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Feingold Says It's Time For Dems to Talk Tough

Sen. Russ Feingold criticized fellow Democrats Monday for their unwillingness to stand up to Republicans on key domestic and foreign policy issues, further burnishing his outsider credentials for a potential 2008 presidential bid.

Russ Feingold
Sen. Russ Feingold delivering his speech Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP)

In a speech at the National Press Club, the Wisconsin senator focused heavily on the need for Democrats to buck the Bush administration on security issues -- ranging from the Patriot Act to the warrantless wiretapping program to the war in Iraq -- and sought to deliver a direct rebuttal of White House Deputy chief of staff Karl Rove's assertion that Democrats have a "pre-September 11 world view."

"Many Democrats and others around this country want us to point out that the White House actually has a pre-1776 perspective and we ought to have the guts to point that out," Feingold said to laughter and applause. (There's an MP3 file of the speech on Feingold's Senate Web site).

Feingold is seen by many liberals as the heir apparent to Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor who rode a wave of grassroots energy and organization to brief frontrunner status in the 2004 primaries. Feingold was the first high-profile Democrat to call for a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, has introduced a Senate resolution to censure President Bush for his involvement in the domestic eavesdropping program and was the lone vote against the Patriot Act when it was approved in fall of 2001.

That portfolio puts him in the presidential mix, but Feingold has yet to prove he can raise the tens of millions necessary to run a national campaign. At the end of March, Feingold has raised approximately $1 million this cycle through his Progressive Patriots Fund -- a leadership political action committee -- and had $466,000 in the bank. He had and additional $1.1 million in his Senate campaign account.

What is clear is that if Feingold decides to run for president, he will largely cast himself as an outsider within his own party and to the political process more generally.

"You don't hear this stand up language here in this town," he said. "The consultants and the pundits and others will tell you that those positions are quote 'losers'... and that it is dangerous to let there be any light between our position and the White House position, or else you'll get called soft on terrorism."

In his speech, Feingold urged his party to "get out of our political foxholes" and make clear their own views on the wars on terrorism and Iraq. "If we do not show both a practical and emotional readiness to lead in the fight against terrorism, we lose in '06 and we will lose in '08 just like we did in '02 and ''04," he said.

(Interestingly, two other potential candidates -- Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner -- sounded very similar themes at a Democratic Leadership Council-sponsored event this morning.)

To Feingold, the best way to convince voters that Democrats are the party better able to manage national and homeland security is to put Iraq into its proper place in the ongoing war on terrorism. Asked to name the five countries that most concern him in the world, Feingold listed Indonesia, Iran, Russian, China and Colombia -- purposely leaving off Iraq. "It's like there are 64 pieces on a chess board and all the focus is on that one piece," said Feingold. "We've got to change this."

Feingold's message of change from without and his consistent opposition to the war in Iraq present an intriguing profile heading into 2008, especially in the Iowa caucuses where his anti-war stance and Midwestern roots should provide him a foothold.

(Research Feingold's complete Senate voting record here.)

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 9, 2006; 3:11 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

PopulistDemocrat: I completely agree with what you say. Democrats need to reclaim the old attraction to rural voters.

Warner was able to do that, running for governor, in Virginia, and Edwards, too, in the '04 election. We've seen what Bayh can do, with 5, landslide elections in the traditionally conservative Indiana, appealing heavily to the conservative, rural vote in his state. I say again: these guys are the future of the Democratic Party. Well, if the Democrats actually feel like winning anytime soon...

You don't sound as "populist" as you claim to be, although populism comes in different forms...

