Wipeout

ASSOCIATED PRESS
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By dropping out of the Montana Senate race, Sen. John Walsh brings a remarkable end to Democrats’ carefully laid plans for holding what was Max Baucus’ seat. In retrospect of course the plans for pushing Walsh were doomed from the outset by his yet-to-be-discovered plagiarism in his masters thesis. And today’s withdrawal just makes official what was already knew, that his candidacy was toast. But the machinations to try to preserve this as a Democratic seat were extensive, which makes Wash’s collapse so much more dramatic.

Remember that Baucus announced early last year that he would not seek re-election. By later making Baucus ambassador to China, President Obama enabled Montana’s Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock to appoint Walsh, his lieutenant governor, as Baucus’ successor months in advance of the election, giving him a big leg up. There was also a very public dustup over Harry Reid trying to clear other prospective Democratic candidates out of Walsh’s way.

All they say about best laid plans, etc. This one stings for national Democrats.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

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