As they scramble to find a viable candidate to run for the U.S. Senate in Montana, some Democrats are now eying The Dude.
(You could also call him His Dudeness, Duder or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.)
An online draft effort is underway in Montana to draft actor Jeff Bridges — known for his role as The Dude in the cult classic, The Big Lebowski — to replace the embattled Democratic Sen. John Walsh on the ballot in November.
A Facebook page — Jeff Bridges for Montana U.S. Senator — had nearly 4,000 likes as of Tuesday morning. It bills itself as the “Montana citizen’s movement to draft Jeff Bridges to run for the Montana U.S. senate seat.”
Last week, Walsh announced plans to drop out of the state’s competitive Senate race. His exit comes two weeks after The New York Times ran a story showing how Walsh, a decorated veteran, apparently plagiarized a paper while attending the U.S. Army War College in 2007.
The episode is deeply embarrassing for Democrats, who hoped Walsh would have been a competitive nominee for the seat.
Earlier this year, the state’s Democratic governor appointed Walsh to fill the remaining months of the vacant Senate seat in order to give Walsh a leg up over his Republican opponent in November. The seat opened up when President Obama appointed Democratic Sen. Max Baucus to serve as his ambassador to China.
It’s not clear who Democrats will choose. The Montana Democratic Party, under party rules, will choose a replacement at a nominating convention.
Polls indicate that Republican Rep. Steve Daines is favored to win the seat.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that Bridge, a Paradise Valley resident, said on Howard Stern’s radio show Monday that his wife is against him running for the seat.
Bridges said: “I looked down and I see this thing ‘Jeff Bridges for Senator’ and I said, ‘What?’ … There’s a group of people that have called in and want me to run for senator of Montana, like 1,000 people, and I said, ‘Sue?’. And she looks at me and says, ‘Don’t even think about it.'”
The outlet noted that Bridges has donated money to Democratic causes before, including to former Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, former Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the Montana Democratic Party.