Almost six months ago, I asked on this blog for a compelling reason to support Jon Tester or John Morrison in the Senate primary. Then, and now, I’m sure that either would be a better Senator than Conrad Burns. What I was looking for was a reason to throw my support behind one of the candidates running to unseat him. Well, Jon Tester and Paul Richards have given me reasons. John Morrison has not, and I have a hard time seeing how I could give any more than lukewarm support for his candidacy.
My question is simple: what does Morrison stand for? I keep visiting his web site, scouring newspapers, and asking, but I have no idea what Morrison’s position on the Iraq War is. I called his campaign two days ago to ask that question, and was told “I’ll have to run that up the flagpole and get back to you.” Well, no one’s gotten back to me–and by now, shouldn’t his staff know? Shouldn’t the public? How can Montanan Democrats support a candidate who is silent on the central foreign policy question of the past three years–and likely the next five? I know what Paul Richards thinks about the Iraq War. I know what Jon Tester thinks. Before anyone is going to get my vote in 2006, they will need to have the courage to take a stand on this critical issue, not wait for public opinion to coalesce around one point of view.
What I know thus far is that John Morrison is a decent man, has been an effective auditor, and is a better fundraiser than the other candidates. What I don’t know is what vision he has for Montana, for the nation, and for the world. As interesting as knowing what Morrison thinks about the Railroad Competition Act is, isn’t it time for him to start to take a lead on more important issues?
Focus-group, offend no-one campaigning may win primaries, but it doesn’t win general elections very often. Leadership and forthrightness does.