Saturday, December 11, 2004

Why Feingold for President?

Russ Feingold is probably as close as I come to having an ideological soulmate in the United States Senate. He's strong on the environment. He believes in corporate responsibility and limiting the influence of special interests in politics. He believes in fair trade deals which would ensure that everyone, everywhere benefits from globalization, not just those who are already wealthy.

But the issues aren't the main reason I believe he should be the Democrats 2008 presidential nominee. The main reason is, of all the people on the national political stage, I believe he would make the best president-and that's what really matters. He has courage, intelligence, and integrity-characteristics that are pretty rare in politicians these days, but characteristics that are always needed in a president.

You might be asking, "But...Is he electable? After all, he isn't a moderate southern governor?" Well, that's true, he's not a moderate southern governor. But he has been elected to the Senate three times from the battleground state of Wisconsin. In his reelection bid this year his margin of victory was over 10%-his highest ever and much higher than John Kerry's margin of victory in the Badger State. And he got that victory after being the only senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act-not to mention opposing the Iraq War. Why'd he win? In large part because voters in WI see and respect his integrity-and I think that's a quality that's admired by voters throughout this great country, no matter if their states were red or blue this year.

I don't know if Russ Feingold will run for president in 2008, and if he does, I can't say he'll win. But I believe he could win-and I believe that no matter what a Feingold campaign would raise the level of debate in the Democratic Party and in the country as a whole. So, I hope you'll join me in this effort to get Russ Feingold to run for president.

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28 Comments:

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Daniel S. said...

It's great seeing someone as energetic as you heading up a draft campaign. I just don't think Feingold will run. I like him and all--plus, like me, he's Jewish--but we have to run a moderate to win nationally.

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Daniel S. said...

drop me an email...i want to send you something

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger Matt Cunningham-Cook said...

Great blog! it'd be nice if there was an organized Draft Russ campaign.

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Daniel S. said...

But can Feingold win in November? the NRSC almost contributed to the republicans this year but they figured it wouldn't be worth it.

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Alex T. said...

Two of the things which make Russ Feingold electable is his ability to be independent and look like an outsider, and he would be able to draw a sharp contrast with his opponent, especially if it were someone like Giuliani or Pataki.

"Moderate" can be ambiguous

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger underwriter said...

At the very least, Feingold deserves consideration for his integrity and his respect for the voters.

Also his ads were the best I saw in the entire 04 cycle (who is his media team?)

Who knows this far out what kind of nominee the democratic party will need in 2008... even if he's not the right person for the top spot, he might make a great VP.

 
At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following is from www.mydd.com/. This is definitely great news.


Feingold
by Chris Bowers

From the subscription only Hotline:
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) could run for the WH in '08 without losing his seat. A "presumably crowded" IA field would "benefit Feingold," and he could also do well in NH, "which likes its mavericks," like WI. The '04 lesson was "what happens in Iowa can determine what happens in" NH. In '04, Feingold received 143K more votes than John Kerry and 154K more than Pres. Bush. At the close of the post-election reporting period, he had $585K cash-on-hand, and top Dems "expect Feingold to do some national traveling and make some preliminary explorations" of the WH idea. They agree he'll "have a plan and proceed accordingly." A source: "He just accomplished an impressive victory in a heartland swing-state in a year that wasn't so kind to" Dems, "so I think he will be looked at as a new voice for the party as it moves forward." The source added that Feingold has "every intention of continuing to use his voice to build the party, to speak out on important issues and to advance a progressive reform agenda tat not only has a lot of support" in WI "but across the country."
Feingold is in an odd position. Even though he has won three terms in the US Senate, he actually is still known as a "reformer" and an "outsider," due in no small part to the constant repetition of the "McCain-Feingold" legislation in the national media. Because of this reputation, among all Democratic Senators, except perhaps Obama, I think he would be the best bet to capture the non-ideological reformers that I believe are a key to future Democratic success. Then again, we thought Kerry's national image as a war hero was already fixed in people's minds as well...
I don't know what his verbal skills are in talking to the base, but he seems generally well liked among progressives. He would also benefit from the new partisan map. In fact, being from Wisconsin he would have an astonishing 248 electoral votes with a +5 or greater partisan index in his favor. Overall, Feingold is an intriguing possibility.

