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Bad News: Schweitzer Won't Be Hitting The Trail

Disappointing news for Brian Schweitzer fans: The Montana governor, whose speech on Tuesday won perhaps the biggest raves of the convention and whose animated, folksy, bolo’ed manner seemed heavensent to help Barack Obama shore up support among working-class voters and in Western swing states, won’t be on the trail as a surrogate this fall. I spoke with his communications director Sarah Elliott, at a reception with the Hamilton Project Advisory Council for birthday boy Robert Rubin (70 years young!), and she told me that the visit to Denver would be the governor’s last trip out of Montana until the election. He’s up for reelection this fall, and even though Schweitzer holds a healthy lead over his opponent, state senator Roy Brown, Elliott says that he'll be planted in his home state until November 4th. The impact of his speech was clear--the financial heavy hitters at the reception, including Larry Summers, Roger Altman, and Bloomberg L.P. president Dan Doctoroff, didn't seem like his usual crowd, but the blue-jeans-and-bolo-clad governor, also in attendance, was awash in congratulations. He told one well-wisher that Obama called him up right after his speech to say how much he liked it.

--Ben Wasserstein