The big fiesta gets underway in Charlotte tonight (as opposed to the big siesta, the snooze in Tampa last week, and today there is news that Montana’s own Brian Schweitzer has been invited to address the convention. The date and time are not yet public.
Schweitzer turned in a big performance at the 2008 convention, taking some hard swipes at John McCain to the delight of the crowd. So perhaps his speech will be televised this time around. It had been an open question, until now, as to whether the Obama White House would invite Schweitzer to speak. Schweitzer and Obama do not see eye to eye on everything, such as healthcare, a topic on which Schweitzer has staked out a more progressive position than the president (universal coverage, Canada-style). And Schweitzer is also, as we know, a pro-gun, pro-coal guy. Also, Schweitzer’s favorite topic nowadays is fiscal management. He likes to brag about his budget surpluses and rub the Republicans’ noses in it. In national politics today, such talk comes mostly from Republicans (even though it shouldn’t), and Obama is being blamed by the GOP (unfairly) for the national debt.
But Obama must have a victory in a Western state, Colorado, in order to stay president. And Schweitzer is popular among the progressive set, especially the netroots crew. So it makes sense that this invitation has issued. Beyond that, Schweitzer deserves the speaking slot (assuming he even wants it) simply for what he has accomplished here in Montana, wrangling a bunch of stupid Tea Party cows, and branding their asses, and their stupid ideas, with a VETO.