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25 August 2005

Russ For President Blogads

Over at, they're working on a new project-- blog ads for the site, and to get the progressive blogosphere behind a Feingold candidacy. I think this is the perfect first step. It will bring a lot of people into the movement, and with them come a lot of new ideas and talents. After this comes the renting of billboards, advertisements in newspapers, and a full-scale Russ Feingold For President movement.

But you need to help if we want this to be a success. For this to work, they're going to need two things: funding and creativity.

On the main page of RussForPresident, there's now a "Make a Donation" button, linking to PayPal. Now, I know that no one particularly likes parting with their money. And for many, especially those like me, money is very tight. But if you can donate, please do. It's worth it.

Then, there's the part that anyone can assist in-- designing the blogad. On the RussForPresident forums, Ilya posted a message asking for supporters to submit designs for the ad, which will later be voted on. All submissions need to be in by Sunday, August 28. Currently, there are three submissions, as shown below. But more are welcome!

Requirements for submissions:
- Somewhere, it should say ""
- It should be the standard 150x200 pixel blogad size

And, if your design is selected, Ilya promised "a mystery prize". Sounds pretty exciting, no?

Really, even though it may not seem like a big deal, the ad will be the first impression that many potential supporters will get of the site and the movement. So, if you have image design skills, get to work on your submission!

24 August 2005

Feingold in LA - Day Two

There's a Capital Times article about Senator Feingold in Los Angeles by John Nichols. It doesn't give too much detail about the text of his speech yesterday, but it does give us a little, and talks a great deal about Feingold as a potential presidential candidate in 2008.

A couple highlights:

"Iraq is not the be-all and end-all of our national security," the veteran member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told a Tuesday gathering of the Town Hall Los Angeles group, which has previously hosted talks by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Mexican President Vicente Fox and former Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

Referring to the invasion of Iraq as "a tactical error in the larger war on terrorism," Feingold explained, "What we need with the fight against terrorism is a major course correction in how we go about it."


While Feingold was blunt about his disappointment with Bush's administration, he was coy about whether he will run for president in 2008. Asked at every stop in Los Angeles if he will seek the Democratic presidential nomination, Feingold repeatedly answered with a variation on the response he gave at the Town Hall forum in downtown L.A.'s Biltmore Hotel, where he noted that John Kennedy headquartered his presidential campaign during the 1960 Democratic National Convention in the city.

Suggesting that he was firmly focused on opening up an honest debate about Iraq and the direction of the broader war on terror, Feingold said of a presidential run: "I really don't know whether I want to do that."

But a lot of his listeners were ready to back the Wisconsinite as the progressive nominee they think Democrats will need to pick to reclaim the White House. "I've made my choice for 2008," photographer Mark Howard said after listening to Feingold speak to an overflow crowd at the UCLA School of Law. "I'm for Feingold."

Philanthropist Alan Gleitsman, a member of the advisory board of Human Rights Watch, who introduced Feingold at the Town Hall forum, referred to the senator as someone who could emerge as "a progressive standard bearer in the United States."

(emphasis mine)

Every day, it becomes more and more clear that people are not satisfied with the state of affairs in Iraq, and that more are beginning to see it as the mistake it was. Feingold's original opposition, combined with his willingness to formulate a real plan, are very appealing to a lot of people.

And so the support is there for a presidential campaign. That should be obvious to everyone, I think. Now, Senator Feingold just needs to decide if he wants it or not.

23 August 2005

Feingold at the UCLA Law School

Yesterday, Senator Feingold spoke at the University of California-Los Angeles Law School, originally intended to be focused on the Roberts nomination to the Supreme Court.

However, as Geotpf at Daily Kos tells us, it ended up as a speech outlining several of Feingold's beliefs-- really, most of the things that we all love about him. Indeed, the portions of the speech on Iraq may well have been a dress rehearsal for tonight's speech; as a press release from earlier in the month mentioned:

US Senator Russ Feingold’s Progressive Patriots Fund announced today that he will deliver a major foreign policy speech in Los Angeles on August 23 outlining the administration’s failure to develop a comprehensive national security strategy in the fight against terrorism. Feingold’s speech will suggest an alternative national security focus and speak to the need to advance a national security plan consistent with broader efforts to sustain an effective, coordinated campaign against international terrorism.
A "major foreign policy speech," eh? Sounds pretty presidential.

And The Nation had a blog entry up in preparation for it. Hopefully we'll find a transcript or recording tomorrow.

Also, Stevo on MyDD posted an interview with Senator Feingold yesterday as well. Both this and Geotpf's Kos diary are well worth reading.

Wish I could write more about all these. Hopefully I'll be able to include portions of tonight's speech tomorrow.

