Brian Schweitzer, the blue governor of the red state of Montana, may just have the answer to the Democrats' woes.
(this article is on salon.com, so to view it you have to watch an ad to get a "site pass")
April 19, 2005 | HELENA, Mont. -- The future is wearing a turquoise bolo tie wrapped around the open collar of a blue-and-white-striped button-down dress shirt. And if that doesn't sound quite right, then you haven't considered the mismatched gray suit coat or the blue jeans and boots down below. Meet Brian Schweitzer, the soil sciences major who grew up to be the governor of Montana -- and may be the next best hope of the Democratic Party.
On Nov. 2, George W. Bush beat John Kerry in Montana by 20 percentage points. On the same day, Montana voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage -- and elected as their governor a populist, pro-choice Democrat. Are Montana voters as schizophrenic as the governor's fashion sense, or is Brian Schweitzer just that good?
A lot of folks say it's the latter. Everyone from the Washington Monthly to the American Spectator has taken note of the rancher from Whitefish, Mont., and what the Wall Street Journal called his "well-spoken, gun-owning, dog-loving, native-ritual-doing, shot-of-whiskey-drinking true-west style." Democrats hungry for hope in the dark days after 2004 find themselves wondering whether another little-known governor from a small red state can somehow help them find their way back to the White House.
Ask Schweitzer about 2008, and he ticks off the names of Democratic governors who've proved they can appeal to red-state voters. What about him? "You know, all these people are saying, 'To be governor of Montana, he must have it figured out,'" Schweitzer says. "I'm telling you, I've broken more colts than there are days that I've been in office. I'm just a regular guy, getting things done in Montana. I don't know if that works nationally, but I don't care."
The Democrats need a candidate who can speak English. There's a reason Senators don't get elected President: They speak Senate-ese. An elite, effete, arrogant, wordy, indirect, imprecise, courtly, passive & ultimately unpersuasive language. They're like lawyers but worse. At least trial lawyers have to learn to persuade 12 regular folks so we HAVE to master the colloquial. It's not "Who among us does not love NASCAR?" It's either "NASCAR rocks!" or "NASCAR sucks!", depending on your point of view. (OK, I gotta admit, I just don't get the NASCAR thing. How can driving a car be a sport? How can people sit in a giant stadium for hours watching a bunch of cars go around in a circle? Give me an English Premiere League soccer game any day.)
So Schweitzer's my guy. He speaks English. He's direct. He tells stories to persuade, rather than telling people his conclusions in florid language.
No more Senators! Let's learn one thing from President Horse Fondler: It is better to speak simply & directly. People will believe you & vote for you EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!
Jumping off my soap box, heading to the kitchen to make dinner....NOT "In regards to the previous statement, I will withdraw and allow others to judge my proposal. Now is the time to prepare our repast."
Say it, and say it plainly. No more Senators.