Posted by: Centrist, Texan Dem | May 11, 2006 2:20 AM | Report abuse

Again i like Russ and again I sadly say that Russ's Jewish faith will hurt him while running. The Republicans with underground campaining (like the swift boats in 2004, where not direct help but underground supported) will make the voters think that having a Jewish President while fighting Muslims might bring some anti-Jew, anti-Israel Muslimes to shore. Hillary is old news. She can't win, and is not the best Democrat to run this country. Warner, Bayh, and Edwards are the Dems to go to. They offer what direction the Democratic Party should take one that stands up for what they believe in, can win in Red States and paints there views so that they seem in line with mainstream America, which they are and Republicans policies are not. These men are proven rural, red state vote getters and I want them to be on the ticket in 2008. Not wishy-washy Democrats that can only win in blue states like Hillary Clinton. I have seen many speeches by Warner, Bayh, and Edwards and all three are the real deal. Their histories of competing in red states has taught them when and how they should fight back. I agree with Russ that we should fight the Republicans but we need to do it in a more constructive and principled manner.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | May 10, 2006 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Feingold is already the right choice for the country and our world. I've never seen so many websites already set up to promote him. The DLC is NOT going to control our choice again. Other than in a campaign speech have you heard anything substantive by Warner or Bayh previously? And have you moderates or lites paid any attention to the party and election percentages? It's the Democrats, due to past corruption and the perceptions of passivity and aloofness, with the declining numbers. We've become a 'Generic' group possibly on the verge of winning by default. Shameful! The Independents and moderate Republicans haven't seen anything worth crossing over for. Amazingly we actually chased people away in the last election by such overt acts of cowardice I had to force myself to go and vote. If it wasn't for Dean and a few others I and millions of others would have left the party long ago. I'm furious with the past 3 election results. Aren't you? Well you can thank your 'passive' leaders for that. All sides will crossover and vote for a strong principled man IF he has the American peoples best interests at heart and has the guts to follow it through. We 'Progressives' distinguish ourselves by our willingness to stand and fight. And Feingolds' the kind of man we want as our leader.
Feingold was also right on about his top 5 threats. Indonesia and Columbia are time bombs.

Posted by: motherwolfe | May 10, 2006 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I, as some people on here, like Russ Feingold. I respect and admire his ability to stand up, even when it is unpopular to do so. He appears to be a man of principle, and he speaks with eloquence.

However, I think that, if he were to run for the White House in 2008, he would be seen as a "liberal" and a cut-and-run Democrat, who is soft on terrorism. But I can see that he is crafting his message into one that is being "practical and agressive" when it comes to fighting terrorism.

In the end, he will probably not get the Democratic nomination for president. This will, hopefully, go to either Warner or Bayh. These two are the future of the Democratic Party.

The Party needs a clear and concise message to deliver to the American people; a message that promises to always protect and defend the territorial integrity of the United States, and at the same time being smart, conscientious and practical in our approach. We should bring up our great history and lineage in dealing with threats in foreign policy--think FDR with Nazi-Fascism; Truman and Kennedy combating the spread of Communism.

Democrats can--and should--frame the foreign policy debate in this way, as this has potential for being a winner. We need to show that we are strong on foreign policy, because if we don't: we will not win, not at the national stage at least. It's finally time for some tough talk from the Democratic Party. What are we afraid of?

When you think about it, we really have nothing to lose.

Posted by: Centrist, Texan Dem | May 10, 2006 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The danger for Feingold is that he is easy to parody, he has a senate voting record and the GOP, whatever their current failings may be, are brilliant campaigners who have a knack for defining the parameters of a contest.

I am no fan of Dubya and I don't want to see the party fall into the traps of its far right wing. The country needs for both parties to put their best candidates into this race. This is a time for problem solvers - electable problem solvers. If the Democrats run Hillary, they lose (unless the GOP runs Frist, whom she can beat; and, imagine that race - a one term senator and wife of a president running against a senator who often misreads the public ... it would turn into an ugly cultural thing and probably everyone would lose ... George Allen would beat Hillary as well and we would end up in much the same miasma we are in now.)

I am impressed with Mark Warner - a red state governor who left with an 80% approval rating, Rudy Giuliani, Chuck Hagel - senate aside - and, believe it or not, John Edwards - I'm from
North Carolina and the man is a problem solver.

Let's all be thoughtful when this next election takes place.

Posted by: The Ever Lovin' Blue-Eyed Republican | May 10, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Putting aside the fact i consider myself , gasp, a LIBERAL i question if Russ can win it in '08...just as 31% or so think Shrubya is doing a fine job is there only that same % or so that think Russ would be the man?? can Russ rally the independent/moderate voter?? is Al Gore, if he runs, a more attractive candidate to both the "hard" left and the moderates?? help me out here guys....

