"Searching America for Russ Feingold"
The Daily Cardinal
, a student newspaper for UW-Madison, had an interesting little piece
which, I think, shows one of the greatest barriers to a Feingold candidacy, and is well worth the read, if only because I like the writing style. As Jake Herrera states,
The main problem Feingold must overcome is that of name recognition. Unless you live in Wisconsin or are a political junkie, you have probably never heard of Russ Feingold.
The worst of that:
More men actually placed Feingold in the starting backcourt of the Badgers than in the Capitol. One guy, in all truthfulness, responded immediately with "Oh, yeah he's great." I was excited, and he continued, "Seen every game, he can really shoot the 'trey,' but he should attack the basket more." Russ Feingold was being confused with Clayton Hanson, Alando Tucker or Sharif Chambliss. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Russ Feingold is a 51-year-old man who happens to be a U.S. senator.
Now, I'm most definitely one of those "political junkies" he mentions, and I suspect it's safe to say that anyone else who reads what I'm writing and goes to DraftRuss.com
to post on message boards is too. Part of me wants to say, "You don't know who Sen. Feingold is? You fools!" but I recognize that to many, politics and politicians are a pain that they prefer to avoid.
So how do we fix this? Herrera mentions that everyone from Wisconsin he asked knew who Feingold was, and many had informed opinions about him. How do we ensure that people all around the country-- and Michigan-- know about this guy who is far from "just another politician"?
Thoughts welcome, of course. I'm hoping that I'm contributing in some small way to spreading the word, with this blog. Next up, making "Feingold for America" bumper stickers?
Feingold for Michigan
In 2008, progressives around the country will have a chance to shape the debate to our issues. By running progressive candidates for high office, we can create discussion of all those issues which have been ignored over four years of a conservative Bush administration. We can discuss civil liberties, poverty, education, the environment, and dozens more similarly-ignored issues. And we can get these candidates elected.
On the presidential level, the most promising candidate at this early stage is Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold
. A proven progressive and deficit hawk, Feingold is an honest and open politician who is willing to speak his mind on issues. Pushing for reform in the famous McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill and many others, he was the only senator to vote against the USAPATRIOT Act, citing concerns over civil liberties. His votes are based on logic and principle, two characteristics he will bring to the presidency.
Granted, he hasn't announced that he is running. The best sign of a possible bid can be found here
, as it seems he has registered www.russfeingold08.com and similar domain names (and he's not running for reelection in 2008). No one but the senator knows for sure if he will go for the presidency, but he did say, when asked about his future political goals,
"If at some point people say, 'Hey, we think you ought to run for president' (and) it's a serious thing, I'm going to listen. I would only run if I honestly believed that I was the guy that really could win, that I was the person who was the best candidate to run." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinal)
So that's what we've got to do now. If we want to elect the right person, we need to show him the support he needs.
Hence this blog. The network of support can be built for Senator Feingold, to show him that he can win, and to make sure that happens. More specifically, we can discuss how to give him as many delegates as possible from the Great Lakes State (not Wolverine State-- I'll come out now and admit, I'm something of an MSU fan) in the primaries, and guarantee him victory in November 2008.
Now comes the disclaimer: This site and I are in no way connected or affiliated with Senator Russ Feingold, his Senate staff, his family, any household pets he might own, or really anything else. I'm not accepting donations-- this is in no way a PAC or anything anywhere close to that. This is simply a place for discussion of how we can help the senator win in Michigan. Comment on what I write, please; I'll be posting links to news articles, information on Senator Feingold, and anything else that seems important to me, and, if your comments are particularly well-written or thought-provoking and you live in Michigan, don't be surprised if I ask you take over a little bit of the blogging too.
Draft Russ Feingold banner
Oh, fun with image editors.
Suggestions? Ideas? Comments?
About Russ Feingold
Profiles of Senator Feingold in the news Biography
Text from DraftRuss.com. I can't think of a better way to describe him than this.
Russ Feingold began his career in politics with a simple idea: that the common sense of the people should dictate what our elected officials do. He has continued to focus on this principle throughout his years of public service.
Feingold graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with honors in 1975. He continued his education at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, receiving a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in 1977. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1979, again with honors. After college, he worked as an attorney from 1979-1985 in Madison, Wisconsin. Feingold was first elected to the Wisconsin state senate in 1982, then reelected in 1986 and 1990. Then, in 1992, he ran for and was elected to the office of U.S. Senator. His third term will begin in 2005, and by 2008, he will have worked in the public arena for 26 years.
Russ Feingold has a history of keeping his promises. When he first ran for the Senate in 1992, he promised that he would hold listening sessions in every Wisconsin county every single year. To this day, he has not broken this promise. He also promised that he would not accept a single pay raise while he was in the senate. That’s why he votes against every raise when they come up, and that’s why he returns every penny beyond his starting wage to the national treasury.
Most importantly, Russ Feingold is a doer. He has worked across the aisle on several issues, including campaign finance reform, and he has proposed numerous bills, such as his initiative to place a moratorium on the death penalty until it has been reviewed. He is a senator who believes in what he says and does what he claims he will do. His ability to articulate his views is shown in his campaign ads and in his speeches around the country. Using his clout as a senator, Feingold has spoken to crowds about numerous important and controversial issues, such as media reform and civil liberties.
Russ Feingold understands what he believes, and he acts on his knowledge and intuition. His past proves that he is willing and able to stand up and fight for the average American. These are the qualities that we need in our President, and that’s why Russ Feingold has proven himself to be the best choice for the Democratic party’s nomination in 2008