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NY Times Mag: The Big-Sky Dem

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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:46 PM
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NY Times Mag: The Big-Sky Dem
The Big-Sky Dem
Published: October 8, 2006

Its fun being governor of Montana. Just watch Brian Schweitzer bouncing around the streets of Helena in the passenger seat of the states official S.U.V., fumbling with wires, trying to stick the flashing police light on the roof. When he spots some legislators on the sidewalk, he blasts them with the siren, then summons them by name on the loudspeaker. The men jump, and the governor tumbles out of the car, doubled in laughter, giving everyone a bear hug or a high-five or a soft slap on the cheek. Schweitzer, a Democrat in his first term, marches into a barroom in blue jeans and cowboy boots and a beaded bolo tie, and his border collie, Jag, leaps out of the vehicle and follows him in. The governor throws back a few pints of the local brew and introduces himself to everyone in the place, down to the servers and a small girl stuck there with her parents. He takes time from the backslapping to poach cubes of cheese from the snack platter and sneak them to the girl, who is now chasing his dog around the bar. This is how you make friends with Jag, he advises her. Just hold it in your hand and let him take it.

As soon as Schweitzer was elected in 2004 the same night that George W. Bush carried Montana by 20 percentage points pundits began declaring him the future of the Democratic Party. Never mind that it was his first elected office: the 51-year-old farmer and irrigation contractor had folksy charm and true-grit swagger. He shot guns, rode horses, took his dog to work and decimated his opponents with off-the-cuff one-liners heavy on the bull-and-horse metaphors. He didnt act like a Democrat, in other words, and to many Democrats, reeling from consecutive losses to Bush, that seemed like a pretty good thing.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:54 PM
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1. So far
I've liked everything I have read about this guy.
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montanacowboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:55 PM
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2. Brian S. IS the future of the Democratic Party
If more of them acted like he does, this sorry ass Party (D) would be in great shape. This Governor takes no prisoners and smacks down the Repukes! He is Montana's Hero and he should be the on the ballot in '08 -

This guy rides horses, he does not shit his pants when confronted with one.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 06:07 PM
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3. you look at what Brian did in his first 100 days in office
and compare that to the previous 16 years of GOP rule. A Dem governor and state Lege changed the whole dynamic of MT in short order. People had hope. They felt good about themselves, and things looked up. They still do.

It's like here in Arizona, Governor Napolitano has done so much good in four years as opposed to her GOP predecessors. The only thing holding her back is our state lege is run by some of the craziest RWers around. Red States only have to look at how the Dem Govs are coming in and cleaning up all the RWers messes. Napolitano is so popular here, even among Republicans, same thing with Schweitzer. I am hoping to move back to MT and work for him in a few years. Great man.
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