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 10, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Sure he's a Jew but Dems aren't going to win that many people who would never vote for a Jew anyway, besides that he's not Orthodox like Lieberman so it's not in-your-face. Also, it can't complicate things MORE than with Kerry and the whole pro-choice/communion spat. I don't think the religion loses significant numbers of votes in this case.

Posted by: Mischa | May 10, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Feingold has been divorced many times and also he voted to confirm Ashcroft

Posted by: Fran | May 10, 2006 1:23 AM | Report abuse

I like Russ Feingold but he is not my candidate and I think his negatives, his Jewish faith (sadly so), and he being divorced multiple times may make him unable to win the Presidency. I know the dynamics of politics have changed since the 1960's but after 2004 I think Bobby Kennedy's theory that religion triumphs over every single issue still holds true today. Again look at 2004, like Kennedy, Kerry's faith played a big role but unlike Kennedy he was unable to overcome them. I am not too sure that Feingold can deal with a much more harsh problem of his faith when competing today. I would vote for Russ Feingold in a minute if he was the nominee, but I think Democrats like Warner, Bayh, and John Edwards would be better Presidents. A Democrat like Hillary Clinton is not more capable than Russ Feingold or anyone of those Dems I mentioned. Feingold may be down on my list of candidates I support but I would support him over Hillary any day of the week.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | May 9, 2006 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, while I have spent the last year and a half speaking out for a Warner/Bayh ticket-- and I still feel that that is probably the most-likely-to-win scenario-- I wish i wish i wish we could have a man like Feingold as president of this country. Forget what ytou're hearing about his "ultraliberal" stances. Just listen to the man speak, and you will be thoroughly impressed with his eloquence and his common-sense approach to governing, just as I was. I would love to see him as a vp or as president-- he's just too good a man to waste.

Posted by: Jake | May 9, 2006 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Gotta agree with mpilon. BWC, I dont understand your dilemma with Feingold's position on Iraq. I thought his position on Iraq was crystal clear. 1) Re-deploy troops to the fringe 2) Aid from the outside in, not vice versa 3) Shift focus to the REAL War on Terror in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, etc. Makes all the sense in the world to me.

Russ' main point, that we need to pay attention to the terrorism flashpoints around the world (and not Iraq) is PRECISELY correct imho. I would add Nigeria to the Top 5. It is a flashpoint for revolt against the west (mostly b/c of Shell's presence in the Niger Delta), it is 50% (or more?) muslim, it is in the top 10 oil exporters in the world (and it is in OPEC, so greatly effects global oil prices and thus, gas prices here in the US), and it is wrought with disease (3.6 million living with AIDS, not to mention malaria, hepatitis, meningitis, typhoid, etc). If we have an opportunity to help that country be more stable and peaceful, we would clearly all benefit. The sad truth is, i think, that the multinational oil companies and the Bush Administration DONT WANT low oil/gas prices b/c that means lower stock value.

Btw, the only thing that threw me a bit from Russ' speech... Do you think he meant Venezuela instead of Colombia? How is Colombia in the top 5 concerns of the world? Nevertheless, imho, Russ is clearly the person who is the most qualified to run the country and to turn this thing around.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | May 9, 2006 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Feingold is a rock star with a plan.

I agree with Andy R -- above

Posted by: Stacey | May 9, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Feingold's trying to ape Howard Dean's big mouth in some attempt to get the support of the mythical base.

He, like Dean, doesn't stand a chance.

Posted by: Susan Nunes | May 9, 2006 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Russ Feingold has demonstrated an impressive ability to reach across the isle, most notably: Bipartisan campaign reform act (BCRA.)

For those that see Russ as the "Dean" of `04, you can't be more incorrect. Russ is a man of integrity, not pandering. If you were to compare Russ to anyone, which I am convinced falls short of recognizing Russ' uniquenes, I would suggest you consider Wisconsin's very own "Fighting Bob LaFollette."

Get a spine. Vote Russ.

