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Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D, MT): having a polygamous family history is bad! …if you’re a Republican.

Via Hot Air comes this… I’m not sure what it is, besides pathetic. Anyway, Brian Schweitzer is apparently reveling in the curious freedom of being term-limited as the (Democratic) Governor of Montana; he decided to give The Daily Beast an earful, and I’m not entirely certain that Schweitzer has realized yet just how badly he stepped in it. Certainly badly enough that if he was hoping for a Senate gig in ’14, he should probably… stop hoping for that.

The Daily Beast contacted the office of Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer today to talk about whether his state would be in play in the 2012 presidential election. About a half hour later, the governor called back, and he had a lot to say. He didn’t think that Montana would be a swing state, but the Democrat did say that Mitt Romney could have issues nationally because his father was “born on a polygamy commune in Mexico.”


First off: Montana’s officially not in play, now? So much for that 49/47 split in 2008, then. And so much for the narrative that Barack Obama’s going to be doing anything except grimly pursue a defensive strategy in 2012, either. If they’re realistically not contending for any state that McCain won, our job gets a lot easier. But that’s not the bit that’s topical; the bit that’s topical is the “born on a polygamy commune in Mexico.”

Normally you expect governors to be smarter than this. Yes, it is true: Romney’s dad came from a polygamous household. Funny thing is – and I refuse to believe that Governor Schweitzer doesn’t know this already – SO DID OBAMA’S.

The line of polygamists in Obama’s family can be traced back generations in western Kenya, where it was an accepted practice within the Luo (pronounced LOO-oh) tribe. His great-grandfather, Obama Opiyo, had five wives, including two who were sisters. His grandfather, Hussein Onyango, had at least four wives, one of whom, Akumu, gave birth to the president’s father, Barack Obama, before fleeing her abusive husband. Obama Sr. was already married when he left Kenya to study at the University of Hawaii, where he married again. His American wife-to-be, Stanley Ann Dunham, was not yet 18 and unaware of his marital situation when she became pregnant with his namesake son in 1961.

And that leads to an obvious question: exactly why does Governor Schweitzer think that is this going to be a problem for Mitt Romney, and not for Barack Obama? Is there some other factor in play here that he doesn’t want to have to have to say out loud – and thus have the statement be on the governor’s public record? Well, I think that if there is one that Schweitzer’s seeing but not saying, then he needs to spell it out. Explicitly.

That is: if he has the guts, of course.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: It is proving surprisingly entertaining to watch the Democrats struggle to find a way to call Mitt Romney weird that doesn’t immediately lead to a perfectly reasonable observation that Barack Obama’s actually weirder. What’s next? Discussing the parenting record of George Romney? – Because trust me: the Democrats don’t want to directly compare and contrast that, either…

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