Despite the looming threat of Hillary Clinton’s impending 2016 candidacy, a handful of Democrats are lining up to enter the fray. Add another possible name to this list coming from former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Report from RealClearPolitics:
In an interview with RealClearPolitics, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer indicated that he may launch a White House bid, even if front-runner Hillary Clinton also enters the race.
“I still hold the people of Iowa and New Hampshire in high regard,” Schweitzer said of the nation’s first caucus and primary states. “The people of Iowa are a whole lot like the people of Montana. And, of course, New Hampshire’s a lot like Montana. We don’t have a sales tax. ‘Live Free or Die’ — we understand that notion in Montana.”
A popular two-term governor who once used a red-hot branding iron to veto several bills passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature, Schweitzer would offer a hefty dose of rural folksiness against the East Coast urbanites in the potential Democratic field, including Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
Asked whether there would be room for a populist candidate to run a credible race against Clinton, Schweitzer left no doubt that he can envision himself in that very role.
After noting that a high percentage of Democratic primary voters are women and agreeing that it is “time for a woman president,” Schweitzer quickly qualified his assessment by adding what would likely be a central tenet of his pitch in a campaign against Clinton:
“There’s a whole lot of America that looks at each other and says, ‘Well, there’s 340 million people living in America. Isn’t there somebody other than a Bush or a Clinton who can be president in these modern times? Isn’t there hope for somebody who’s running a business or who has served overseas or comes from a different occupation to become president? Are we now in the era of royalty again?’ So I think there’s some level of frustration about that.”
It’s a little intriguing to see a total Washington outsider consider fighting Hillary to her right. Still an uphill battle, especially for a virtually unknown governor of a western state with a population less than Rhode Island.