Posted by: Wisconsinite | May 9, 2006 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Bobby wrote:

"I think most active democrats are looking for someone of substance and not someone with feel good sound bites against the Reputricans."

Bobby, I'm with you 100% ... but active demos are a minority. The best we can do is appeal to the center and even center-right - to voters who who want all the juicy eye-glazing details, and to those who (foolishly in my view) expect simple answers to complex questions.

I wish there were more voters like you ... but noting what has worked over the years -- the fortune-cookie sound bites, the attack adds -- I'm not encouraged.

Taking it farther, the country (you, me and the rest of us/them) made a narrow choice in 2000 and '04 ... but it made a choice.

The smart-but-hard-to-package presidental candidates lost to someone who on a daily basis, doesn't _sound_ like he can rub 2 ideas together w/o straining a muscle.

The demo candidates were flawed, but really, the voters aren't looking for smarts, just smart comebacks.

stay well,

M.

Posted by: mpilon | May 9, 2006 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Korea, Iran and Iraq -- W called them the "axis of evil" ... simple fortune-cookie description to complex and very different problems.

As far as North Korea ... Can we do anything better than call them names? Seriously -- I'm not sure.

M.

Posted by: mpilon | May 9, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Feingold has it right about Iraq not being among the five most serious problems in the world. He is the one politician with the guts to tell the truth. Of course in our crazy world this means he cannot win.

Posted by: SteveNJ | May 9, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the headline "GOP Forges Deal on Tax Cuts." Let me add a caveat to the "Wait! / Speak softly" position above: It's the job of "the opposition" to point out the failings of those in power. Maybe even lob some rhetorical grenades; pinning them on their own turf.

I regret the omission of that perspective.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | May 9, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

M -

just because simple answers get idiots elected (notice one "l" - I'm normally not into blog typos and spell check - but since you are) does not mean I have to accept simple answers. (I care more about the substance behind each person's postings)

Bush's total failure as a president does not give a pass to a future candidate on the issues -

if there is no answer to Iraq then that is Russ' answer - say it - defend it- and I will consider it - (he may be right) and I personally have no problem reading a 50 page policy paper on the issue - I'm into complex explanations and not sound bites -

I like the idea that Russ is standing out against the other democrats and trying to define the democrats - at the end of the day Dean failed for several reasons -

contempt for Bush and his cronies is not a reason to vote for a man

I think most active democrats are looking for someone of substance and not someone with feel good sound bites against the Reputricans.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | May 9, 2006 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I like the guy a lot, but what about North Korea?

Posted by: J. Crozier | May 9, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Bobby - I shuddered when, on a network nightly news pre-election focus on individual candidates, then-candidate Ronald Regan answered a question about drilling in the Arctic Wilderness Refuge with a very simple & folksy "Oh, I don't think the deer will mind if we take some of the oil there."

That's the kind of answer which works.

[ and don't shoot me if I didn't get the quote just right ... it's been 26 years or so. ]

W was ellected, twice, with simple slogans and divisive arguments which would have been hooted out of a high-school debate. They worked.

It doesn't "wreaks of arrogance (sic)" to say that the bone-headedly simple-stupid arguments work. That's what happened, that's what worked.

If you still want to issue a finding of arrogance then ... the word is 'reek'.

M.

Posted by: mpilon | May 9, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It's funny people always say I want to hear a solution to Iraq. Could it be possible there is no solution? Bush is a mess, after 8 years of Bush this country will be a mess. Why should Feingold have to come up with some kind of magic wand solution to a Bush problem?

Even further this country re-elected Bush after he created the whole big mess. However, have no fear we'll be out of Iraq by 2008. For all this administrations nonesense about no timetables, there is already a timetable in place.

Posted by: Reality | May 9, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

To M-Pilon

If asking for a proposal on how he intends to handle Iraq is too much then asking Russ anything is too much.

Not everyone is limited to sound bites - I have no problem reading a 50 page policy paper on his solution for Iraq -

In psychiatric medicine sometimes you use the medicine just long enough to give a person relief - and the ability to focus - war is quite similar.

So long as the factions are obsessed with fighting each other they will never see the benefit of a democratic government.

