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Following DNC, rumors of Schweitzer's Presidential aspirations continue

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By Emily Stifler Managing Editor

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer brought his trademark showmanship to the 2012 DNC in Charlotte, N.C. earlier this month, preaching to the choir at his second DNC in a row.

Speaking for nearly nine minutes, the Governor made it clear he’s against having Republican nominee Mitt Romney anywhere near the White House.

“Mitt’s a good family man and a loyal American,” Schweitzer said. “But – and you knew there was a ‘but’ – he brought the wrong agenda to Massachusetts. And he is the wrong guy to be president of the United States. Governor Mitt Romney saddled Massachusetts taxpayers with an additional $2.6 billion in debt, and left ’em with the most debt per capita of any state in America…In Montana, that dog don’t hunt.”

He continued with the hunting theme, something that prompted Wall Street Journal writer Alicia Mundy to call the speech “folksy” in a follow up article, and also point out what many in the national media have:

“Montana’s outspoken and popular governor, Brian Schweitzer, took the stage at the Democratic convention Thursday night, offering a speech that could be looking ahead to the 2016 race,” Mundy wrote.

While the term-limited Governor has long denied plans to run for president in 2016, the rumors abound in the media. He conducted interviews on several national news stations prior to the convention including MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and PBS Newshour, and at the convention drew attention for meeting with delegates from Iowa and New Hampshire, both key primary states in the national election.

In his speech Schweitzer slammed Romney for raising taxes and fees on college tuition, driver’s and gun licenses, mental health services and milk in Massachusetts.

Then the Governor bragged about Montana’s $400 million budget surplus, its recent investments in education, and its increased number of college educated adults.

“We cut more taxes, for more people, than any governor in Montana history, and our bond rating was upgraded,” Schweitzer said. “Montana is moving in the right direction. So is America.”

Schweitzer also championed President Obama’s efforts, pointing out a few details: 4.5 million new private sector jobs and 29 straight months of job growth; a healthier stock market; higher energy production; fewer imports from foreign countries; the return of manufacturing jobs; and tax cuts for the typical middle-class.

Although Schweitzer had great reviews within the Democratic party after his energetic 2008 speech, many of this year’s follow-up stories weren’t quite as flattering.

“The governor of Montana was one of the breakout stars of the 2008 Democratic National Convention with a speech that lit up the Denver hall,” wrote Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza. “But tonight Schweitzer seemed … like he was playing a character named ‘Brian Schweitzer’.”

Stay tuned.

When The Late Show’s David Letterman asked Schweitzer earlier this summer what he plans to do after his term ends, the Governor said, “I think I’m going to go fishing in the morning, drink whiskey in the afternoon, and if somebody calls me with a problem, I’m going to give them a phone number of somebody who cares.”

For all we know, this dog might hunt.

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