Despite very high hopes that it be a certain someone, I certainly have no great insight about who will actually be the Democratic presidential candidate will be in 2008.
But after re-reading Eric Alterman's book, "What Liberal Media," (by the way, get this book, it is chock full of nuggets) I have concerns about the insularity, the bias and the nose-rings-looking-to-be-tethered of many in the national press, especially regarding presidential campaigns.
Bill Clinton, despite shooting himself in the foot a few different times and thereby providing free ammunition to many, was detested from the get-go by the majority of the DC and national press elite. As Alterman's book details, this dislike actually began during Clinton's first presidential campaign, way pre-Monica. Clinton wasn't one of the 'familiar' ones, not among the comfortable coterie nor the frequent dinner party invitee. Heck he was from Arkansas for heaven sakes, a veritable heathen among the gentility! And his mere presence would despoil the shangri-la of the 51st state.
Al Gore became just as detested in 2000 but for different reasons. He was an overlorder, a know-it-all, just plain 'unlikable' and such became the blackballing theme during that presidential campaign. A smartypants running against a supposed genial doofus and, as Alterman's book quantifies, many in the the press chose the latter. Apparently what failed to register with many in the media was that this was a contest for the Presidency of the United States, the most powerful position on this planet, and not the choosing of a date for the prom.
Hell, look at the coverage from the DC media elite now. The Bush Administration threats to imprison journalists for involvement in leaks (one would think that might register with the media, that is the media who still believe in investigative reporting and not stenography), cumulative evidence of outright lies concerning the invasion of Iraq, a war that not only is killing and maiming thousands but is depleting our treasury, the amiable emperor of the free world forced into a veritible striptease with new disclosures of misconduct weekly and so on. Still, he's a 'fun' guy and remains in a what's-not-to-like media-spun cocoon.
So, what does this have to do with Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer? Well, I may be putting the proverbial cart in front of the fairytale horse but Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, if he decides to run for president in 2008 (hint, hint, hint), will certainly be seen as an outsider and the DCers/media elite will likely be performing calisthenics, warming up in preparation to pounce on another uncouth infidel from uncivilization out west.
Thankfully for our country, but not for him, Schweitzer won't have the tragedy of 9/11 to mute any personal criticism. Schweitzer also won't have the Bush family lineage that provided so much immediate unearned entre for Dubya. Plus, Schweitzer isn't anywhere near a blueblood elite, nor one who prepped at the finest institutions or supped at an aristocratic family table.
Adorned in a bolo tie and cowboy boots, the Schweitzer caricatures will be many. But isn't it time we truly looked deeper into our presidential candidates, looking at character, at ability, at intelligence, at achievement, heck even mental health?
But will the media let us?