Here the medicine may be flooding Iraq with enough troops to secure their borders and to stop the violence - maybe two years of relative peace could give the Iraqi people a chance at seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

My solution may not be the solution but at least it is a starting point -

The American people are done with the gimmicks - lead with real ideas or get out of the way - the idea the issue is too complex to discuss with the electorate is silly and wreaks of arrogance - I am sure you do not speak for Russ

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Anonymous | May 9, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Much of successful politics is timing. Right now I see the Democrats' role as being like the advice that's given on how to hit a good pitcher's change-up: Wait, wait, wait, and then when you're ready to hit the ball, wait some more!

The Republican strategists would love nothing more right now than to have something to attack to get the spotlight off their side. Why do you think that they have been criticizing the Democrats for not putting forth any agenda. They're in charge, that's their responsibility. Thanks goodness, that for once, the Democrat leaders didn't bite and it proved to be the right move.

If the Democrats are incapable of keeping quiet, and feel compelled to talk, it should be on only one issue at a time, vague and a grenade for any Republican who attacks it.

Rather than publicly crying for the Administration to get out of Iraq, I'd be courting more retired Generals and Admirals to speak out publicly.

With the May 15th deadline to enroll in Medicare Part D prescription coverage next week, I'd do a bunch of "I told you so's" at Senior Centers. [But, save the "fixes" for the campaigns.]

This Congress is probably incapable of doing anything substantive before it adjourns in August to campaign. And, no Moderate Republican is going to get anything done. Democrats should just continue to make subtle remarks about the "Do Nothing" Congress and its leadership.

Talk about Impeachment and "payback" hearings, just might be enough to turn-off some of those Independents which they need. Talk of Censure probably stops just short of that. Let's hope so.

For now, enjoy the 2nd half of Spring and then the Summer. Colin is right. The 63 days after Labor Day is when the general populace listens.

Wait! Wait.......

Posted by: Nor'Easter | May 9, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The Contract of America is one of the most overrated political stunts. It was put out right before the election, and most voters had never even heard of it. Yet we see the media treat it as an article of faith, beyond any sort of questioning. The Republicans won because the Democrats had been in power too long and were doing a poor job. If anyone still remembers, there was a fight in the Republican party, like in the Democratic party today between Minority Leader Bob Michel, who favored being conciliatory with Democrats, and the take-no-prisoners approach favored by Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and Dick Armey. But Feingold is absolutely right on the need for a clear difference between Democrats and Republicans. Bush has a 31% approval rating and the Republican Congress has an even lower rating, yet Democrats are still debating over whether it's safe to oppose Bush or not. If they don't oppose him now, when will they? Even if he hits the 20s, expect most establishment Democrats to warn that being too harsh on Bush could have a backlash. Yeah, his support will magically increase by 20%...sure...tell me another one...

Posted by: Q | May 9, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes wrote:

"I hear a lot of rhetoric about Russ but I'm not sure I know his solution to Iraq - it is easy for me to agree with him on Bush's abuses in office - but what about a solution to Iraq -"

Simply put, there my be no good -- or even fair -- 'answer' for Iraq. Looking for one simple sound-bite answer may be akin to a doctor looking for the same when diagnosing cancer.

No quick fixes, no easy answers, only some potentially deadly choices. And the patient may still die.

To demand simple answers to complex problems will only dig us farther into the holes we're in.

But those are the answers which appeal to the electorate. Which voted for Bush. Twice.

Posted by: mpilon | May 9, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Chris-

To the glee, I am sure, of the Fix devotees of Russ Feingold, I would say that in light of this development, I acquiesce and now advocate for the inclusion in the Top 5 2008 Dem candidates for President Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

Posted by: RMill | May 9, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

As far as specific democratic plans go, it's worth remembering that today is May 9th and the elections are in November. Other than the political junkies who read blogs like this, no one else is really paying any attention to politics right now. Laying out detailed plans at this point wouldn't do anything except give the other party additional time to disect and distort them. That's why in 1994 the Republican party didn't put out its Contract with America till 6 weeks before the elections....

