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View Diary: Frameshop: Feingold Now Leads Democrats [UPDATED] (462 comments)

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  •  Beltway Darlings (4.00)
    At this point are Clinton and Bayh, followed somewhat in the distance by Warner.  I did not see the Feingold speech today, regrettably, but ...

    Any Dem who wants to fight conventional wisdom (Clinton/Bayh or Warner) at this point needs to have a really compelling story.

    I'd like to see a Dem step up to the plate with a narrative that is similar to that that has grown around Elliot Spitzer or Patrick Fitzgerald -- that of a 1950s-style comic book justice-seeker.  Serious, righteous, perhaps even humorless -- a law and order candidate who understands that there must be a very firm moral position behind the law and someone who makes the Constitution, rather than the Bible, the base of his platform.

    Can that be Feingold?

    I'm not sure.

    But I believe that there is a hunger among the people for such a candidate.

    "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

    by bink on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 09:22:06 AM PST

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    •  Absolutely (4.00)
      I'd like to see a Dem step up to the plate with a narrative that is similar to that that has grown around Elliot Spitzer or Patrick Fitzgerald -- that of a 1950s-style comic book justice-seeker.  Serious, righteous, perhaps even humorless -- a law and order candidate who understands that there must be a very firm moral position behind the law and someone who makes the Constitution, rather than the Bible, the base of his platform.

      Disagree with the humorless part. There has to be likeability compounded with their devotion to justice and truth. But, as far as Feingold and the above is concerned -- two words -- Patriot Act.

      •  Likeability (none)
        I wonder about that ...

        Giuliani is distinctly unlikeable.  Definitely a sour, even bitter person.  And yet he commands some sort of power over the Republican base.  I think that they interpret this quality as "seriousness" somehow.

        Nixon was the same ...  And people kept voting for him.  

        "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

        by bink on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 09:31:45 AM PST

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        •  The point is moot (none)
          We need someone who we can sense goes bone deep - not just surface, not just the play of the moment.  That is why dems are not reaping the bonus from the repubs culture of corruption.  We have too many dems who loved the media face and have no integrity.
    •  Russ is rather whimsical, in a good way. (4.00)
      Humorless definitely does NOT apply. In his first campaign, he ran goofy ads comparing himself to Elvis, and traveled the state in a white van painted with holstein spots.

      And he clearly doesn't plan to move in the direction of more gravitas, given his remark about a "cheesehead president".

      And that suits me just fine.

      •  Is he seeing anybody? :p (none)
        Jesus, what a winning hand. Probably has a cute ass, too.
      •  The very first time (4.00)
        I saw a Feingold ad, back in 92, I fell on the floor laughing, and said "I hope to God that guy's a Democrat."

        In addition to the Elvis spots, he ran one commercial  showing him ducking out of the way as mud was literally flung between two cardboard cutouts of his two opponents.

        He also did a series of commercials in '92 where he would start out by saying "Today I am in XXX" while pointing to the spot on the back of his hand corresponding with that particular city (since Wisconsin is shaped like the back of a hand).  He would then conclude by saying "I know Wisconsin like the back of my hand."

        Absolutely brilliant.

        lib-er-al: Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not limited to or by established, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes.

        by DCescapee on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 02:57:00 PM PST

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        •  I remember those ads (none)
          so clearly. Only time I ever actually enjoyed political ads on TV. We laughed right out loud.

          As for appeal, Russ has always been his own man and been very clear about knowing what it is to deal with a mortgage, etc. He's not one of the millionaires. His outreach to Wisconsin by visiting every one of the 72 counties for a town meeting every year keeps him grounded in a way that most DC politicians have never known.

          His refusal to take PAC money at all for his last re-election campaign made me very proud of him. We've since moved from Wisconsin but I would be thrilled to be able to vote for him again as a candidate for President.
      •  The very first time was a three-way primary (none)
        and that's what won it for him, when the other two went negative.  It's a classic campaign case study of when not to go negative (i.e., negative can work in a two-way race, as too well we know. . . .).

        Since then, Feingold has won (a) because incumbents win, (b) for lack of an opponent near his iq, and (c) we in Wisconsin do like a maverick -- Russ walks in the footsteps of Proxmire (in so many ways, you know he studied up).

        I just don't think that plays as well outside of Wisconsin.  And the two (not one, which is forgivable by the public now, but two) divorces -- I think that actually may be more of a problem in much of the country than his faith, a problem in less of the country.  

        But he's full of surprises, so it could be fun to see.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 12:06:20 AM PST

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    •  If Mark Warner tells his story right (none)
      he could be it.

      He took over in Virginia after the state had been run into the ground by his two Republican predecessors, who cut taxes, cut taxes, and cut taxes until Virginia couldn't pay for the most basic services.  Construction equipment was left behind to rust on school campuses and along the side of the road because the workers could not be paid.

      Enter Mark Warner - and what does he do? He not only fixed the budget problem (and made Virginia's tax system more progressive), but in so doing he brought together Democrats with fiscally sane Republicans, and completely isolated the red ink Republicans who try to use debt to strangle the government.  They are marginalized now, not just in the state legislature but in the minds of Virginia's voters.  In common parlance, they got owned.

