In an article published in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Williamson spoke with Brian Schweitzer and others about the likelihood the former Montana governor will run for president in 2016 and about his ability to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
"Looking out at the Rockies from a window in a sunlit room of his stone-and-timber home on Georgetown Lake," WIlliamson writes, "the former governor is torn, he said, between his currently comfortable life and the nagging sense he still has a role to play."
That role, should he decide to enter the 2016 race, would be as a pro-energy, pro-universal health care, anti-establishment populist. The formula worked for him in Helena, but Schweitzer sounds uncertain he'll be able to be as effective in Washington, D.C.:
"I think I've got ideas and drive," he said. "But how do you tell the lobbyists and corporations, 'You don't rule Washington, D.C.,' when they do? Once the pigs start squealing, nobody can hear."
One way, he said: "Yell louder."
Schweitzer never had much trouble having his voice heard above the political fray while he was governor. As the Indy wrote in a feature last year, "[I]f he were on a campaign trail right now, he'd be winning votes ... through sheer character and charisma." Only time will tell if that formula will work on a larger stage—and if Schweitzer wants to find out.