Calling President Schweitzer? 

Here were are, a mere 1,278 days until the 2008 general elections, and already the Democrats are lining up their list of presidential hopefuls. Word in the blogosphere is that Montana’s own Gov. Brian Schweitzer could be a hot pick for Democrats hoping to wrest Republican control of Red States in ’08.

Bloggers from Maryland to California are pegging the straight-talking Schweitzer as the Dems’ best hope against Southern Republicans like Sen. Bill Frist and Gov. Jeb Bush.

Raj Khandwalls, a medical student at Tufts University in Boston, is working on a website called www.schweitzerforpresident.com.

“Gov. Schweitzer has the charisma that Democrats need in order to change the perceptions of voters,” says Khandwalla. “I think his attitude resonates with people who have been apathetic about the political process.”

Khandwalla says he’s been contacted by national groups interested in his mission to promote Schweitzer as a presidential hopeful. However, he declined to reveal any names.

“Right now I wouldn’t characterize it as a campaign,” says Khandwalla. “We haven’t decided if there will be a petition [to recruit Schweitzer] or if it will just be a forum to discuss the possibility of a Schweitzer presidency.”

Progressive bloggers seem to like what they see in Schweitzer’s manner. Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, aka Kos, receives nearly half a million visits per day to his political blog. Kos had this to say of Schweitzer in ’08: “His brand of Western economic populism, conservationism (not “environmentalism”), and strict support of gun rights is the ticket to taking the Mountain West, hence, the whole country.”

A spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said Schweitzer is doing a good job of representing the party in Montana, but on the other hand, he’s been in office only about four months.

For his part, Schweitzer denies that he’s plotting a run for the White House.

“The governor is in no way instigating these comments,” said Schweitzer’s spokesman Adam Pimley. “He likes to read the blogs and gets a good chuckle out of them, but that’s about it. Gov. Schweitzer is committed to doing the job here in Montana, and there’s a lot of work to be done. He feels that he has the best job in the world and doesn’t want to change that.”

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