Daines Has Plan, Says Source
Walsh and Bohlinger talking smack
A well-placed source tells me that Steve Daines is on the verge of announcing a candidacy for US Senate but that he is waiting for Denny Rehberg to bow out publicly, so that Daines doesn’t appear to have leapfrogged over Rehberg, stepped on him, as it were. Daines is telling this to numerous people, one of whom contacted this blog let me know about it.
The question I have is, why would Rehberg be holding things up? Something is not right. What does Denny get by waiting? Is he negotiating a deal? Nevertheless, we should expect some news soon.
One must wonder, too, whether Daines is watching to see what unfolds in Democratic party. John Walsh and John Bohlinger are both making noise about moving forward with a run for Senate. Would Walsh resign as Lt. Governor? Would Bohlinger receive the backing of Schweitzer? Would they truly wage a primary against one another? Both have very strong attributes. Bohlinger is eight years an LG and three terms a Billings Senator. Walsh led troops on the battlefield in Iraq and commanded the Montana national guard, worked for Schweitzer, and would likely have Bullock’s blessing.
It’s excellent news that these two are expressing interest. For when Steve Daines awoke one July morning to the headlines that Schweitzer had opted not to run for Senate, his erection likely lasted for longer than four hours–until he got word that he might have to run against one John or the other. Walsh has an intimidating profile–a general with blood on his uniform, and a strong lieutenant governor–and Bohlinger has statewide name recognition and popularity that is close to what Daines has, not to mention support among moderate Republicans and deep roots in two cities, Billings and Helena.
Perhaps they will work it out, and prevent a divisive primary. Primaries can sometimes be fatal. But then again, sometimes they are necessary–Jon Tester was the underwhelming underdog in 2006, and those in DC who write the giant checks during campaign season tried hard to get Tester to move aside early in the primary, when Morrison was a 3-1 favorite. Good thing Tester ignored them.
Assuming that only one John runs for senate, I have to believe that Daines is at least giving some consideration to remaining in his house seat, keeping the secure job rather than try to step up a notch.