Let’s talk about ego.
After all, that’s what’s driving so many.
I went ahead and looked up “ego” on Google. Here’s what I got:
“A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance...the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity.”
We currently have 198 days until the June 2 primary election.
John Mues wanted to quit the race after he killed Jesse Hubbell with his campaign rollout, but his ego would not allow him to do that. Here’s how he framed it:
“Hubbell’s body was recovered from the lake the next day. Mues said after the accident, he thought he wouldn’t continue the campaign, but that friends and family convinced him otherwise.
‘One person put it very succinctly: She said Montana families are no stranger to tragedy, and you need to move forward … ‘he told MTN News.”
Mues’ main strategy to win the primary is to send out lots of tweets. Here’s one from earlier today:
Mues is afraid that Bullock will get into the race.
103 years ago, one of Bullock’s relatives established the New Hampshire primary. Last week, Bullock officially filed to appear on that state’s primary ballot.
“Bullock has no New Hampshire organization – he said he intends to build one. But in the meantime, he said, he intends to increase the frequency of his campaign visits to New Hampshire and first-caucus state Iowa.”
Oh, I’m sure the good people of Montana will love that. We pay Bullock $2,145 each week to serve as governor of Montana, not to go out on his vanity run, his ego trip.
But Bullock doesn’t care. He’s done with Montana. Has been for over a year now.
Or is he?
Last week he admitted his chances are slim, and he seemed to admit that he might even get out of the race after the February 11 primary (Iowa is February 3).
‘“I think top four, top five," he said. "I don’t think that’s any deep secret, even with a field of 17, that if you’re not in the four or top five in the early states, it probably is a pretty good signal that this isn’t going to work out.”’
What will Bullock do when he realizes what all the rest of us have known for a year - “this isn’t going to work out?”
I think the answer’s obvious, and I told it to you last April - he’s going to wait until Super Tuesday to see how badly he does, and then sometime in the next 16 days after that contest, he’ll file to run against Daines. He has until March 16 to do that. That’s 120 days from now.
Daines has $3.5 million in his campaign warchest.
Bullock has raised over $4 million for his vanity run so far, but he’s spent a lot and only has $1.3 million left. I’m sure he’ll spend most of that before early-February, meaning he’ll have very little left to challenge Daines with.
If the good people of Montana are lucky, Bullock will shelf his ego after his monumental losses in the early states and hang up his political hat for good. I suspect he’ll stay in the Treasure State long enough for his kids to finish high school, but then he’ll head to one of the coasts. Probably a fancy, boutique law firm.
And that of course would be good for John Mues.
I believe Mues is the current front-runner for the Dems in this spot. I just don’t see the black, refugee, figurehead mayor of Helena going very far. Helena’s my hometown, and the people know what’s important there, and what’s purely symbolic. That’s why the city manager gets $150,000 a year to run the city while Collins gets $8,500.
Let’s be fair with Mues for a moment.
The man’s a patriot. He served his country in the U.S. Navy for 7 years, including a stint in the opening phase of the current Iraqi war.
After that he worked for 2 years as a high school teacher on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. I know from experience that working as a teacher is a difficult, often-thankless job. I imagine doing it on a reservation is even harder.
I think this speaks to character. Mues is a good, 4th-generation Montanan. He’s an exceptional Montanan, actually, one that’s going to have new child this year.
The fates have not been kind to Mues, however, as we saw this past summer with the drowning death that has marred his campaign. He’s trundling on despite that, and trying quite hard...at least on social media and with the fundraising. The last reports told us that both Mues and Collins had $50,000 in their campaign warchests.
Yeah…$50,000 vs. the $3.5 million that Daines has. And both men have the dire prospect of Bullock’s possible entry into the race hanging over their heads.
The real problem, however, is weakness.
The Democratic field of candidates is weak, however you want to look at it:
- Nationally, none of the clown car Dem candidates running against Trump are exciting the base, and they’re certainly not getting independent and swing voters excited.
- For the Senate, we have about five unknowns running against a guy that’s been at the forefront of Montana politics for about a decade, a guy that has a ton of money and the support of the D.C. establishment.
- Looking at the House, it appears Kathleen Williams will get the nod, and she’ll likely lose the general again, this time to whichever GOPer can take over for Gianforte, most likely Rosendale.
- The governor’s race is the worst, with a series of boring and unlikable candidates that the Dems hope can at least make a decent showing against Gianforte next year.
Whichever Dem candidate loses the most in the national or statewides next year will probably take over as executive director of the Montana Democratic Party in a year or two. A $72,000 a year consolation prize.
Dems still have a lot of time to get their act together, but I’m afraid that what’s happening nationally will have too much of an impact, and that much of the writing is already on the wall.
I don’t see monumental shake-ups and changes coming, nor do I see anyone exciting getting into any of the aforementioned races before the various filing deadlines happen.
But if history teaches us anything, it’s that anything can happen. Dems better hope it does, because as it’s going for them now, the GOP is going to steamroll them.