Democrat Brian Schweitzer thinks he can win in 2016 — by running against Obama

January 15

Over at MSNBC, Benjy Sarlin asked ex-Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer whether there was "a single thing President Obama has done that you consider a positive achievement".

Schweitzer thought for a moment. He stroked his chin. He searched his memory palace. Then he answered. “My mother, God rest her soul, told me ‘Brian, if you can’t think of something nice to say about something change the subject,’” he said. And so he changed the subject -- to more criticisms of Obama.


President Obama speaks with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. The chat did not go well. (White House Flickr)

More interesting than Schweitzer's lack of praise for Obama are his extremely specific criticisms. He loathes Obamacare and believes it should be replaced by a single-payer health-care system. He calls the NSA revelations "un-effing-believable." He says the Obama administration "just haven’t been very good at running things." It's an outline of where one extremely savvy politician thinks the left might be unhappy with Obama -- and, by extension, Hillary Clinton.

But Schweitzer didn't become governor of right-leaning Montana by accident. He's skeptical of gun control and likes to shoot at things in campaign ads. He's a big believer in coal production and expanded oil drilling. He's the sort of red-state Democrat that the party thought was key to its future in 2005 but whose political appeal has been diminished by the rise of Obama's younger, more multicultural majority.

Or so goes the conventional wisdom. But Schweitzer clearly thinks he's got a chance. You can read Sarlin's full profile here.

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