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger Dan K. said...

Everyone: Thanks for coming and thanks for commenting!

Kentucky Dem: Thanks for checking out my site even though you're backing Bayh; I've enjoyed our discussions.

Matt: There is a Draft Feingold yahoo group now. If you aren't already a member I'll be posting a link to it soon.

Alex and underwriter: Thanks for giving Senator Feingold your consideration, I hope you'll keep on checking the blog.

Anon.: Thanks for the myDD posting...and I think I've changed my settings so that non-blogger members don't have to post anonymously.

 
At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no prob, gotta see what others are saying. russ is scandal free and a great candidate but he lacks the vital executive experience.

interesting: the GOP has ran a Dole or Bush on the ticket since 1976!

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger u4reform said...

An independent, progressive reform candidate who can run against washington...and he takes stand on issues.

not a bad recipe

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Scout said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Scout said...

Accidently removed my post. What I said ....Russ Feingold would be an excellent candidate. I hope it happens.

 
At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have a few words to say. Feingold can obviously work well with the right and the left. The way Feingold gets to the White House. It's called pulling the biggest trick out of his hat. Crossing lines, Feingold/McCain for the White House in 2008!!!!!

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Ben Masel said...

Draft Feingold yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feingold08/members

 
At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But we can't have someone who is moderate. We tried to do that with John Kerry--tip-toeing around certain issues such as gay marriage--but that clearly did not work. The Democratic Party needs to redefine what they stand for and be a strong force. Furthermore, the people who tend to vote in primaries are those who are interested in politics in the first place, i.e. partisan--getting a hardcore moderate to win a primary would be very difficult. Who knows what would happen, but I do know that I would love it if Russ were the next president!

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger Nick Rotchadl said...

Primary: Feingold's proximity to Iowa plays well for him. His stance on the Iraq war, social issues, and civil liberties will play very well in the primaries.

General: Feingold's economic populism would play very well in the red states. Yet, his stance on many social issues would hurt him in red states. If Rove were running the Republican's '08 campaign he would hammer Feingold on his Patriot Act vote.

He is certainly an interesting possibility.

 
At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Iowa and Russ seems to be about as close to the perfect candidate to win here and in november. The reason why we're losing swing states is that the party has gone along with the DLC and its corporate backing. Add to this stands on issues like abortion and gays that swing state voters don't agree with and you make it really difficult to win. If we run someone like russ people will see that dems have core values and that the republicans are just using God and gays to divide us and rob us blind. I think Russ would really bring us together.

 
At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 4 years ago I attended a talk by Sen. Feingold in Madison, WI on AIDS in the world (his area since he'd on the foreign relations committee) I was impressed by his knowledge and ability to articulate the issues. I was even more impressed by his ability to listen and to admit that he needed to learn more.

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have voted 3 times for Feingold. He is the most impressive man in Washington. Of course, we in Wisconsin would miss him. But as President, Feingold would impress the world with his integrity and strong intellect. Image for a minute a President who actually has the ability to understand complex issues.

