recent years.

Why some people elicit that response is an interesting psychological and political question -- but as has been proven over and over, giving in to that temptation is bad for one's mental health, hopeless as a political strategy, and probably not great for the state of one's soul.

In Sen. Brown, we have a candidate who can run a straight-up positive campaign, comparing the differences between Republican and Democratic principles and visions. He can run that kind of campaign, and he can win. What kind of campaign will be run against him? We'll have to wait and see.

There could, of course, still be a primary campaign on the GOP side -- just in case more than one Republican is itching for the privilege of taking on the formidable opposition. If so, we'll see how the field shakes out.

But for now, there is joy and (metaphorical) dancing in the Republican streets.

If you can, turn out to show support for Sen. Brown at his formal announcement Thursday morning in Billings.


carol said...

Wow, that's great news. I had no idea...he's one hard-working candidate too.

Montana Headlines said...

Yes, indeed. You can just feel the good vibes going all over the Montana GOP.

No word on his running mate, yet. Rumors, but no word. How the ticket is balanced will be important. Let's just hope that the running mate is also tireless.

They need to be, since the governor is no stay-at-home slouch on the campaign trail.

Anthony said...

Hi I'm the webmaster of, Roy's official site and I urge all of your readers to stop by and see who Roy is and what he stands for. Thanks for the great article.

Montana Headlines said...

Thanks for the link. I went looking for a website today and couldn't find one, so glad to see one is up.

Nell said...

"It is the Montana Headlines opinion that Republicans shouldn't and don't need to run a negative campaign against the sitting governor."

How silly. The reason that campaigns use negative attacks is because they work. There is no way to unseat a sitting governor without attacking his record. We would all like to believe in the warm and fuzzy world where everyone gets along.... but that isn't politics. It's going to get ugly, and it's going to get ugly early.

Kate Jones said...

I suppose it would depend on ones defenition of mud slinging. There are some who call pointing out the facts as mud slinging and then there are some who call flat out blad faced lies, mud slinging. I for one am all for pointing out facts on both sides.

Montana Headlines said...

Kate, you are right -- there are those who believe that any examination of someone's record or comparison of positions is "mud-slinging."

This is far from the case. Records need to be examined and compared.

Nell, a lot of it is tone, and a lot of it boils down to the difference between saying "my opponent's ideas are wrong" and "my opponent is an evil person."

While it may "get ugly, and get ugly early," we rather suspect that Brown will keep an unflappable tone, and just keep on with the kind of tireless work that he is known for.

Just one humble blogger's opinion.

Bob H said...

I notice that Roy is already backing away from a leadership role blaming others for the Old Fund work comp misappropriation that should never have happened.. He has had 4 years to get this done. I'm afraid he has a great deal of the normal politics as usual for the good of the Party in his campaign.

Montana Headlines said...

Bob -- we'll be posting soon on that very topic.

goof houlihan said...

I'm not inspired by the message. What's the vision again, tax breaks for Ted Turner, Stan Kroenke, Northwestern Energy, Burlington Northern, PPG, etc?

Anonymous said...

Republican Candidate Roy Brown denounced Governor Schweitzer for what Brown called, "A clear and intentional lie," and called on Governor Schweitzer to apologize to Montanans and share with the public anything else the governor has kept in a drawer.
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