There are many who look at an opportunity to be considered a candidate for the U.S. Senate to be an honor, a rare chance in life to make a difference serving in one of the nation’s most prestigious legislative bodies. For John Walsh, Montana’s Democratic Lieutenant Governor, not so much.
When Senator Max Baucus announced his retirement earlier this year, and former Governor Brian Schweitzer declined to run, Democrats scrambled to find a candidate. In desperation they focused on the Lieutenant Governor, despite the fact that he had been in office for less than a year and was by all accounts a political newbie.
When asked in July about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run, or even be considered for the highly-esteemed office, John Walsh’s response was “I have not really thought about it at all.“ That’s so, um, inspiring.
Fast forward to October and the unmotivated potential candidate apparently WAS sort of thinking about it. He released a highly-scripted announcement video, yet oddly refused any interviews or public appearances. He also launched a campaign website, which to this day has yet to include anything about his past experience, current role as Lieutenant Governor, the issues he supports, or what he would do if elected.
With his psuedo-campaign on cruise control, he would go about his daily life in October and November, which according to limited reports coming from his or Governor Steve Bullock’s office consisted of “making eight speeches, handing out Halloween candy, and involvement with four events at three different football games.”
Then the BIG announcement came, Senator Baucus would likely be leaving to become the next ambassador to China. But who would Governor Bullock appoint to fill the potential vacant seat? When approached by reporters for a comment John Walsh, the highly unmotivated candidate said a familiar talking point, “I have not thought about that.“ Really? But didn’t he announce two months earlier that he wanted the job? To add further insult to injury, he was asked whether he was prepared to be a Senator, replying “I will cross that bridge when I get to it.“
Walsh’s disinterest in representing the state in the U.S. Senate is unnerving and voters have picked-up on that, as evident in recent polling that show Rep. Steve Daines, who is also running for the U.S. Senate as a Republican, with a considerable double-digit lead. There have been no other indicators showing him fairing any better, and the fundraising lead that Daines has amassed will be hard to beat.
Those familiar with Occam’s Razor, a line of reasoning that says the simplest answer is often correct, can apply the same to John Walsh… he doesn’t want the job. His lazy approach to running a campaign, lack of support, and the sheer fact that he has zero motivation are all indications of someone who doesn’t want to run for office.
Democrats would be wise to keep John Walsh in Montana, doing whatever he does as Lieutenant Governor.