News, analysis and commentary by Dan Rather

The entry of Montana’s Democratic governor Steve Bullock into competition for his party’s Presidential nomination could change the dynamic of the race.

Note and underscore the word “could.”  It’s still early, the race is crowded (22 are in) and the situation is fluid.

Bullock is not a nationally-known name, he has no national organization, and raising big  money in a hurry may be difficult.

But…this guy is a Democrat who has won consistently in a Republican leaning state that went for Donald Trump. He’s got an aw-shucks, everyman, rural Western way about him that appeals to Independents and GOP-leaning swing voters. And he has a reputation for getting things done.

He’s 53 and a “centrist,” setting him apart from many of the increasingly “left” other contenders. He’s more in the Joe Biden mold, except younger and can thus claim to be a “candidate for tomorrow” as opposed to “yesterday’s man.”

For now, he’s a long shot.  But he has what football coaches call “breakaway potential”–which is to say that, if he can get passed a crowded line into an open field he’s a threat to go all the way.

Might be a mistake to underestimate him.  We’ll soon see.