Denny’s Fresh New Deterrent to 2012 Senate Run


Will chairing powerful subcommittee be enough to deter Denny Rehberg from challenging Senator Jon Tester in 2012?

Montana’s Representative Denny Rehberg,  was today named chairman of the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, one of three subcommittees within the powerful  House Appropriations Committee.  Congressman Rehberg’s approval by Speaker Boehner and the House Republican Steering Committee was unanimous, he has served on the committee since 2005.

The question of Rehberg’s 2012 political intentions remains.  Will he be satisfied with his higher profile role in Congress or will he finally decide to run for Senator Jon Tester‘s US Senate seat in 2012?

Rumors have been circulating for months and the Rehberg camp has been relatively silent on the Congressman’s plans for the future.  Republican businessman Steve Daines of Bozeman has already announced a challenge to US Senator Jon Tester and many Montanans would prefer to avoid placing Rehberg and Daines in a contested primary.  Some speculate Daines would drop out as a courtesy to Rehberg and would instead run for the Rehberg’s US Representative seat, but neither side has confirmed any such plans. Interestingly, Rehberg was also rumored, albeit to a lesser extent, to be considering running for Montana governor.  Some Montana Republicans are frustrated with Rehberg, accusing him of actively thwarting the fundraising efforts of Republican candidates for both positions in question and are encouraging him to make a decision. When asked about Rehberg’s Senate prospects in 2012, spokesman Jed Link said “Denny is focused on doing the job the overwhelming majority of Montana voters sent him to Washington to do.”

Personally, I’d like Denny to remain where he is. I’m not a fan of lifelong politicians but since he apparently intends to be one, I think he will have far more power to advance a conservative agenda  while chairing a powerful subcommittee than he would as a freshman senator.  I think Steve Daines is a likeable candidate but his alignment with Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill is concerning.  I’d hate for Hill’s baggage to adversely affect Daines’s viability.  According to recent polls, US Congressman Hill currently has better name recognition but that recognition is highly negative. Daines, who is a relatively new face in politics (although he’s been involved on many levels for decades) may be wise to distance himself from the Hill campaign and instead capitalize on the current anti-incumbent/establishment politician wave.  The only one who stands to benefit from the alignment is Rick Hill, whose advanced age, health concerns, unimpressive voting record, and tendency to bail in stressful situations makes many  apprehensive about electing him to any office let alone crowning him the CEO of an entire state.

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4 thoughts on “Denny’s Fresh New Deterrent to 2012 Senate Run

  1. I’ll vote for Rick Hill and Steve Daines and if Rep Rehberg stays where he is, Denny Rehberg.

    I like Jon Tester’s recent comments though, rejecting the far left’s demands for ideological purity. I hope Rick Hill and Steve Daines do the same.

    Got a recent telephone poll asking me if I’d vote for Brian Schweitzer as an independent. They didn’t give me my option, “wouldn’t vote for Brian Schweitzer as dog catcher”.

    • You were asked if you’d vote for Schweitzer as an independent… I’m assuming you mean for Senate? Or President? lol A few months back he felt it necessary to dispel all of those nasty rumors flying around about him running for President. I see Cowgirl is boasting of his approval rating again, she must be so proud.

      I will vote for Steve Daines but I have yet to decide which candidate I support for governor. I’m no fan of Rick Hill, so I don’t see myself voting for him. You never know though- a lot can happen prior to the elections. I’m definitely going to have to make it to some events so I can contrast the candidates. Can you tell me why you plan to vote for Hill vs the other candidates? I’ve not been able to find dirt on either of them. So far nobody has been able to provide me with any compelling information, but I’m all ears if you have some.

  2. Last summer (2010)a Democratic legislator relayed the story of running into Schweitzer at an airport on the east coast. When asked where he had been he said he had just come back from New Hampshire and had a national firm do a poll on his name recognition and peoples opinions of him running for president.

    Brian apparently thinks big if not dillusionaly at times.

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