I think my tweet around 3:30 today said it all:
No one, that’s who – not a single damn person in Montana is going to get excited about the Mike Cooney appointment.
And when I say excited I mean something like this:
Holy Hell, Margarie – take a look at this news! Mike Cooney has been appointed the new lieutenant governor.
That can’t be, Jim – let me see.
It’s right here in the newspaper – happened yesterday morning.
Oh, thank the Lord, thank the Lord – Mike Cooney. My God, Jim – all of our problems are solved!
I doubt we’ll see any excitement like that again. And far from it being some anomaly, it actually happens quite a bit.
We had it with Amanda Curtis. We had it with Angela McLean.
Alright, alright – for Angela McLean it might have taken a bit of time to get to know her and warm up to her.
Most people, however, figured out pretty quickly that she was the real deal.
Everyone knew Amanda Curtis was the real deal last August 16.
Well, those days are done. Now we have Mike Cooney.
That’s the word I hear over and over when it comes to Cooney – he’s safe.
That’s another one I hear quite a bit of – Mike Cooney’s a helluva nice guy.
There’s another adjective I’ve been hearing a bit of – Bullock made a great pick today.
Does anyone else feel like we’ve wandered into a George Carlin clip? We might as well, because this pick seems almost comedic to me.
Who’s going to get excited about Mike Cooney?
Well, that’s not really the idea with this appointment, now is it?
If you go to the analysis of Mike Dennison over at Montana Television Network’s KXLH you’ll get some of the following:
- Dave Parker of MSU’s poly-sci department calls the Cooney pick “safe and uninspired.”
- The Montana GOP calls Cooney a “Helena insider and a career bureaucrat” who will “hopefully…do as told.”
- Also brought up is the appointment of Cooney’s wife as a state district judge, a position she’ll be openly running for in 2016.
Damn, two Cooney’s on the ballot in Montana. Could both lose?
Remember, we’re heading into an anti-year. In Montana, with the heavy GOP majorities, that’s not good for Democrats.
Now, let’s get to Cooney himself.
He’s a nice guy, a safe pick, and a great leader.
These are all accolades and accomplishments. He said during the appointment announcement that he’s looking “forward to rolling up my sleeves and digging into the important work that the governor has asked me to get started on.”
What is that important work?
We know from my November 30 article (which gave Cooney 90:1 odds, I might add), that the lieutenant governor doesn’t really have any important work.
Could this important work somehow coincide with the reappointment of Dave Parker from advisor-level status to head of the Main Streets Montana program?
Maybe they’re trying to bring that thing back from the dead in time to tour around the state, some kind of small business message in hand.
I dunno – no one does. I doubt Cooney knows what he’s supposed to be doing…other than campaigning and raising money.
It seems many feel Cooney is a good pick for that stuff. I can’t help but think this is the Washington taint that has seeped into him.
Alright, alright – there I go, getting all negative.
I’m sorry, but the guy spent a decade in Washington. Now, he may have gotten away before Baucus went fully over to the dark side (think corporate cronyism, the pharmaceautical industry being the big one) and that’s great.
But gosh darn, I can’t help but think some of his fundraising capabilities still come from those D.C. connections he forged back in the day, kept going through several statewide runs for office, and is probably expected to bring to the table – and campaign trail – for Bullock in 2016.
That’s just a hunch, but gee whiz, why else pick the guy?
Who’s going to get excited about Mike Cooney?
Well, we pick him because he’s safe…and a good administrator.
Remember, Bullock has got to put the shoe leather on the pavement this year and be just about everywhere.
Whether it’s kissing babies in Big Timber or kissing ass in the boardroom, he’s got to be out there.
Someone, therefore, has got to run the ship of state.
We saw with the McLean fiasco that Bullock was out of state for a full week when that news first broke.
Between his former DGA duties and his out of state fundraising, Bullock has been leaving his state office/governing duties to his subordinates.
Usually this would be McLean, but with the falling out they had, it was his advisor-level staff, primarily (in my opinion) Stone-Manning and…I dunno – is there anyone else?
Remember, Parker was given a step-down.
Things stink in the Capitol, and while I’m not privy to all that goes in there, it seems to me that lots of people aren’t happy.
These are probably the rank and file workers that have to put up with political shit while trying to do the grunt work that running the state entails.
Remember, when you’re an elected official there’s always someone to shove something off onto.
That guy is now Mike Cooney – the guy that Bullock will shove off his governing duties and responsibilities to while he’s out fundraising/meeting the people.
I think a big problem is the incredibly small bench of people that the Montana Democratic Party has to choose from.
- Most of the time, we look to fundraising ability more than the ability to get out the vote.
- Lots of the time we favor older, established people instead of younger folks that have new and fresh ideas.
- Many times we cling to old ways of doing things instead of reinvigorating ourselves with a fresh approach.
Mike Cooney embodies all of those things.
- Thank God for Bullock that Gianforte is 54-years old and not that exciting for young people.
- Thank God for Gianforte that young people largely ignore politics (if they haven’t left the state already).
- Thank God for all of us that Baby Boomers and the remnants of the Greatest and Silent Generation will be the target demographics in this Montana election cycle.
I say that last because you know which channels to avoid if you don’t want to see the bombardment of ads that should begin in March.
I won’t see ‘em – I don’t have a TV.
Maybe I’ll hear some on the radio, see a few online.
That’s what all that fundraising is about, after all, buying up advertising.
Bullock will have to do that a lot. He’s 49-years old, just 5 years younger than Gianforte.
Unlike Gianforte, Bullock still has his hair.
Do you think Gianforte’s hair is gone or that he shaves his head?
Does it matter?
- At least he’s out there and being authentic.
- He’s an older guy that made some money and likes Montana.
- He claims he wants to help, and since he’s going all over the state and even working with Oracle to bring 1,000 jobs to Bozeman, it sure seems that way.
Jeez, Gianforte’s about a decade younger than my own parents.
The problem, at least according to the Democrats, is that he’s got kooky religious ideas, wants to take your pensions, and gives too much damn money to charities…which (God forbid) are often religiously-affiliated.
So that’s why we can’t vote for him.
Oh, and he’s a Republican.
Unfortunately for Democrats, most of Montana is Republican these days.
Worse, those Republicans tend to do better at getting out the vote…mainly because Democrats do so badly in that regard.
Taken together with the sheer revulsion many Democrats feel toward Hillary Clinton, and the unshakeable zeal many Republicans feel for Donald Trump, we could see some very interesting turnout numbers in 11 months.
To me, that spells trouble for Bullock.
Worse, we know that Democrats do a terrible job voting down-ticket, meaning those Democrats running for other statewide offices will also do poorly.
Shit – that’s a double-whammy and Bullock didn’t help matters today with his safe pick.
Who is going to get excited about Mike Cooney?
I just have to say, ‘thank God Bullock did not pick Amanda Curtis as his running mate.’
I was thinking about this the other day.
What if he picks Amanda Curtis? Damn it, I might have to swallow my pride and vote for the guy.
Thankfully I no longer face that dilemma.
Do you think she was asked?
I doubt it – she’s too young, has ideas, and isn’t part of the establishment.
Picks like that aren’t safe.
But let's not fret and worry and think upon that.
A New Year is upon us, an election year!
Here in Montana we have to keep Bullock in office at all costs. If we don’t, well…don’t ask.
I’m sorry, but I’m getting tired of these fear tactics guiding my vote.
I’ve got enough to be afraid of, and frankly, I don’t see how Bullock benefits or hurts me.
The case has not been made.
We’ll see if it is, though I suspect if the attempt is made it’ll be on the airwaves, in 30 second soundbites.
God help us.