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MT: Dems Nominate Amanda Curtis

In the wake of the John Walsh plagiarism scandal that ended the sitting senator’s bid for his first election, Montana Democrats have chosen a candidate arguably less likely to pose a significant challenge to Representative Steve Daines.  State Representative Amanda Curtis of Butte received the party’s nomination to replace Walsh on the ballot.

In what might be the political world’s fitting conclusion to Shark Week, Curtis was thrown into the deep end of national politics with hardly a chance to take one good deep breath.  And the Ice Bucket Challenge of her fledgling political career resulted in large measure from her own YouTube video diaries.

Curtis regularly posted video updates throughout the 2013 legislative session.  A post at Legal Insurrection says Curtis’s “state legislative career is one long video selfie.

Curtis was nominated on Saturday.  By Monday, she was caught in the glare of the national spotlight.

The Washington Post described the situation in about the rosiest terms possible:

Democrats have probably put themselves in a better position than they would have been in with Walsh. But the reality is that Curtis is not a top-tier recruit.

Montana is a conservative state — Republicans appeared to have the upper hand here even before and during the time Walsh was the nominee. Now, they are really in the driver’s seat.

Hot Air ran a headline that simply stated “Montana Democrats Have Made a Huge Mistake”.  The article features a video montage produced by the Montana GOP from Curtis’s YouTube posts

In this video, Curtis mocks gun ownership, religion, family values, concern over the $17.6 trillion national debt, and self-identifies as an anarchist. Montana most certainly has a historic blue streak, but Curtis is a candidate so openly left-wing that she would have trouble winning a statewide race – much less the Democratic Party’s nomination — in even traditionally blue states.

By Tuesday,  Jaime Fuller at Washington Post’s  The Fix  had this to say:

Even if Curtis’s nomination is unlikely to reduce Republican Rep. Steve Daines’s early advantage, her candidacy is interesting for the following reason: Democrats decided not to play it safe. Democrats have made an art out of tip-toeing their way to victory or a slim loss in recent Senate elections by running ideologically moderate candidates in red states. But that’s not really who Curtis is.

The article’s title sums it up well:

Meet Amanda Curtis.  She’s a gun control-supporting vlogger.  She’s also the Democratic Senate nominee in Montana.

As the article notes, Curtis was involved in the push for comprehensive background checks first instigated by Michael Bloomberg and his organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

As apparently the only person in Montana who questioned Daines’ over his vote for CISPA in 2013, this writer can attest to the congressman’s skill at handling thorny questions.  And the relative ease with which he does so.  And the confidence with which he does so.

Amanda Curtis could learn a lot from the congressman, but it seems she may well be obliged to learn them the hard way.

Michael Mattson

Michael Mattson is State Editor for Watchdog Wire - Montana. He is founder and Executive Editor of The Hellroaring Review, an online literary journal that focuses on very short ("flash") fiction, as well as The Hellroaring Report, a news aggregator focused on the Mountain West and Northern Plains. Contact Michael at Montana@WatchdogWire.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Hell_Roaring

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Categories: Commentary, Elections, Must Read
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