It was a big week for Matt Rosendale. He finds himself as the belle of the ball in the big dance card that is the Montana Senate GOP primary.
First, noted White Nationalist, admitted Leninist, former Senior Adviser to the President, and overall ingrown toenail of a person Steve Bannon waded neck deep into the Montana GOP primary.
Rosendale tweeted out that he had secured the endorsement of a man known for rubbing shoulders with white supremacists, homophobes, and the armpit of the Republican party. A man who once said, “what we need to do is bitch slap the Republican Party.”
Great Steve, I am not a big fan of the Republican Party either, don’t know if I’d go with violence as my first option, but I get it. Bannon has carved out a niche as anti-establishment kingmaker. He endorsed Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore instead of the Trump backed Luther Strange. That helped propel a candidate who literally pulled a gun out during a campaign rally to victory. But Bannon is far from your average Montana Republican. In fact, Bannon’s policy desires run in the face of Montana’s farmers and ranchers.
Bannon’s proposed nationalist trade policies might not sit well with Montana producers who ship their product worldwide in order to make money. But Rosendale seems to have decided the star power of Bannon is more important than the bottom line for Montana producers. In a divisive, rough and tumble GOP primary it seems Rosendale thinks Bannon’s fundraising power is more important than policy that would benefit Montana. Let’s see how that plays out.
But Maryland Matt’s D.C. wining and dining was not over yet. No, Rosendale had a few more D.C. insiders on his dance card. And he was not going to leave his home for Montana without puckering up for GOP leader Mitch McConnell.
According to a Politico story, Rosendale is being trained by D.C political consultants on what to say and how to say it.
For months, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has been media training Rosendale, according to a person close to the campaign. In addition to any help he gets from Bannon, Rosendale is a client of the consulting firm On Message, one of the most “establishment” consulting firms in Washington, which is running his media and digital operations.
No matter how hard these high paid D.C. consultants try, they probably won’t be able to get rid of Rosendale’s thick Maryland accent, mansion ranching priorities, or his complete inaction as our insurance commissioner. I would be happy to teach Rosendale how to properly say “Montana” but it seems like he is more interested in hearing from the D.C. establishment than Montanans.
This is all standard GOP operating procedure. Go to D.C. to kiss the ring, court out of state endorsements, get “media training” on how to speak to and identify with actual people. But what makes this situation particularly interesting is that Rosendale is flirting with adversaries. He is playing with political fire.
Matt Rosendale loves Steve Bannon. Matt Rosendale loves Mitch McConnell. But Steve Bannon hates Mitch McConnell and Mitch McConnell hates Steve Bannon.
Matt Rosendale is trying to be a Jet and a Shark. He wants to be a Bobcat and a Griz. He wants to be a fighter against the DC establishment and a member of the DC insiders club. Matt Rosendale wants to have it both ways, and neither is for Montana.
Like any scumbag teenager who has a girlfriend in Helena and another in Seeley where his parents have a cabin, Matt Rosendale is hoping no one finds out and calls him on it.
I think Montana farmers would wonder if Rosendale supports Bannon’s anti-trade policies. I bet Montanans want to know if Rosendale supports blocking any campaign finance reform like McConnell. Which swamp creature is Rosendale going to follow if elected to the Senate?
I don’t really care which Washington insider Matt Rosendale chooses to get in bed with, but I just wish he’d only get into bed with one of them.
A simple question is likely to derail Rosendale’s attempt to see Bannon on Monday’s and Wednesday’s and take Mitch out on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s:
Will you vote for Mitch McConnell for leader?
So Matt, will you?