It’s time for you to make a decision–not one with the input of party officials, your “most trusted senior aides,” or your campaign staff. You need to decide if you believe you are the best candidate to defeat Steve Daines, and, perhaps, more importantly, if you want to be that candidate. Frankly, I’d completely understand if you’d rather not be that candidate.
The paralysis of the past two days has only added fuel to fire of story that should have burned out days ago–and Montanans who want to prevent Steve Daines, the most conservative member of Congress in Montana’s history, from spending six years in the Senate, need to know who they’re going to back.
All the constructive advice you’re receiving doesn’t change the fact that, ultimately, the choice to go on or drop out is up to you. You’ve earned that, and we respect your judgment to make the right choice for yourself, your state, and your party.
You’ve received absolutely unfair criticism and harassment from a press obsessed with a relatively trivial matter that’s easy to editorialize about. You’ve probably received criticism from people who are more interested in furthering their own agendas than in protecting yours. And you’re probably angry, understandably so.
But you need to make a decision about this campaign. Either way, I know that you’ll fight for the people of this state until the end of your term, because that’s the kind of person you are and the kind of person you’ll continue to be.
If you decide to run, I’ll support you. I know many people will. If you decide not to seek re-election, I’ll thank you for your service to the state and its people. You put your life on the line for us in Iraq and your reputation on the line for us in the Senate. You’ve shown that you’re a man of courage and conviction. And you’ll continue to serve this state and its people after you make your decision.
I support you, Senator Walsh, but it’s time to decide.