I’m pretty sure I was at the state Republican Party convention last weekend in Missoula, but for as many times as I heard the name “Barack Obama,” I had to wonder.
Just the opposite could be said about the president’s own Democratic Party and its state convention, where, a week earlier, you rarely heard Obama’s name mentioned, if at all.
Make no mistake: Republicans in Montana are convinced Obama is an anvil around the neck of any Montana Democrat running for office, and are going to remind voters of that connection every chance they get.
Newt Gingrich, the former presidential candidate who spoke Saturday at the state GOP convention, read from the same script, especially when it came to Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, who’s up for re-election and in a dogfight with Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg.
“This Senate race has to be tied directly to the president,” Gingrich said. “This guy (Tester) is one more piece of the machine. …
“I want every one of you to tell all of your friends to ask Senator Tester one simple question: Does he honestly believe Barack Obama is better for Montana? … Does he want to lead ‘Democrats for Romney’ (in Montana)? Or does he actually believe that Barack Obama is better for Montana? Because there’s no in between.”
So, if you hadn’t figured it out already, you know the leading edge of the Montana GOP’s campaign this fall: Obama, Obama, Obama.
Rick Hill, the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate, uttered his share of political fighting words at last weekend’s convention – but he also talked about cooperation.
Toward the end of an interview with the Lee Newspapers State Bureau, Hill said he’s troubled by the acrimony and lack of respect that often exists between the Legislature and the governor’s office, and, sometimes, the state’s judiciary.
Hill said if Montana wants its economy to thrive, the three branches of government need to work together more closely to create a more predictable and stable legal and political climate for the state.
“I think governors too often box themselves in, and get in a position where they can’t work with other people or listen
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