Saturday, June 18, 2005

My Letter to Senator Feingold

Well, I've been talking about it for as long as I've had this blog but I finally went and did it.

I finally wrote a letter to Senator Feingold encouraging him to run. I'll mail it (along with a check) to the Progressive Patriots Fund this Monday. But first I figured that, in a Rod Serling-esque manner, I'd respectfully submit it for your perusal.

But be warned-it is sort of long (over a page long, single spaced)-and contains many things you've probably already read here in some form.

Now read on-if you dare!

Dear Senator Feingold,

I am writing to you today to ask you to run for president of the United States.

This letter does not mark the beginning of my enthusiasm for you as a presidential candidate, but is only the most recent step on a journey I began six months ago- before I even knew you were considering the possibility of running for president. On December 12, 2004 I created a Russ Feingold for President blog at

I admit that I am one of those Democratic political junkies who began thinking about who the party should nominate in 2008 as soon it was clear we had lost in 2004. As I read some of the early speculation about 2008 I felt saddened and disappointed by what I read. It was not that I particularly objected to any of the possible candidates being mentioned but rather that I did not like the reasoning behind the choices. It seemed like everyone’s argument was based on the idea that their candidate had the best chance of winning because they could raise the most money or could win a certain state or could appeal to moderate voters the best. Nobody talked about why their candidate would make the best president. Nobody talked about what the country could become if their candidate won.

I had been thinking about whom I believed would make the best president, and my thoughts always returned to you. For starters, I agreed with you on almost all the major issues, from your signature issue of campaign finance reform, which first brought you to my attention, to your steadfast support for universal health care to your opposition to corporate friendly trade agreements like CAFTA. Even more impressive to me is the attention you pay to important issues that the mainstream media and many politicians are either not interested or willing to cover, such as corporate media consolidation and human rights abuses in Africa.

However, I believe that it takes more than good positions on the issues to be a great president; a president needs to have the strength of character to be a leader on those issues, and it is your character that shows why you would be a great president. Throughout your career in public life you have been a paragon of honesty, integrity and courage. You have shown your personal integrity by keeping those promises you made to the people of Wisconsin on your garage door and you have sought to bring more integrity to the political process through your campaign finance and lobbying reforms. You have also repeatedly shown your courage by standing up for the principles you believe in regardless of the possible political ramifications of your stands-a common thread that unites your vote to confirm John Ashcroft and your lone vote against the PATRIOT Act.

I started my blog because I believe you have the ideas, the intelligence, and the integrity to be a truly great president. I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t alone in this belief-there are a number of other Feingold blogs, as well as email lists and a couple of complete Feingold for President websites. I have heard from supporters of yours from around the country-from New Jersey to California, and from across the political spectrum-from Greens to Republicans. I can tell from this early netroots enthusiasm for you that if you ran for president the campaign wouldn’t be in vain; you can garner the kind of support necessary to be a serious contender for both the Democratic nomination and the presidency.

It is obvious that a presidential campaign is a huge investment for the candidate-financially, physically and emotionally. But I hope you are willing to take those risks because I believe your party and your country need you, your ideas and your values. And I believe you can win. And I believe you would be a great president.

If you decide to enter the race, please let me know what I can do to help you. Here I write my address and telephone number. I ain't posting that here.

Run, Russ, run!


Daniel K.

So, what do you think? I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and if I went with my own instincts I'd never, ever let anyone else read anything I wrote because it couldn't possibly be good enough. But I really want to send a letter to Senator Feingold, so if you guys think this is good enough, I'll go with that.

Personally, I think the first paragraphs were I talk about the blog sound too self important (Look at me! Aren't I great? I started this blog about you!) and then the rest is basically a gushy fan letter. (And I always figured if I wrote a gushy fan letter it would be to Sarah Michelle Gellar, rather than a US Senator.)

Seriously, I wish I could have gone in to more depth about certain issues or been more eloquent about why I think he'd be a good president, but I figure it's most important just to have it done.

So, as I said, what do you think?

Who links to me?