      Mark Warner showed Virginia how to govern well, how to value government and the services it can provide - how to value the community we build together, and how to care for it.

      How can we get over it when people died for the right to vote? -- John Lewis

      by furryjester on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 09:41:11 AM PST

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    •  It was and is John Edwards (none)
      His whole career is fighting for the ordinary folks and with great brilliance.  He fights now for the poor who are never polled and don't vote.  His plan for withdrawal from Iraq is the most pragmatic i.e. get the imperialist symbols, the US Companies out.  It was soooo obvious to many of us in the last presidential primary that John Kerry used the "spaghetti theory of politics".  He threw up the issues to see what stuck.  He has no empathy.  He cannot stop having everything be about him.  Please don't pick someone with no style or substance. We need both.  I am willing to watch Feingold, but JRE's optimism still makes him the most like Bobby Kennedy and someone who makes me get up in the morning with hope.

      "Life is a zoo in a jungle." Peter De Vries

      by MontanaMaven on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 10:09:33 AM PST

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      •  As a fan of both Feingold and Edwards... (4.00)
        I have recently been very impressed with John Edwards' growing stature - he looks way better to me now than when he was running for president two years ago. His strong leadership on poverty, his admission of making a mistake on Iraq... these actions show underlying qualities we need in a president - moral values, flexibility, responsibility...

        Russ Feingold also has taken actions which show important leadership qualities. His lone vote against the patriot act, his strong leadership on campaign finance reform, and his early proposals for changing the course on Iraq all show a leader with principles and clarity. The man runs his campaigns under volunary fundraising limits, returns a portion of his Senate salary every year because he voted against the pay raise that portion came from, has a town hall meeting in every county in Wisconsin every year, and makes a point of not voting on legislation he has not read!

        I think John Edwards and Russ Feingold would make a great pair. Edwards has the big vision rooted in moral values. Feingold shares those values and has a history of integrity when it comes to good government. They would be great together.

        Edwards/Feingold 2008!

        Where the DEVIL is Greendale?

        by ozretiro on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 11:50:26 AM PST

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        •  Edwards has a huge, huge (none)
          obstacle to overcome, that being his shameless cheerleader routine in the campaign, following the line to the point where he got absolutely creamed by Cheney in the Veep debate.

          I like Edwards' two Americas rap. I think anyone who can galvanize the median classes on economic issues is the correct medicine for the neos.

          But Feingold has shown far more courage than Warner, Edwards, et al.

          He will be sold out by the same traditional Democratic party hacks that snuffed Dean, and then hired him to keep him in their sights.

          Feingold is the logical candidate for the next great Progressive Party, and I will be right behind him.

          not the least advantage to "flyover" country is that y'all continue to do that

          by le sequoit on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 05:59:43 PM PST

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          •  The Facts (none)
            3/4 scientific polls after the debates had Edwards the winner.  Here's one:

            CBS News Poll: Most viewers say Edwards won debate
            http://www.cbsnews.com/...

            CBS) John Edwards continued the Democratic ticket's winning streak in Tuesday night's vice presidential debate. He was judged the winner - at least among uncommitted voters who watched the debate, just as John Kerry was last week.

            Immediately after the debate, CBS News interviewed a nationally representative sample of 178 debate watchers assembled by Knowledge Networks who were "uncommitted voters" - voters who are either undecided about who to vote for or who have a preference but say they could still change their minds.

            Forty-one percent of these uncommitted debate watchers said Edwards won the debate tonight. Twenty-eight percent said Cheney won. Thirty-one percent thought it was a tie.

            WHO WON THE DEBATE?
            (Uncommitted Voters Who Watched Debate)

            Edwards  41%
            Cheney  28%
            Tie  31%

            Both men and women who are uncommitted in their vote gave the win to Edwards tonight.

            In the days right after the 2000 vice-presidential debate, by 47 percent to 22 percent, voters said Cheney had won the debate over his Democratic opponent Lieberman; another quarter said the 2000 vice-presidential debate was a tie.

            Edwards also greatly improved opinions of him among these voters, and Cheney also made some gains. Nearly half of these uncommitted voters said their opinion of Edwards has changed for the better as a result of the debate. Just 14 percent said they have a lower opinion of Edwards after tonight, and 37 percent didn't change their views of Edwards.

            As for the Vice President, 32 percent of uncommitted viewers said that their image of Cheney changed for the better as a result. Fifteen percent say their opinion of Cheney got worse. But a majority, 53 percent, did not change their opinions.

            Before tonight, most of these uncommitted voters were undecided in their overall evaluations of either Edwards or Cheney.

            OPINIONS OF THE CANDIDATES AFTER DEBATE
            (Uncommitted Voters Who Watched Debate)

            Edwards
            Changed for the better  49%
            Changed for the worse  14%
            No change  37%

            Cheney
            Changed for the better  32%
            Changed for the worse  15%
            No change  53%

            Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

            by philgoblue on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 05:20:10 AM PST

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