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>>

  • Sentencing Memorandum Filed for Griego Case

    Sentencing Memorandum Filed for Griego Case

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:18 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:18:17 GMT
    The Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office files a sentencing brief for this Friday's hearing on the Billings serial rapist.
    The Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office files a sentencing brief for this Friday's hearing on the Billings serial rapist.
  • Fewer Fires

    Fewer Fires

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:06 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:06:23 GMT
    Firefighters are wrapping up their work on a blaze northwest of Cody. The Dillworth Fire, which was visible from the Chief Joseph Highway, grew to only six acres. It’s indicative of the mild fire season in the Shoshone National Forest and Yellowstone so far this summer.
    Firefighters are wrapping up their work on a blaze northwest of Cody. The Dillworth Fire, which was visible from the Chief Joseph Highway, grew to only six acres. It’s indicative of the mild fire season in the Shoshone National Forest and Yellowstone so far this summer.
  • Fruit Recall Affects Costco & Sam's Club

    Fruit Recall Affects Costco & Sam's Club

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:37:59 GMT
    Did you buy fruit at Costco or Sam's Club recently? If so, you may want to check your container.
    Did you buy fruit at Costco or Sam's Club recently? If so, you may want to check your container.