Campaigns/Elections

Chances Dashed for a McCain vs. Feingold Campaign

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Russ Feingold, the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act, says he won't try for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

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  1. I would like to formally announce my intention to NOT run for President of the United States in 2008. There, I have just given Hit and Run an exclusive.

  2. Yet, while I’ve certainly enjoyed the repeated comments or buttons saying, “Run Russ Run”, or “Russ in ’08′”, I often felt that if a piece of Wisconsin swiss cheese had taken the same positions I’ve taken, it would have elicited the same standing ovations.

    And would’ve been more deserving as well, Russ.

  3. I now understand why my quixotic campaign to get people to vote none of the above has not been working. I should have been advocating people write “Swiss Cheese” in the write in space on their ballots.

    Actually, we could do it the way the Fabians did, by manufacturing a controversy between two camps that differ only in degree. We should have a swiss cheese party and a cheddar cheese party. We could have endless debates, screaming confrontations that would be covered in major newspapers. We could denounce the American cheese party as a bunch of fascists, the mozarella and provolone parties as catering to immigrants and having policies that would inevitably destroy the american way of life. Eventually people would be so scared that the wrong cheese might win that they would stop wasting their votes on Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians et al.

    We could install big wheels of cheese that won campaigns in their seats in the congressional chambers. The smell as they ripened would drive off the humans so that no new legistlation was passed.

  4. That at least gets rid of half of the disastrous duo.

  5. I was looking forward to casting a protest vote for him, despite his campaign finance jackassery.

  6. I’d rather vote for him than Hillary or McCain, which will likely be our two choices. (With perhaps the Blue Man providing the third). It took nads and a clear mind to vote against the Patriot Act in the midst of the Panic.

  7. I don’t blame him. Who wouldn’t be put off by all the FEC-related bullshit one has to put up with in an election campaign.

    I think there are far fewer campaign finance headaches in state elections, where he could easily be the big cheese.

  8. Forza Parmigiano!

  9. h-dawg,

    Actually when it comes to FEC related BS that one has to put up with, Fiengold is clearly among those who deserve blame.

  10. I think campaign finance reform may have been a bad idea, but I think Feingold’s views and votes on the “War on Terror” and civil liberties issues–the two most important areas of public policy right now–should more than compensate. Among the people considering a run, I thought he would have been the best candidate.

  11. It’s probably the smart move on his part. He’s always spoken his mind and voted his conscience and that’s a paper trail no presidential candidate can survive. People will laud him for voting against the Patriot Act without really remembering what kind of character it took to do it.

    And the Democrats will be worse than the Republicans. Feingold is a breathing reminder of how spineless they were after 9/11 and they don’t want to be reminded. They appear to have decided on Hillary Clinton as candidate, which has every GOP strategist fervently praying they don’t come to their senses.

    What IS it with the Democrats, anyway? The day after the 2004 election the Dems were going around moping about their disastrous candidate and his disastrous campaign and yet they don’t seem to have learned anything from the debacle.

    Bonus for the Republicans: Joe Biden, the pandering, plagiarizing, Northeastern liberal-without-a-conscience, is considering a move against Clinton from whatever position on the ideological spectrum he’s been perched on recently.

  12. Actually when it comes to FEC related BS that one has to put up with, Fiengold is clearly among those who deserve blame.

    I think that was the joke, Stephen.

    I think campaign finance reform may have been a bad idea, but I think Feingold’s views and votes on the “War on Terror” and civil liberties issues–the two most important areas of public policy right now–should more than compensate.

    Of the prospective candidates, Feingold was certainly the best of the lot. It does seem odd, though, that a man whose most admirable trait is his defense of civil liberties in wartime should also have his name on one of the more egregious recent attacks on civil liberties.

  13. Some days the neurons are all firing – somedays not!

  14. I should have been advocating people write “Swiss Cheese” in the write in space on their ballots…We should have a swiss cheese party and a cheddar cheese party.

    Wensleydale. It’s my favorite.

  15. “They appear to have decided on Hillary Clinton as candidate”

    That is just a silly statement. It is only the republicans who have decided that Hillary will be the candidate they face. The democrats are not there yet as far as I read them.

    She is a big dog in the race, but will not get the nomination. Too many people recognize the problem with the oscillation: Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton…she will spend the most money, and not get the nomination. That is my prediction.

