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REMEMBER Art Linkletter's show, 'Kids Say the Darndest Things"? You could probably do a show on the outrageous things politicians say, too, and some of former Gov. Brian Schweitzer's comments would no doubt qualify for segments.
Take, for example, his latest outburst about how men in the South are "a little effeminate...and have "effeminate mannerisms." The remarks by Schweitzer, who is being mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential contender, are in a fascinating National Journal profile. Schweitzer made them when he was asked about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's recent upset defeat in a Virginia GOP primary, and he said that, when he sees Cantor talking on TV, his "gaydar" goes off.
"I'm fine with gay people," Schweitzer told the National Journal, "that's all right--but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's (Cantor not (gay) I think, so I don't know. Again I couldn't care less. I'm accepting."
Schweitzer also compared California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to a sex worker for the intelligence community.
On Thursday, the panelists on MSNBC's Morning Joe laughed at Schweitzer's remarks, but also expressed surprise. Pundit Ezra Klein said it shows a "lack of internal discipline" that the former Democratic governor would make comments that could alienate so many. If Schweitzer does indeed plan to run for president, said Klein, this could be a "huge, huge, huge problem."
Aaron Blake of the Washington Post said Schweitzer's gaffes basically ends any presidential aspirations he might have had.
UPDATE: Schweitzer says on his Facebook page that he's "deeply sorry" about his remarks. The former governor has made a lot of eye-opening comments over the years, but this may be the first time he's ever apologized for anything he's said.
NO DOUBT some will argue this is one of the dumbest -- and most questionable -- studies they've seen. But I'll trot it out for those Montanans who need a confidence booster. (We know, we know, there are those who would argue that's the last thing Montanans need.)
This study purports to measure the IQ levels of residents of the states and, lo and behold, Montana emerged with one of the highest average IQ scores: 103.4. That tied it with Maine for 6th in the nation. The only states higher were Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, North Dakota and Minnesota.
A California-based real-estate group, Movoto, did the study analyzing, of all things, tweets from each of the states. Movoto looked at over 500,000 unique tweets from around the country, examining them for grammar, spelling and word choice and then creating a map to display the results.
"While we were doing our research, we noticed a not-entirely unexpected correlation between the estimated average state IQ levels and the respective reading levels of the tweets produced in each state," the authors of the Movoto study said.
Does that make sense? You can use your staggeringly high IQ to figure it out.
NATE Silver, the highly regarded polling expert at FiveThirtyEightPolitics.com, believes national Democrats "may need to write off" U.S. Sen. John Walsh if he doesn't soon improve his polling numbers against GOP opponent Congressman Steve Daines.
Silver gives Walsh only a 15 percent chance of beating Daines -- down from a 20 percent chance in March.
Silver notes that political analysts like the Cook Political Report describe Montana's U.S. Senate race as merely leaning Republican, but the polling models show Daines as "almost certain to win."
"The case for the Democrat, the appointed incumbent Sen. John Walsh, would rely on citing Montana's recent political history (Democrats have performed well and closed well in non-presidential races there) and Walsh's political pedigree (he is Montana's former lieutenant governor)," Silver adds. "It seems like a stretch to us (and may result partly from the erroneous assumption that all incumbents are equal, when in fact appointed incumbents like Walsh run far worse than elected ones do.)"
UPDATE: This Bozeman Chronicle story notes that one of the polls done on the Walsh-Daines race was done by the same pollster, Vox Populi, that predicted US House Majority Eric Cantor would win his primary contest. Cantor lost in an upset to an unknown tea party candidate, Dave Brat.
The Chronicle story doesn't say it, but a chart below it shows that five other polling organizations have done polls in Montana showing Daines with leads over Walsh of 7 points or more.
2nd UPDATE: The first poll taken after the primary shows Daines with an 18-point lead over Walsh. It was conducted by Rasmussen Reports.