As Paddy posted earlier, Max Baucus (D-Montana) decided to retire rather than seek re-election in 2014. Buh-bye now.
And hopefully, hello to former Democratic Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. He told The Hill he'd consider running for Baucus' Senate seat. However, we'll have to wait at least a week or two before we know for sure, because he won't decide until after May 2.
"I'm the kind of guy that, when I see a broke-down pickup, I'll get out with my tools and try to fix it, and I can tell you looking at Washington, D.C., from Montana, there is no bigger broke-down pickup than the Senate in Washington, D.C.," Schweitzer said in an interview, when asked if he was looking at a run to replace Baucus, who announced his retirement Tuesday morning.
"I'm not ruling anything out, or anything in, but I can tell you right now I'm focused like a laser … I'm focused on the mine, on climbing that mountain... Then I'll take a deep breath; I'll take a look around [at the Senate race]. And when you're standing on a mountain in Montana, you can see a long ways... You can't see where I'm leaning. I'm leaning looking out the window here in the mountains."
Oh come on, rule in! Lean toward a run!
We need someone who would be an improvement over Baucus. (At this point it seems anyone would be.) Remember, ConservaDem Baucus worked with the GOP to co-write the infamous Bush tax cuts and Medicare prescription plan. He also voted against some Democratic social issues, and he was one of only four Democratic "No" votes on the Manchin–
Schweitzer's approvals were good when he left office. Public Policy Polling had him at 56 percent in February, with 37 percent disapproving. He's our best shot.
By the way, here's an interesting tidbit from Dave Weigel:
A key Baucus staffer during that race was Jim Messina, better known now as the 2012 campaign manager for Obama-Biden.
Don't let the door hit ya Max. And GO Schweitzer!
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is retiring rather than seek re-election in 2014, according to two senior Democratic strategists familiar with his plans.
First elected in 1978, Baucus has been the top Democrat on the powerful tax-writing committee for more than a dozen years. At times infuriating his Democratic colleagues, he worked with Republicans to co-write the Bush-era tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug plan, but he also served as the lead defender against George W. Bush’s 2005 effort to partially privatize Social Security and played a critical role in writing President Obama’s national health-care plan.
From conservative-leaning Montana, Baucus has voted against Democratic initiatives on some social issues, most recently last week’s effort to create an expanded background check system for gun purchases.
Despite Obama’s double-digit defeat in Montana, Democrats intend to vigorously defend the seat. The leading Democratic candidate is former governor Schweitzer, a popular figure who at times has feuded with Baucus over parochial political issues in the Big Sky state.
The Baucus retirement also could have dramatic policy ramifications. No longer bounded by his own 2014 re-election, Baucus can now push for comprehensive tax reform without concerns about the political ramifications, his allies say.
You can read his whole disgusting Clinton scolding speech here, if you can stomach it. So glad you're going Joe.