Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has fired the first shots of the Democratic Presidential race, making us realize that the concept that, somehow, Hillary Clinton would win the nomination without challenge, and by default, is a dream that is not going to happen.
Schweitzer, who served two successful terms as Governor of the fourth largest state in land area, but eighth smallest in population, gained a reputation as a western populist, and has been critical of “corporatists”, which in his mind include Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who are too cozy with Wall Street, and have not promoted the idea of pursuing indictment of Wall Street leaders for the Great Recession of 2008.
This is one issue on which many liberals and progressives have had trouble with President Obama, who relied on Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner and other icons of Wall Street, in making his economic policies.
So the left of the Democratic Party, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, and Schweitzer, among others, have been critical, and while Warren has said she is not running for President, and Sanders says only that he is considering it, Schweitzer has been out front in criticism on economic matters.
Additionally, Schweitzer has thrown a shot across the bow at Hillary Clinton and other US Senators who supported the Iraq War intervention, which he made clear he thought was a major mistake.
So without formally announcing, Schweitzer has hinted strongly that he will enter the race, if nothing else than for the reason that, even assuming Hillary has the edge and might be the nominee of the Democratic Party, that competition is good, and that it would make Clinton a better candidate, than one who is treated with kid gloves and is not ready to fight for the nomination and the Presidency in full combat gear.
Right now, however, the odds that Schweitzer, or anyone else, other than maybe Vice President Joe Biden, can stop Hillary Clinton from being the nominee of the Democratic Party, is highly speculative, but it makes the upcoming primaries and caucuses two years from now a lot more interesting and exciting than it might have been.
So, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, welcome to the fray!