Friday, August 19, 2011

Feingold bows out: no to Governor, Senator in 2012

Ex-senator's departure means more opportunities for other Dems

Earlier today, former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold announced via email to his supporters that he wouldn't seek any elected office next year, neither for Senator again (to replace retiring Sen. Herb Kohl) or in the case of a recall against Gov. Scott Walker.
After 28 continuous years as an elected official, however, I have found the past eight months to be an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective.
The absence of Feingold is a huge setback, as he was polling better than any other Democratic candidate seen as viable in either race.

But his stepping aside also opens up doors for other potential Democratic candidates. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin hasn't been shy about her wanting to enter the race, making it very clear that if Feingold were to step out she'd be stepping in. As far as the race against Gov. Walker goes, if it happens, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has made it clear that he'd be interested in making another run, too. Barrett lost to Walker in the general election last year but a poll conducted earlier this year shows that many voters suffered buyer's remorse following Walker's collective bargaining bill.

Feingold's choice to sit out in 2012 is disappointing, but it's nothing to fret over. Plenty of viable, electable Democrats (beyond even Baldwin and Barrett) are out there, worthy of the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs as well as the governorship should that come into play.

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