    Richardson or Obama both have a better shot, but it too early to tell who gets the nomination.

  16. They appear to have decided on Hillary Clinton as candidate, which has every GOP strategist fervently praying they don’t come to their senses.

    Why does everybody take this as a foregone conclusion? I mean, people said the same thing about Dean until it became obvious that nobody was voting for him.

  17. Clinton will win some early primaries–I don’t think a consensus can form against her pre-campaign trail–but if another big contender emerges, he’ll beat her. If she wins a bunch early and the rest get split, she’ll snowball and win.

  18. “(Democrats) appear to have decided on Hillary Clinton as candidate,”

    No, not even remotely. This is conservative projection of the highest sort.

    Being a top-down party that always nominates the candidate preferred by the party establishment, Republicans assume the Democrats work the same way.

    Being insanely paranoid about supposed machiavellian genius Hillary, they assume she can wrap everything up by snapping her fingers.

    The Democratic Party has primaries, not coronations. Hillary is going to have to get in the pool and swim with everyone else, and we’ll just have to see who wins the race.

  19. people said the same thing about Dean until it became obvious that nobody was voting for him.

    The way I remember it, at this point in the 2004 cycle the person most widely expected to win the nomination was…John Kerry. Howard Dean was an insurgent, albeit one who managed to peak before the Iowa caucuses.

    Which is not to say that the Dems will nominate Hillary Clinton, just that the party is no stranger to anointed nominees. You’d have to go back to 1976, or arguably 1972, to see a nomination that didn’t conclude as originally expected.

  20. If I had a choice between:

    a. living in a US with the Patriot Act, but no McCain-Feingold; or

    b. living in a US with McCain-Feingold, but no Patriot Act,

    I would choose option (b) in a heartbeat (even if it meant that HnR lost its funding somehow). I can’t even imagine a good libertarian choosing option (a). Accordingly, this place oughta lighten up on Feingold. He was more right about more important things than the pro-business candidates so favored here.

  21. The Democratic Party has primaries, not coronations.

    I think they torpedoed Dean, joe. i think they control Iowa and that they strategically controlled it to get rid of Dean. Of course, I can’t prove it, my anti-democracy detector went off big time right after he screamed. Making him head of the fundraising was a little partial mitigation, but really I don’t buy the party line about the De,mocratic Party being democratic when it came to the dean candidacy.

  22. If I had a choice between:

    a. living in a US with the Patriot Act, but no McCain-Feingold; or

    b. living in a US with McCain-Feingold, but no Patriot Act,

    I actually think that’s a much tougher call, because the Patriot Act basically consolidated a number of odious but pre-existing police state trends, but M-F was a quantum leap in subjecting political discourse to state control and entrenching the existing power structure.

  23. Is it just me, or is there really (as of yet) no Cheese Shop reference on this thread?

    C’mon, people, if there’s one thing I know about H&R, it’s that any post or comment that’s thematically-related to a Monty Python sketch will cause said sketch to be referenced at least twice within the first dozen-or-so subsequent comments. I think you’re all forgetting why you’re really here.

  24. If I had a choice between:,

    a. living in a US with the Patriot Act, but no McCain-Feingold; or,

    b. living in a US with McCain-Feingold, but no Patriot Act,

    I’d choose a, every time. The Patriot Act restricts what you can do now. McCain-Feingold restricts how you can change the future.

  25. Jesse Walker,

    “You’d have to go back to 1976, or arguably 1972, to see a nomination that didn’t conclude as originally expected.”

    Huh? Was there some kind of national Clinton movement sweeping the country in 1990 that I missed out on?

    I must have missed all of those articles about Dukakis in the Washington post in 1986.

    Sam Franklin,

    Dean’s orange-hat doorknockers torpedoed him in 2004. By the Iowa caucuses, the establishment wanted Gephardt, or maybe Edwards.

  26. Joe: You’re partly right — 1988 wasn’t a foregone conclusion after the Gary Hart scandal threw everything into disarray, though it also wasn’t a surprise to see Dukakis win. But c’mon: Clinton was everyone’s favorite to take the ’92 nomination, and he had no serious competition for the prize. Tsongas was an obvious loser, and Brown was running a protest campaign.

  27. …and no, Clinton wasn’t on everyone’s lips in 1990, but he was in late ’91.

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