Monday, January 03, 2005

We heart you?

Russ Feingold, the "maverick" senator from Wisconsin (I love the term "maverick" basically just says he does what's right, not necessarily what is most politically that's a bad thing) not only has been selected as one of four deputy minority whips under Harry Reid (D-Nev), but now the rumor mill says that he might be looking for a higher office in 2008 (or at least testing the waters). US News & World Report (via Wonkette) reports:
Fresh face, new voice
Keep a lookout for Sen. Russ Feingold, the second half of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance duo, who just won a third term from Wisconsin voters. He's on a nationwide mission to test out his progressive message that's liberal on some issues, like universal healthcare, and conservative on others, like the deficit. Fans think he can bridge the blue-state-red-state divide, making him not just a voice for a changing Democratic Party but a possible '08 presidential candidate.

Madison's Capital Times editorializes on Feingold's selection to the Senate leadership:
Already, Feingold is suggesting that the decision of Senate Democrats to make him a whip was a tacit acknowledgment that they need to listen to more independent voices. "I think this is about my independent voice being heard in the leadership meetings," he says.That is the right attitude. Feingold is a maverick. But he is a winning maverick. He was re-elected this fall by a wide margin, easily outdistancing the showing of the party's presidential ticket in Wisconsin. And the Wisconsin senator did so without trimming his sails; he spoke bluntly about the war in Iraq, his opposition to corporate free-trade deals and, of course, his solo vote against the USA Patriot Act.