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a time when Republican politicians are claiming a divine right to govern, as did the 18th Century European monarchies, kings and courts against which our Founding Fathers rebelled, this is no time for an opposition party to collapse beneath the apparent weight of a newly self-anointed "moral" majority. Russ Feingold is genuinely not cosmetically moral, tough, passionate, compassionate. He combines the practical politics of John Kennedy with the compassionate inclusive discourse represented by Robert Kennedy in his 1968 campaign. Americans have been engaging in a Rovian frenzy of mistrust and hate, too busy looking for those things which divide us rather than the greater concerns which unite us all as Americans. We cannot afford to be witout Russ Feingold as President in 2008. ---Proud to be a Feingold voter, John Koehler, Milwaukee

 
At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been eagerly waiting for a draft-feingold movement. I have been closely following Sen Feingold since just before the Patriot Act, after I read a transcript of an excellent speech he delivered. Since then, every comment, snippet and speech from him has reinforced my respect for his integrity and character. Voting against the PAtriot Act at a time of legislative near-hysteria took a lot of courage and conviction. Let's see if we can avoid a Hillary'08 disaster and run a Feingold/Obama/Dean tiket. It's about time we shook things up with some straight-talkers.

Keep up the good work. Your blog has joined my daily reading bookmarks.

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger republicant said...

I am a Wisconsin resident. Moved here 15 years ago after living throughout the US since getting married.
I am a registered Republican, and even won and served as a Republican when we lived in CT.
I have voted for Russ Feingold since he first ran.
He is a man of integrity.
He and I differ on some things, especially the situation in Israel, but he has always been respectful and has replied to most all the numerous letters I have written to him.
I have met him and spoken with him at a private home.
He is definitely a politician, but when it comes to voting, he votes in a conscientious manner. He has his staff read everything he is about to vote on, BEFORE he votes. That is why he voted against the Patriot Act. He was one of the few Senators who actually knew what was in the Patriot Act and therefore realized it was not a good act, and was actually against the Constitution of the United States.

Russ holds open meetings where all the people of WI can tell him what is important to them.
Though I don't always agree with Senator Feingolds votes, I know he has done his homework and believes it to be in the best interest of everyone in the United States, not just the people of WI.

I would gladly work diligently on any campaign he might wage for President.

 
At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an Illinois resident I have supported Russ Feingold's campaign for re-election in Wisc. because of his integrity and support for the causes that genuinely reflect the public good. This is something not seen too much in Congress. He is courageous and honest and would be a wonderful candidate for the PResidency in '08. I would wholeheartedly support him in every way.

 
At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An experienced strategist,Mr Charles Riggs III , of NYC has already done a great deal of outreach work on this very issue.He served as national outreach spokesperson for a group seeking to build a coalition for DRAFT FEINGOLD 2004 (check FEC website). Gannett News has covered his comments. He has composed a succint and compelling treatise on our Senator's presidential readiness. PLEASE contact Charles criggs@pipeline.com thank you

 
At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An experienced strategist,Mr Charles Riggs III , of NYC has already done a great deal of outreach work on this very issue.He served as national outreach spokesperson for a group seeking to build a coalition for DRAFT FEINGOLD 2004 (check FEC website). Gannett News has covered his comments. He has composed a succint and compelling treatise on our Senator's presidential readiness. PLEASE contact Charles criggs@pipeline.com thank you

 
At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feingold is easily one of the Senate's finest members. His record is especially sharp on civil rights, women's issues and the environment. Here is a real alternative to the GOP. His fights on behalf of society's most vulnerable prove he truly embraces "moral values." Although I did only minimal canvassing for John Kerry this year, I would enthusiastically volunteer for a Feingold for President '08 ticket. Best of luck with your blog!

 
At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted Republican during the Clinton years.I voted Democrat in 2002,and Libertarian in 2004.I voted for Kasten in 1992 and Newman in 1998.In 2004 I "proudly" voted for Russ Feingold.He was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act.Good for him.I wrote a letter to Senator Feingold in 2001 saying I was against president Bush's "faith based initiatives".Senator Feingold wrote me back with a letter that sounded like it was written by Thomas Jefferson.If Feingold runs for president in 2008,not only will I vote for him,but I will make an affordable campaign contribution.Go for it."Feingold in 2008.

 
At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Senator Feingold deserves all the respect of his office, and has been freely chosen by the people of Wisconsin to represent them in the Senate. Fair enough.

That doesn't make him a God, it makes him simply another politician.

 

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