Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer went to Iowa Wednesday night. And, as he has a knack for doing, he made news.
“I didn’t vote for that war, and I didn’t think it was a good idea,” Schweitzer said of Iraq. “George Bush got a bunch of Democrats to go to that war, I was just shaking my head in Montana.”
There’s, of course, only one Democrat who voted for “that war” who is thinking about running for president in 2016: Hillary Clinton. Schweitzer and everyone else in the audience — and the broader political world — knew who he meant. In case you missed that, he added this gem: “Gosh, we had Bush, Bush, Bush and Clinton, Clinton and now we’re talking about a Bush or a Clinton again and I think in America we’re always looking for leadership that takes us to the future and we’re not often looking in the rear view mirror for our leadership.”
There’s a very clear reason that Schweitzer targeted Clinton. He knows that no matter how big a frontrunner Clinton is in the 2016 race, there will always be a desire on the liberal left to get behind a candidate who isn’t part of the D.C. political establishment. If that candidate isn’t Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — and she has given every indication it won’t be – then, Schweitzer figures, why shouldn’t it be him? (“Why not me” is a surprisingly common reason for running for offices.)AP reports that he has not yet decided...
But he noted that his rural roots may appeal to Iowa voters: "If I did run for president, I'd be the first one who came to Iowa who could tell you how many kernels of corn to plant per acre."The Des Moines Register offers a reality check:
Visits to Iowa from Democrats eyeing the presidential race have been sparse this year, with many hopefuls watching to see whether Hillary Clinton decides to run. The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state would be the leading contender for the Democratic nomination.
But Iowa Democrats said that even if Clinton runs, voters will want to consider their options, possibly providing an opening for someone like Schweitzer, who has little name recognition in the state.
"Secretary Clinton is obviously very popular among Iowa Democrats. But at the same time, Iowa Democrats I can't imagine are looking for a coronation," Democratic political consultant Jeff Link said.
But most Iowans don’t know who the heck Schweitzer is. A Des Moines Register Iowa Poll published Sunday shows 68 percent of Iowa adults of all political leanings and 70 percent of Iowa Democrats don’t know enough about Schweitzer to form an opinion.