Montana Politics

Stephanie Schriock for Senate?

U.S. News and World Report is wondering if Montana native and campaign strategist extraordinaire Stephanie Schriock might run for the Senate in 2014:

“I have been overwhelmed by the interest in the Senate race,” Schriock said during an Emily’s List event Thursday. “I will say this, Montana has a great history of electing women. Emily’s List has been involved a long time in Montana and I think, like you, I am waiting to see how this all plays out.”

As Schriock considers a run, her Democratic allies back home say that it’s not Schriock’s role at Emily’s List alone that makes her a good fit to serve Montanans, it is the connection to her home state.

“She’s not just qualified because of her prestigious position; she’s qualified because she knows and cares about Montana,” says Aaron Murphy, a democratic strategist based in Montana. “She knows the politics. The issue is whether she decides to pursue it, and that is up to her.”

A favorite part of the article was Montana GOP Executive Director Bowen Greenwood trotting out the same tired Republican cliché to attack Schriock:

“There is a reason that Democrats want Brian Schweitzer so bad because a standard East Coast liberal just don’t fly here.”

Aside for the magnificently mangled syntax of Greenwood’s comment, I’d say Montana Republicans should spend less time attacking women who might run for the open Senate seat and more time cultivating female candidates of their own. In addition to Schriock, Democrats have viable female candidates like Denise Juneau and Monica Lindeen who could contend for the seat.

As for the Montana GOP, their best hope for a female candidate might be Judy Martz or one of those twins from the deeply weird Denny Rehberg ads last fall.

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  • Don, no offense, dude, but seriously, you must live in a DIFFERENT Montana than I do. Look, I know that you teach English, so I’ll give you a short HISTORY lesson! The ONLY reason that Schweitzer came out of nowhere and damn near beat Sen. Cornhole Burns, is that Burns had rubbed the electorate the wrong way, and Schweitzer was unbelievably bright, charismatic, hardworking, and fearless! The dude took the fight to Cornhole from the GITgo! I know. I was there. When Schweitzer FIRST declared here in Great Falls. At the grain elevators. He picked a fight with Cornhole, and did not quit! Body blows! Endlessly! He wouldn’t let that old racist sumbitch breathe! A real fighter for a change!

    (p.s. My buddy Dirk Van Hynning called me and said that you gotta get down to the grain elevator and go see this guy named Schweitzer who is running for senate. So I did. I was the very FIRST person to meet Schweitzer when he showed up at the grain elevator to announce his candidacy. I liked him immediately! For I could SEE his intelligence and fighting spirit. He was unlike any wussy Dems that we were USED to up to that point. And Schweitzer didn’t disappoint.Schweitzer is the real deal!)

    And he nearly pulled off the upset of the century!

    And truth be told, Schweitzer knew that his chances of winning were probably not good. But the name recognition, the NAME recognition! Boy howdy did the Schweitzer brand get OUT there! And it paid off! Big time! So that when he ran for guv, he simply kicked ass!

    Now, this time around, things are different. If Schweitzer runs, it’s game over. But for the sake of argument, let’s just assume that Ms. Shriock runs. WHO THE FREAKIN’ HELL HAS EVER HEARD OF HER?? OUTSIDE BUTTE?? AND EMILY’S LIST, WHICH I’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF?!

    So, all this speculation is purely nonsense and wishful thinking. Ms. Shriock may be a great lady and all, but she hasn’t paid her dues. Everyone knows that. Having a pretty face helps, but that ain’t gonna win her squat!

    Now, on to Denise Juneau. Don, she’s INDIAN, dude! Do you SERIOUSLY think that Montana has evolved enough to send a woman, AND an Indian woman to the senate?? I don’t. You’re smokin’ the hemp again, dude. No offense.

    And Monica Lindeen? Don, that’s a laffer.

    So, I suggest that everyone put away the hash pipes and come back to reality. The ONLY chance the Dems have is Schweitzer, and he’ll easily win it, regardless of whom the Pubes run, by about fifteen points or more.

    Idealism is wonderful thing, but it DON’T put bread on the freakin’ table! Trust me on this one. I’ve been down the idealism road for a long, looong time now, and I’m gettin’ freakin’ HUNGRY!

    • There’s certainly nothing of an endorsement here, as no one has even announced for the seat yet, but I think you’re wrong about a few points, Larry.

      As for Schriock, I would bet she’s no less well-known outside of political circles than a certain farmer from Big Sandy who took down a three term Senator. Sure, she’d have to build organization and fundraising in the state, but other than Schweitzer, she’s probably best positioned to do that.

      As for Juneau, I definitely disagree. Sure, there’s some element of discrimination in the state, but Montana voters have twice chosen Ms. Juneau to lead their schools. It certainly doesn’t make sense that they’d suddenly be unwilling to elect her to the Senate.

      My take on the race isn’t much different than that of anyone else: for now, it’s Schweitzer’s game, and he’d be the strongest Democratic candidate. What’s great about the Democratic Party is that we’ve got a deep bench of excellent candidates, including women. The Republicans are stuck with the ghosts of Reagan past (Rehberg and Racicot) and someone who can almost convincingly come across as a real person (Daines).

      I like our lineup of potential candidates a lot more than theirs.

      • Yes but, think Daines! For national office, Montana IS in essence still red for some reason. (think Baucus) Montanans LUV sending morons to D.C. The ONLY reason Tester won was the Libertarian candidate blocked downfield for Jon. I don’t share your optimism. Dems have ALWAYS run good candidates. And have still lost. A newbie will get chewed up an spit out. So, in essence, if Schweitzer chooses not to run, the Dems will have one helluva time pulling it off. And therefore, they need to chose a candidate very, very carefully. I hope you’re right, but I fear that you may not be. I’m not of the opinion that any of the folks you mention are ready for prime time. Schweitzer definitely is.

        Again, I hope to heck I’m wrong. But you’re from the Hi Line, you understand the racism. It’s the same way down around Billings, and up in the Flathead area. Any place there’s a reservation close by.

    • And comment would make sense if Butte were in any way representative of the rest of the state. It is not. Hell, judy MARS was from Butte too, and a strong womyn, but dumb as dog shit!

  • Baucus and Tester served in the Montana Legislature before running for the Senate. My advice to Ms. Schriock: get a job in Montana, get elected to the legislature, and prove that you’re both dedicated to Montana and possessed of the right stuff for elective office before looking in the mirror and seeing U.S. Senator Schriock.

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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