Baucus New Position Impact on Senate Race - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Baucus New Position Impact on Senate Race

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS -

Big news for the Montana political scene, as it is now official that President Obama will nominate Senator Max Baucus to be the next ambassador to China.

Should the U.S. senate confirm Baucus for the ambassador position, it raises two areas of interest.

For one, what is the significance of such a high caliber position for a Montana senator?

And two, what impact could this have on the upcoming Montana U.S. senate race?

"It's extremely important because it's a very prominent appointment," said Dr. Craig Wilson, a professor of political science at MSU Billings.

Ambassador to China is now one of the most important international relationships.

"It's an honor to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my mentor, Mike Mansfield. Mike worked and strengthened and improved America's important relationships throughout Asia, and I'll strive to do the same," said Senator Baucus.

But now an interesting play. Baucus will take the new position with one year still left in his term as senator. Which means Governor Bullock gets to name the replacement to the vacant seat for the next year.

"I think the Montana Democratic Party would like to see Walsh nominated. Now, to some it will look like it's transparent, simply because he's running for the senate office, so he got the nomination," said Wilson.

Should Walsh become the nominee, the question is then raised, will an extra year as senator provide an unfair advantage in the U.S. senate race?

"I think at the end of the day, the reason that polls show this senate seat to most likely to go Republican, has to do with issues. Montanans want to see lower taxes, they want to see more jobs and less regulations on our small businesses. And I don't think using a senate appointment for partisan advantage, is going to change that situation," said Bowen Greenwood, Executive Director of the Montana Republican Party.

Baucus' nomination will soon head to congress to await the confirmation process in the U.S. senate. Meanwhile, it's a little known fact that Baucus has had a long standing fascination with China and has been there eight times.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Montana Make-A-Wish Hosts Missouri Boy

    Montana Make-A-Wish Hosts Missouri Boy

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:13 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:13:55 GMT
    Make-A-Wish Montana is hosting a Missouri family in Big Timber from July 26 – Aug.1. It's a dream come true for one 8-year-old boy.
    Make-A-Wish Montana is hosting a Missouri family in Big Timber from July 26 – Aug.1. It's a dream come true for one 8-year-old boy.
  • Street Lights Needed

    Street Lights Needed

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:51 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:51:12 GMT
    Streets that run for several blocks, without a single street light. It is a dark reality many residents throughout the Magic City face when the sun goes down. Leo Robinson lives on Monad Rd., east of 24th Street. He said if street lights were placed on Monad, safety for everyone would improve. Terry Smith, City Traffic Engineer, said the city is more than willing to work with anyone, on any street, which lacks street lights.
    Streets that run for several blocks, without a single street light. It is a dark reality many residents throughout the Magic City face when the sun goes down. Leo Robinson lives on Monad Rd., east of 24th Street. He said if street lights were placed on Monad, safety for everyone would improve. Terry Smith, City Traffic Engineer, said the city is more than willing to work with anyone, on any street, which lacks street lights.
  • Hells Angels in Cody

    Hells Angels in Cody

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:06:53 GMT
    Hundreds of Hells Angels are coming to Cody for a national meeting this week. The motorcycle club apparently likes the northwest Wyoming town. They held their world run there in 2006. Police presence is heavy in Cody now.
    Hundreds of Hells Angels are coming to Cody for a national meeting this week. The motorcycle club apparently likes the northwest Wyoming town. They held their world run there in 2006. Police presence is heavy in Cody now.