May 22, 2014

Obviously, the Wall St. Journal is happy to spotlight Democratic infighting -- but they're actually doing us a favor. The more people pushing Hillary Clinton from the left, the better:

ANACONDA, Mont.—In a pine-paneled bar at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Brian Schweitzer, the former Democratic governor of Montana, bites into a Tex-Mex salad and just about everything Hillary Clinton stands for.

He slams Mrs. Clinton for her ties to Wall Street, her courting of corporate campaign cash and her vote for the Iraq war as senator, a jab he delivered during a trip through Iowa in December.

Such outspoken criticism of Mrs. Clinton, rare among Democrats, inspires some leaders in the party's left wing, who are disillusioned with President Barack Obama and soured by prospects of an unchallenged Clinton candidacy in 2016.

Montana has more cattle than people, making Mr. Schweitzer a long shot for the Democratic presidential nomination, should he even try. Complicating things further, the former two-term governor has little name recognition, little money and a big appetite for oil and gas exploration.

But some Democrats say Mr. Schweitzer has a chance at an important role: the maverick who speaks for disillusioned liberals, calls out Mrs. Clinton's vulnerabilities and, perhaps, prods a more liberal champion into the race.

The perceived anointment of Mrs. Clinton has frustrated some Democrats seeking "a vigorous primary debate on bread-and-butter economic issues and who's going to take on Wall Street," said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn, a liberal political-action group with eight million members. "Any candidate, including Hillary Clinton, is going to have to answer a whole lot of questions on where they stand."

As Mrs. Clinton tacks right on foreign policy issues and delivers paid speeches to financial groups as the Democratic Party's most likely presidential contender, she leaves open a lane, if not for Mr. Schweitzer then for another candidate who speaks the language of liberal populism.

"We would be eager to provide him a platform to make his pitch," said Roger Hickey, who leads the Campaign for America's Future, the liberal group that helped launch Mr. Obama's presidential campaign. "There's a large number of progressive activists and even middle-of-the-road Democrats who would like to see a real debate and a lot of enthusiasm."

Of the Clintons' Wall Street connections, Mr. Schweitzer said: "If you can judge a person's character by the company they keep, in politics you can judge a person by the money they seek."

Neil Sroka, communications director for Democracy for America, a group that recruits and funds liberal candidates, says his members also question whether Mrs. Clinton is too close to Wall Street. Mr. Schweitzer, by contrast, "isn't beholden to the interests that dominate Washington," Mr. Sroka said. "He gets the fight in a really important way and that is incredibly appealing."

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