21 August 2005

Feingold on "Meet the Press"

Senator Feingold appeared on "Meet the Press" this morning to discuss Iraq and his calls for a withdrawal timetable. It was refreshing to see a strong advocate of the progressive position on one of those shows; you can only take so much Joe Biden.

I had forgotten that he'd be on, and missed the first seven minutes or so of the program, but watching what I did and reading the transcript of what I missed was another reminder of why he should be president. He managed to clearly articulate the reasons for withdrawing from Iraq, I thought. And, even though he hasn't had much air time on the Sunday talk shows, I think he handled himself rather well. has the transcript of Senator Feingold's appearance, and New Jersey for Feingold has an mp3 audio recording of it. Plus, on MSNBC's website is a short clip of the discussion. Not sure how long that will be on the site, so check it out.

18 August 2005

Feingold on Iraq Withdrawal

First, he called on the Bush Administration to set a timetable for withdrawal. Now, the Washington Post reports today that Senator Feingold is urging the administration to withdraw all American forces from Iraq by the end of next year.

Feingold is the first senator to call for a firm deadline, and is the first potential 2008 presidential candidate to do so.

From the article:

In a telephone interview from Wisconsin, Feingold said he has heard a wave of public disenchantment at 15 town hall meetings so far during the August recess, leading him to propose a Dec. 31, 2006, deadline.

"There's a deepening feeling of dismay in the country about the way things are going in Iraq," Feingold said. He rejected Bush's assertion that a deadline would make it easier for insurgents to simply hang on. "I think he's wrong. I think not talking about endgames is playing into our enemies' hand."

This is big stuff. This is what separates him from every other Democrat that could be running. And, of course, this is one of many, many reasons I hope to be voting for him.

14 August 2005

Feingold for Michigan Organizing

So I have a dilemma.

The accepted view is that Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination (This still may not end up happening-- a lot can happen; however, for the sake of this post, let us assume that this is true). She's got the name recognition without being "damaged goods" like Senators Kerry and Edwards. I think that a lot of her support will drop once the race gets going, and especially when people see what they could have with a President Feingold, but she'll still be the frontrunner.

There's also a widely-held view that after the first few primaries, the race will come down to two or three people, Hillary and the "anti-Hillary," as some are saying. Obviously I want that second or third person to be Russ Feingold.

We can make that happen by building the network of support to allow Senator Feingold to come in a strong second against Senator Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire, if not winning them outright. And we can strenghten him further still if we, as Michiganians (or Michiganders, your choice), can deliver to Senator Feingold our delegates. That's what I'd like to talk about.

Without a clear primary schedule worked out, we have no way of knowing how important Michigan will be, but Levin and Stabenow have been working to try to gain us a prominent spot, so we could be a critical state. For the sake of this post, let us assume we will be. A Feingold win here could provide the momentum to carry the Midwest and win the nomination.

So how do we do it? How do we build the grassroots network for Russ Feingold in Michigan? How do we get his name out there, and how do we get people excited about him?

At, there are some ideas already being formulated about billboards in Wisconsin, Iowa, and perhaps a few other places. Perhaps a well placed billboard in Ann Arbor? But surely we can do better than that! What else can we do?

I'm afraid I don't have the political experience of running a campaign. I've never organized something large like this before. However, I do know one thing: the collective knowledge and skills of the people brought together by the internet is astounding. We can come up with a way to do this!

What ideas have you got? Good comments will be promoted to the front page, for further discussion.

I've cross-posted this at Michigan Liberal in hopes of getting a little more traffic. Any other places I should post it?

08 August 2005

Campaign Update - 8 August, 2005

We're trying a new look to the website; hope you all like it.

A couple items of note for the Draft Feingold campaign:

First off, Senator Feingold is doing everything we would want him to do in preparation for a campaign-- most notably, he's heading to New Hampshire in September. Jerry Troiano at New Jersey for Feingold has that story, via

In addition to holding listening sessions, the Senator will also be the featured speaker at first annual Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner in Rockingham County, as well as participating in an event for the Mayor of Manchester, Bob Baines.
This is a way to make friends early in a crucial primary state-- nice move, Senator.

Then, reports that he'll be giving a "major national security speech" on August 23rd, for a group called Town Hall Los Angeles. He'll also be speaking to the UCLA Law School on the 22nd. What I'm sure will be excellent speeches will remind us of Feingold's experience and unique perspective on foreign relations.

Also, over at, there's a plan in the works to possibly rent billboards to publicize the site and encourage Senator Feingold to run. Head on over, check out the discussion forums, and help make this first step a reality.

Lastly, schwompa at Tennesseans for Feingold has a petition asking Senator Feingold to run, which he plans to send to the Progressive Patriots Fund. He wants to reach 10,000 signatures by the end of the year. I think we can manage at least 15,000, don't you?

That's all for tonight.