The Brian Schweitzer presidential speculation was fun while it lasted

This post has been updated with Schweitzer's apology.


September 4, 2012 - Sen. Mark Begich and Gov. Brian Schweitzer at Washington Post Live's Energy & the Election breakfast forum at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

Brian Schweitzer is nothing if not unusual. Just Tuesday, we cautioned that the former Montana governor should never be viewed through the lens of traditional political logic -- or even logic writ large.

And now Schweitzer just proved us right.

The governor, who has somewhat inexplicably turned into a hero of some on the political left, can probably say goodbye to that niche in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. And in the process, he gave the GOP a little ammunition to fight back against Democratic charges of its supposed "war on women" and its insensitivity toward the GLBT community.

Here's what Schweitzer told National Journal's Marin Cogan about Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in a story posted Wednesday:

Schweitzer is incredulous that Feinstein—considered by her critics to be too close to the intelligence community—was now criticizing the (National Security Agency). "She was the woman who was standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way up over her knees, and now she says, 'I'm a nun,' when it comes to this spying!" he says. Then, he adds, quickly, "I mean, maybe that's the wrong metaphor—but she was all in!"

Memo to Schweitzer: Yes, that's the wrong metaphor.

And here he is on the -- and we can't believe we're typing this -- relative femininity of Southern men, in which he actually says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) seems gay:

Last week, I called him on the night Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in his GOP primary. "Don't hold this against me, but I'm going to blurt it out. How do I say this ... men in the South, they are a little effeminate," he offered when I mentioned the stunning news. When I asked him what he meant, he added, "They just have effeminate mannerisms. If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say—and I'm fine with gay people, that's all right—but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think, so I don't know. Again, I couldn't care less. I'm accepting."

Why Schweitzer felt the need to make these comments is anybody's guess. What's pretty clear is that he's got basically no filter. So while he might seem folksy and spontaneous one day, he could just as easily offer a campaign-ending gaffe the next day.

Add to that Schweitzer's odd decision to attend Mitt Romney's confab over the weekend and his comments critical of President Obama, and the list of questionable actions grows.

Anybody with illusions that Schweitzer could be a major player in the 2016 presidential race should probably re-evaluate themselves.

Update: Schweitzer has taken to Facebook to apologize for his comments: "I recently made a number of stupid and insensitive remarks to a reporter from the National Journal. I am deeply sorry and sincerely apologize for my carelessness and disregard."

Originally posted at 10:20 p.m. on Wednesday.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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