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Thursday, January 16, 2014

2016 heats up: Brian Schweitzer and...Jesse Ventura?

Former Democratic governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, is laying the groundwork for a 2016 run against Hillary Clinton -- and he plans to run to her left, or at least to the left of Obama. (I knew it was a bad idea for her to join his administration.) Schweitzer says he can't think of a single positive thing Obama has done.

Last month, Schweitzer called Obama a corporatist.
He also warned that Hillary Clinton could do the same thing if she becomes president.

“The question that we have is, will it be the Hillary that leads the progressives? Or is it the Hillary that says, ‘I’m already going to win the Democratic nomination, and so I can shift hard right on Day 1,' " Schweitzer said in an interview with The Weekly Standard.

"We can’t afford any more hard right. We had eight years of George Bush. Now we’ve had five years of Obama, [who], I would argue, in many cases has been a corporatist,” the former governor said.
And now, here he is on Obama's list of good deeds:
“My mother, God rest her soul, told me ‘Brian, if you can’t think of something nice to say about something change the subject,’” he said.

But he couldn’t help himself, slamming Obama’s record on civil liberties (the NSA revelations were “un-effing-believable”), his competency (“They just haven’t been very good at running things”), and above all, Obamacare (“It will collapse on its own weight”).

Eventually, he paused to acknowledge Obama’s historic role as the first black president. But by that standard, Obama’s usefulness ended the day he took the oath of office.
I like this guy.

But you know who else is talking similar talk? Jesse Ventura.

A reader directed my attention to a British podcast called The Unexplained, hosted by a man named -- I kid you not -- Howard Hughes. Hughes seems a decent sort; he projects a much more reasonable and low-key persona than one would expect from an American broadcaster doing that kind of show. He had Ventura on the show to talk about the JFK assassination, which Ventura did with decidedly mixed results. The former governor spewed a lot of myths and iffy stories, buying into Judith Vary Baker's claims and spreading discredited data about the tramp photos. He also ignored the new and exciting document releases concerning Oswald's sojourn in Mexico. True, Ventura made many accurate statements about the assassination, but they all fell into the "JFK 101" category. Advanced students will yawn.

Incidentally, Ventura also thinks that Smedley Butler's War is a Racket is some sort of "banned" book. Nonsense. I've seen copies in bookstores plenty of times.

What really intrigued me were the former governor's strong hints that he might hop into the 2016 presidential race, running as an independent. Frankly, I don't think he'd be a bad president. (He wasn't a bad governor.) One thing's for sure: This former fighting man seems genuinely appalled by war, and I'm sure that he will be stone deaf when the neo-cons try to whisper into his ear.

But all such talk is silly. This man has no chance of winning. He claims to be an atheist, and Americans still are not ready to vote for an open atheist. (I think there have been a few presidents who were secret non-believers.) And he refuses to fly.

More to the point, the media won't take him seriously. The JFK business alone is enough to make him the target of endless ridicule.

Then again: If the media came to the conclusion that he would draw more votes away from the Democrat than from the Republican, he might get just enough positive coverage to unsettle the race. He won't win, but he could shake things up. On the other hand, I can see a situation in which Ventura might have a greater impact on the conservative voters.

Do you think there could be a "Ventura factor" at play in 2016?
I'm guessing you meant 2016 Joseph?

In any case, it would be interesting. I'm like this former Montana governor. Let's just remember, politicians as a rule will say whatever they think will garner the most votes. The last two presidents certainly diverged greatly from their platforms as soon as they got into office. The cynic in me expects this to continue in 2016, but I hope to be wrong.

It would just be nice to have an Independent run and get ANY coverage at all. Ventura might not be my choice for President, but I think you might be right that he could pull some voters on the right if he continues with the conspiracy show appearances (as long as it's the conspiracies they agree with, of course).
I always liked the Political Body but he can go way overboard sometimes. The Gov sounds like my kind of guy-- I like what he says-- but he can't beats SOS Clinton. Maybe he should at being her Vice, building his national creds, then jumping to Prez. I think the Body would siphon more Nugent types from the moderate Right (that hurts my mouth to say that)than from the Left.
Gus -- whoops! Heckuva typo, and I made it twice. Thanks for pointing it out; I've corrected. Guess the annoying 2012 race (between A Guy I Don't Like and A Guy I REALLY REALLY Don't Like) still weighs heavily on my mind.
Jesse has some pretty strong views on your favorite forbidden subject, Joseph. Are you unaware of this? Try watching his TV show's episode on that taboo topic, featuring sound-bite guests who just happen to be some of the all-time Cannon bugbears, but be sure to take your blood pressure medicine first.
I'm sure Jesse Ventura believes a lot of things I would consider foolish. But if he also believes in peace, transparency in government, and putting an end to the corrupting influence of Big Money -- well, those factors count for a lot.
Jeese Ventura is a relatively frequent guest on Howard Stern's show so I've heard him talking about his presidential aspirations for years now. Interesting to note is that the plan is for Howard Stern to be Ventura's VP candidate.

An awesome ticket for sure, but not a snowball's chance in hell of winning.
Howard Stern? Oh shit. I stopped following that creep years ago. Shortly after the L.A. riots, he got on the air and said that the National Guard should have shot the rioters en masse, no questions asked.

And aside from that, he just isn't funny.

No. Not him.
Hmm. Schweitzer from the left flank...
I believe that would make Hillary try to pull in an Elizabeth Warren as possible VP to drag the progressives into her camp.

Ventura could be the Ross Perot in the conservatives stew.

But ultimately word in some circles is Jeb Bush has already been decided on, and the rest is just for show. Sorry Ted Cruz.

Let's keep our eye on Schweitzer, if nothing else he may pull Hill to the left (a little).

Jeb is beatable. The Bush name has been well and truly disgraced. Even a lot of tea partiers recall Dubya unfondly.

I'm fine with a Clinton/Warren ticket. You're right -- even if Hillary is the nominee, we need to press her to be truer to the progressive view of the world.
Bernie Sanders is the only likely candidate who'd get me to vote in 2016.

It's all kabuki anyway, isn't it? Corporations and oligarchs have bought the system.

"...we need to press her to be truer to the progressive view of the world." I'm sure President Hillary Clinton will be just as true to progressive principles as President Obama has been, meaning that she will be a perfect corporate tool who will advance the causes of eternal warfare, total police state surveillance, and subservience to our corporate owners as we descend further into neo-feudalism. (Corporatism sounds a lot nicer than plain old fascism, although the outcomes are pretty much the same.)
"The Bush name has been well and truly disgraced." Perfectly true. Anyone named Bush should have as much chance of success on a national ticket as someone named Ted Bundy.
cracker, there's such a thing as TOO cynical. Bill Clinton was a disappointment in certain ways, but he was, I felt a good president. There were no wars. I don't think there will be any foolish wars under Hillary.

Hillary Clinton ticked me off during her tenure as SOS, but I expected that to happen.
Hillary actually opposed NAFTA in the 1990's (according to Carl Bernstein & Sally Bedell Smith - authors of two fairly critical books);former AFSCME President Jerry McEntee confirmed this. (and we all remember Obama's backchannel to Canada re: NAFTA during the 08 primaries).

She also voted against CAFTA as a senator.

It's counter-intuitive, but I think Hillary would actually be more progressive once in office.

For one thing, she would be less inclined than Bill & Barack to waste time on that post-parstisan nonsense.
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