Senator Max Baucus No Longer Lives In Montana

An interesting revelation

Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, who is running for his sixth term next year, didn’t own a home in Montana for 11 years of his 29-year Senate career.

State Republicans say Baucus has become a full-time Washington, D.C., politician who no longer really lives in Montana. They say the issue will come up in the upcoming campaign.

Baucus now owns one-half of his mother’s Helena home, and Baucus and his wife, Wanda, are listed on the home’s title as owners, records show.

Baucus spokesman Barrett Kaiser said the senator has always considered the house where he grew up “home” and returns at least twice a month.

“He’s called it home for as long as he can remember,” Kaiser said. “It’s the house where his son comes to visit his grandmother and it’s likely where Max’s grandchildren will come, too.”

Chris Wilcox, executive director of the Montana Republican Party, said it’s wonderful that Baucus comes back to Montana to visit his mother, but said it’s not the same thing as actually living here.

“The rest of our congressional delegation still keep their lives here, their families, their business operations” he said. “I think that’s an important difference.”

The issue of residency has certainly come up in the past and has been used by both Democrats and Republicans. When Mitt Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts, his Democrat opponents saw the threat he was and tried to claim he wasn’t a legitimate resident of Massachusetts, because he had been living temporarily in Utah while he was running the Olympics. Hillary Clinton chose an easily winnable state (New York) to move to in order to run for the Senate. After Tom DeLay retired from the House, Democrats sought (successfully) to keep him on the ballot in Texas despite the fact he had established residency in Virginia — never mind the fact he dropped out of the race.

How will this play out? Considering how rarely Democrats are held accountable for their corruption, I have little faith that a question of residency will actually do much harm to Baucus’s reelection efforts.