Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s theatrical “VETO branding” ceremony has caught the attention of the cable news networks. FOX News and MSNBC aired clips from the Lowdown video last night and this morning.
Schweitzer has never shied away from making a big splash to make a political point, yet Wednesday’s performance was perhaps Schweitzer’s most brazen in-you-face political stunt since 1999, when the then hardly known Democratic U.S. Senate candidate dumped $47,000 in cash onto the floor of the Capitol Rotunda to highlight the campaign cash his opponent, Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, received from tobacco companies.
Last night MSNBC host Rachel Maddow fawned over the veto branding during a nearly five minute segment on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
“How much does this dude love his job?” Maddow wondered.
Giving the spectacle rave reviews, Maddow said: “I could watch this all day. This is so much better than politics has any right to be.”
Here’s the video from the show:
FOX News picked up the story this morning, calling it a “must see moment.” I can’t find the video on their website so I posted a camera phone clip from today’s “Happening Now” program. Sorry for the poor quality. You’ll have to turn up the volume a bit. If I find a clip from FOX I’ll post it.
While Schweitzer’s theatrics have garnered a lot of attention and praise from Democrats, Republicans, predictably, weren’t impressed.
"I think it's deeply disrespectful," Republican Sen. Jason Priest of Red Lodge said.
Schweitzer vetoed three of Priest's bills Wednesday, including a bill to revise energy efficiency building code requirements, a bill to prohibit the creation of health insurance exchanges under the new federal health care law and a bill to require cost-benefit analysis of mandated health insurance coverage.
"Some of those bills had bi-partisan support," Priest said. "I think not only is it bad political theater but bad policy."
Priest has a brand of his own: “BS.”