Since announcing her candidacy for House, Diane Smith has generated a great deal of attention and the attention she is recieving seems to be on the rise.
However, she’s often viewed through two lenses. Through one lens, Smith is the only candidate with the national ties, deep pockets, and fundraising potential to run a serious campaign against Steve Daines in the general.
Through another lens, Smith is, at best, a conservative Democrat and, at worst, a Republican in sheep’s clothing.
In all reality, I think Diane Smith may be a bit of both. She probably is one of the better candidates we have when it comes to beating (or at least challenging Daines), but her rhetoric on some issues, especially the economy, may be too difficult for some to stomach. She just may be a little too much like Sen. Baucus, and that’s not going to fly with primary voters.
At this point in the race, Smith seems to pass the smell test on social issues, but it’s a very different story when it comes to her views on the economy and business regulation.
There have been multiple instances during her campaign where Smith has blamed criticized government regulation for our sluggish economy. Furthermore, her “Jobs Plan” reads like something that House Majority Leader John Boehner might sponsor:
We have created government systems too often designed to impede rather than promote these National assets. Small businesses are often encumbered with unachievable regulatory burdens and subject to small business lending requirements that can’t reasonably be satisfied.
James Connor nails it when he wrote:
Her announcement of candidacy promised to get the government off the backs of businesses. That’s consistent with a true blue Republican or a Blue Dog Democrat, but not with a New Deal Democrat.
Finally, if you take into account her contributions to Rehberg, Conrad Burns, and to plenty of Democrats (after the 2006 election) – Smith comes off as an oppurtunist.
She may have the national ties, personal money, and fundraising potential, but Democrats in Montana have better options when it comes to protecting consumers, the middle class, and staples of the Democratic platform, like Social Security and Medicare (although Diane Smith does claim she will protect both programs).