|Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders|
Let's break this all out.
First, why doesn't MSNBC mention former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer at all? As I've blogged about before, he's dropped a few hints about a possible run, and if not as much of an enviro as a Sanders, is certainly as much anti-establishmentarian as him or Webb, and more so than O'Malley.
Second, MoveOn? That's exactly what you need to do. Elizabeth Warren knows about timetables for presidential campaigns. In other words, "no means no."
Third, Sanders is officially an Independent as a Senator. He fully caucuses with Dems, yes, but still. It's a reasonable reason for him to get a bit of a cold shoulder. That said, he ought to take Howard Dean's non-support as a badge of honor.
Fourth, as far as campaign building? It's true that Sanders comes from a small state. It's also true that Webb's been out of politics for a while (and I don't think has the temperament for a presidential campaign). Nonetheless, contra national Dems' sniffing, as reported by MSNBC, I know we had similar comments about an Illinois state senator, no matter his stage popularity, in 2006 at year end.
As for me? Sanders would be someone for whom I'd vote Democratic, not Green. Webb? I'd have to hear him suss some things out more. Webb, despite his populism on some economic issues, has indicated little about what the government's role is in addressing those issues. O'Malley? He's got the "presidential look" more than the other two, but he might be too establishmentarian.
Schweitzer the unmentioned? If he weren't so weak on environmental issues, I'd definitely vote for him in the general election. I'd still vote for him over Hillary in a primary.
Back to an earlier point, though.
If Bernie does run, how much will it hurt him in Democratic primaries being an Independent as a senator? I think it's a question he has to figure out, at least to some degree, before running.