Here’s a shocker: Brian Schweitzer will not be the next President of the United States.
If the MSNBC-commentating former Montana governor with low name recognition faced an uphill battle to the Democratic presidential nomination, it’s now become a vertical cliff. The shoot-from-the-hip governor put his foot in his mouth for the umpteenth time in an interview with National Journal’s Marin Cogan published Wednesday night, saying outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sets off his “gaydar,” and crudely questioning Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s commitment to intelligence oversight.
Even without the likely Hillary Clinton candidacy, Democratic operatives have long dismissed Schweitzer—who has said he is weighing a presidential run—as a country side-show, firing wildly on all subjects from his home in Montana, unlikely to run and a sure loser if he did. Like a Chris Christie on steroids, he is refreshingly candid—but without the self-control.
In recent months Schweitzer has become an odd darling of the liberal left for his populist anti-Wall Street positions. He’s been one of the only Democrats willing to front their criticism of the Clintons—something he did just weeks ago to TIME. But even a cursory examination of his recent public statements makes it clear that Schweitzer is not going to be the figure so eagerly sought by Democrats thirsty for a primary challenge to Hillary Clinton. Just this past weekend, he participated in a panel at a summit of Mitt Romney’s former presidential campaign donors, criticizing the Affordable Care Act and President Barack Obama’s energy policy.
And that was before his comments to Cogan, which show insensitivity to key Democratic constituencies.
Beyond the substance of his comments, which have already set the blogosphere and Twitter aflame, Schweitzer demonstrates a lack of discipline that is no longer tolerated in American presidential politics—but it’s gold on cable news.