Friday, July 6, 2007
This is yet another indicator of Clinton's high negatives -- something which could be a saving grace for Republicans. And it is again a remarkable accomplishment for Thompson, who has yet to enter the race and who has spent hardly a dime.
Given that Schweitzer is heavily favored and that Democrats are convinced that he will win in a walk, one has to wonder just what is going on.
Of course, his coal schemes have been getting poor reviews with his leftmost wing here in Montana. And other than strong-arming a budget through the legislature that spent a record $1 billion surplus while amazingly managing to alienate the entire Republican party and not a few of his own Democratic legislators, his accomplishments aren't exactly on the tip of anyone's tongue.
A lot of hat, not too many cattle, in the opinion of many Montanans.
But as a good conservative website, Montana Headlines would maintain that doing nothing is far from the worst charge that can be laid at a government official's doorstep.
It is interesting that the governor's campaign is able to tell us that 80% of the donors are from Montana -- but unable to tell us how much of the total money is from Montanans.
So far, the campaign has paid the consulting firm run by his brother $17,500 this year. Not a lot, so far.
Granted, a couple of the potential candidates mentioned who might run against the governor are self-made millionaires who are presumably prepared to spend a good amount of money to get the ball rolling on their campaign.
And if Republicans serve up a softball, then Schweitzer will be sure to spend his money to get Democrats elected to the state legislature, just as Max Baucus was able to turn his attention to party-building and registration efforts in 2002 once his campaign had finished off Mike Taylor in some of the dirtier campaigning in recent Montana memory (which is saying something.)
So, look for the big fund-raising to continue. While the Montana GOP plans to further the state legislature gains made in the last election, the governor is unlikely to take it lying down.Which is yet another reason why we need to get a couple of good candidates to face Schweitzer and Baucus -- and fund them well.