The song reached #2 back in October of that year, and I can’t help but think come November, many people will be saying “say it isn’t so” when they look at the election returns.
Nationally, tons of people will be saying that. Here in Montana, however, many will be saying it about the governor’s race as well.
For no matter what side you’re on…someone’s gonna lose.
Say it isn’t so.
What if Bullock Wins?
For Bullock the win will be sweet.
He raised a lot of money, took a lot of shit. He didn’t go out much and stayed to private fundraising rallies, but he got the job done.
Now the real work begins.
Going into the 2017 Legislaure – his 3rd, with one more on the way – Bullock will have more confidence.
Hopefully he’ll have a bit more sense too and get some infrastructure bills passed with majority cash over bonding.
Well, shoot that idea to shit – we just learned our oil revenues went to hell in a handbag and there ain’t no one enjoyin’ the ride.
So it’ll be the bankers’ bonding and the grandkids’ll pick up the tab, and maybe even get it all paid off by the 2030s.
It’ll be a successful session in 2017, thanks to moderate GOPers having thrashed the loons and Democrats holding their shaky ground on the urban/rural periphery.
Bullock will lay low in 2018, working for the U.S. Senate candidate and then in 2020 he might try for Daines’ seat.
That’ll be a battle, with D.C. Daines having been there for nearly seven years, most of them as a senator.
Bullock could win, but it’d be like running for governor in 2016 all over again, though this time the bigger guns would come out, being a national race and all.
Not sure the carpets will be large enough to hide all the shit if that’s the case.
And please, let's not put it past Tester to resign, and Cooney appointing Bullock to his seat or some such so Bullock has a leg-up on 2020. MT Dems love that sneaky shit.
If Bullock doesn’t run for U.S. Senate in 2020 I don’t know what he’d do – go for the U.S. House?
That’s kind of a demotion, after two years as governor.
No, I think it’s the Senate or bust, and it damn well might be bust. Still, Bullock doesn’t strike me as the type to walk away, not like Schweitzer did, spurning the corrupt Washington ways.
Hell, Bullock lived and worked there, breathed the stuff in. He’ll be right at home.
Coming back to November 2016 and Bullock’s win…what happens to Gianforte…and his staff?
I bet Aaron Flint will head back to the radio show he was at previously, Northern Ag Network or whatever.
Amy Lunde, who seems to be a big player on the Gianforte campaign, will likely go back to Wisconsin.
But what will Gianforte do?
I suspect he’ll stay in Montana, though I’ve read some comments that suggest he could become a wealthy, absentee landowner.
Montana has lots of those, but for some reason I don’t think Gianforte is going to pull a VanDyke and move out of state a few weeks after the election.
No, he’ll probably stay in Bozeman, perhaps looking at the voting totals, as well as who won the presidential race, to determine if he has enough statewide support to take out Tester in 2018.
What About Zinke?
I’ve said it many times – if Bernie is on the ticket in November, Democrats will kick ass and Denise Juneau for U.S. House will be one of them.
That means Zinke is done, although he could come back in 2020 perhaps for a run at the gubernatorial primary. No, I don’t see him doing anything in 2018 if he loses this year – those old time ranchers’ memory’s are getting bad, but not that bad.
We do know that the winner of the Zinke/Juneau race will have to be back in 2018 to run again for the same seat.
If it’s Juneau, she could win again…though only if Trump is elected as she’ll need that mid-term backlash to get in.
If it’s Zinke then he’ll probably try and make the jump to the Senate that year, and whoever replaces him on the U.S. House ticket will probably lose badly.
Still, it’s a great time to gain some statewide name recognition for a future run, perhaps even 2020 and a serious shot at governor (or at least more name recognition).
Now, if Zinke does win in 2016 and he decides to make the jump in 2018, I just don’t think he’ll win against Tester.
That’s why the rumors of Tester’s retirement are so important.
If Tester decides to step down in 2017 so that someone (Bullock) can fill his shoes, then that appointee will be quite vulnerable.
Again, there’s no real substance to this Tester retirement talk, but stranger things have happened.
Mainly, it’s hard to say what will happen and a Gianforte loss for governor this year only complicates matters.
You see, that’s just one more Republican that’s waiting in line, and a wealthy one at that. He doesn’t need to wait in line and he won’t.
So if Greg Gianforte loses this year expect to see him come back in 2018 to go against Tester. I doubt anyone will want to give him a serious challenge in the primary, not with all the money Gianforte has, all the anger he's built up from his 2016 loss.
I expect Tester will decide if he’s running again or not sometime in January or February.
If Gianforte is in the wings, he might just hang it up, head on back to that tractor in Shelby.
Should be interesting.
What if Bullock Loses This Year?
Trump has to win for Bullock to lose, in my opinion.
Yes, I know we often buck trends and like to go one party for president and another for governor, but I just don’t see that happening this year.
The base has to be energized, swing voters need to feel that energy.
With Trump, many swing voters are there and when/if we know Hillary’s a lock as the nominee, the GOP base will fall into line.
That’s the conventional thinking. Again, anything could happen.
So Bullock loses in November and Gianforte is our new governor.
What does that mean?
We know that a lot of staff will be changing positions in the Capitol.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if Gianforte wins a lot of down-ticket Republicans will win as well.
Perhaps Corey Stapleton will be in the Secretary of State’s Office, for instance. You can bet that Montana Cowgirl will be shut down from operating from there.
We could see new leadership at OPI as well, and even the State Auditor’s office.
If that happens then Gianforte will have the full capacity to do whatever he wants. He'll have the Land Board too, meaning he decides which oil/gas leases are granted, and where.
Yeah, you Blackfeet along the Front'll be fucked, but gosh, you've had that for hundreds of years.
Remember, the Democrats have not been able to take a single chamber of the legislature since 1991.
For Republicans, getting their agenda through is only doable if they get that governor’s office. Even with both chambers, they have problems with a moderate wing and also with the governor’s veto pen.
Get rid of Bullock and that veto pen is gone, as well as a lot of the underlying support the moderate Republicans are getting from that source.
Boy, that’s the Democrats’ worse nightmare.
For you and me – poor, property-less individuals with no real prospects – nothing much will change.
I for one am not driving out to rivers and streams to get access…mainly because I don’t have the money for the gas, the fishing pole, boat, beer, food, and whatever else I need.
There are lots more examples of where the MT Democratic message doesn't appeal to young Democrats...simply because we don't have the money to make that message a reality.
But I digress.
I suspect Bullock will take a month off for the holidays, then it’ll be back to Steptoe and Johnson in D.C. to work as a lawyer again. The Montana political career will be over, though there could still be a Montana Supreme Court nomination in the 2020s, maybe 2030s.
No one was ever excited about Bullock anyways so there’ll be little interest in him after he’s gone.
Remember, Bullock’s no Schweitzer.
Say it isn’t so.