Video: Brian Schweitzer, in Iowa, Hits Dems Who Voted for the Iraq War

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 19 2013 1:55 PM

Video: Brian Schweitzer, in Iowa, Hits Dems Who Voted for the Iraq War

151489302
Who has (at least) one index finger and wouldn't have voted for the Iraq War? This guy!

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Scott Conroy appears to be the one national reporter with the sense to follow former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer to Iowa, where he gave a speech to happy progressives. The highlight, for internal Democratic Party warfare purposes, was a none-too-subtle rip of Hillary Clinton, the one 2012 contender who voted for the Iraq War. "George Bush got a bunch of Democrats to vote for that war," mourned Schweitzer. "I was shaking my head in Montana." And what would such a Democrat do during the next crisis?

“Now maybe we’re going to make the right decision, or maybe we’re just going to go to war again,” he said. “And the reason why I’m in Iowa, in part, is I’m asking you to pick the leaders who are not going to make those mistakes.”
That comment garnered one of Schweitzer’s few applause lines in his unscripted address, which otherwise focused on homespun anecdotes about his life and public service in Montana, including his efforts to enact education and prison reform.
“No more war for oil,” Schweitzer said at the conclusion of his speech.
Advertisement

The good people at Rising Response have clipped the video:

Nope, not really veiled. Clinton's far more popular among Iowa Democrats than she was in 2008, and even then, in polls of caucus-goers, she won the voters concerned with "experience" and rattled by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Another problem, if Schweitzer wants to weaponize this: The reason he's so ready to end "war for oil" is that he's aggressively pro-fracking, and wants to turn America into "the Saudi Arabia of natural gas." Even in this newsy speech, you can see the flaws that make him a suboptimal progressive champion.

But there are worse things than being suboptimal! For all the attention paid to Elizabeth Warren and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, few people have noticed that the PCCC was all-in for Schweitzer when he was pondering a Senate race. PCCC set up a "Draft Schweitzer" campaign to convince the former governor that the left base would be there if he ran. That's not because of shale. That's because, in part, of Schweitzer's support for a single-payer health care reform to replace Obamacare.

If Hillary's moved to the left in 2014 and 2015, I'd bet for the issue to be single-payer. Not inequality. Certainly not Iraq. Like the saying goes: What difference does it make at this point?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.