Posted by: Colin | May 9, 2006 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree Andy R..the dems need to start pushing a unified message or plan before November is upon us. Much like the gop did in '94 with there Contract for America..I think for now though the dems need to back burner the impeachment and censure talk..Pound the gop on the issues ie. corruption, energy costs,health care, the deficit, etc. I don't want the dems giving them any issue to gather the "base" around and fight back..the gop is imploding on there very own right now, and i sure as heck don't want to help them un-implode..

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | May 9, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely with Feingold except I thought it was interesting he had Indonesia on his list and left off North Korea. Not that any list could be exhaustive, and one could just as easily add Pakistan because of the potential for radical Islamists to get control of its nuclear arsenal. Still, given the US military commitment to S. Korea, I thought that was a serious omission.

Posted by: Meridian | May 9, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I hear a lot of rhetoric about Russ but I'm not sure I know his solution to Iraq - it is easy for me to agree with him on Bush's abuses in office - but what about a solution to Iraq -

For me Iraq now plays an important role in our national security - Bush's mistakes aside -

I'm not sure mainstream American will get behind a man who appears to have no vision on the Iraq question -

My grandnephew (2 tours) has convinced me there is a mission in Iraq - independent of Bush's incompetence and contempt for our country.

http://www.balancingtheissues.com/iraq_mission.htm

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: BObby Wightman-Cervantes | May 9, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Got to disagree Noreaster. Now is the time for the Democrats to offer their plan to America. The GOP is scrambling right now, but they will not stay down for too long. Eventually they will figure out that Bush is inept and will look to the moderates to right the ship. If the democrats give folks like Specter, Graham, and McCain an oppurtunity to solve the GOPs problems they might be very unhappy when they actually do it.
That is why I think Feingold is such a star. He continues to lead the rest of the democratic party kicking and screaming into the future. He has an uncanny ability to be right. First he opposed the patriot act both times (I think most americans agree they don't want Big Brother looking in their libraries), He then voted against the war, and now is leading the fight against the complete lack of checks and balances during this administration.
President Bush and his administration have steamroved all over the civil liberties that our nation was built on, and it seems that Feingold is the only politican out there who gets it. Also I found his comment on how the consultants and pundits will say his positions are losers very telling, especially after all the attention these consultants get in this blog (especially when the same consultants are repeating what he says 6 months after its been proven right). I have seen a good number of the presidential candidates for both parties speak recently and there are very few that challenge Feingold's command and composure.
One last thing I think it is very intriguing that he included Indonesia when asked about possible problems, not that he left Iraq out. Indonesia is the largest muslim nation in the world and has tremendous ability to make a huge splash in the international arena if it ever decides to align with say Iran or North Korea. Again it shows that Senator Feingold thinks about the future effect of his decisions intead of the immediate political benefits. The democrats and their consultants could learn alot from him.

Posted by: Andy R | May 9, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with RMill's observation and find it interesting that less than a couple of months ago Messner wrote a column entitled "Censure: Dodging Dems and a Giddy GOP."

In it she said " Russ Feingold's resolution to censure the president for misleading the American people over the domestic surveillance program -- political gimmick or principled stance?"

Obvious answer: principled stance.

She then went on to state that "Republicans -- and the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board -- can barely contain their glee at what they see as an overeager Feingold showing the Democrats' hand before the November election."

Given that Feingold's leadership on this issue seems to be attracting more 'mainstream' Democratic candidates the GOP glee was premature and short-lived. Is this the beginning of a growing snowball?

Politics is the funniest thing. Not laughing-at funny but funny nonetheless.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 9, 2006 3:56 PM | Report abuse

[What is clear is that if Feingold decides to run for president, he will largely cast himself as an outsider within his own party and to the political process more generally.....Interestingly, two other potential candidates -- Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner -- sounded very similar themes at a Democratic Leadership Council-sponsored event this morning.)]


Does this mean Feingold is mainstreaming himself or is the DLC coming around to Russ' way of thinking?

Posted by: RMill | May 9, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I find the dialogue within the Republican Party right now more interesting. For now, the Democrats should just keep quiet and let the Republicans continuie to go at each other.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | May 9, 2006 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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