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I know there may well already be diaries here and elsewhere discussing my decision to continue my important work in the Senate and not run for President in 2008, but I wanted everyone in the online community to hear from me directly.

While many of you have probably already seen my statement, here it is again:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

On Sunday, November 12th in Racine, I will hold my 1000th Listening Session with the people of Wisconsin. Before reaching that milestone, I want you to know that I've decided to continue my role as Wisconsin's Junior Senator in the U.S. Senate and not to seek the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.

Like many Americans, I am excited by the results of the November 7th election. My fourteen years in the Senate have been the greatest privilege of my life and I am extremely pleased with what we have accomplished. During so much of that time, however, we Democrats have not only been in the minority but have often been so deeply mired there that my role has often been to block bad ideas or to simply dissent. That is a very important role but I relish the thought that in this new Congress we can start, not only to undo much of the damage that one-party rule has done to America, we can actually advance progressive solutions to such major issues as guaranteed healthcare, dependence on oil, and our unbalanced trade policies. The Senate of the 110th Congress could also well be a place of greater bi-partisan opportunities for change; something I am very proud to have been effective at in both Republican and Democratic Senates.

I hope all of you know how much I have appreciated the incredible response you have given me and the efforts of our Progressive Patriots Fund since January, 2005. In addition to all of our work in Wisconsin and D.C., I have traveled to seventeen states trying to promote the election of progressive Democrats in all states. At every stop from Birmingham, Alabama to Burlington, Vermont, to Ft. Dodge, Iowa, to Las Vegas, Nevada, people have agreed with my view that we need to stand up for a strong, principled Democratic party that is willing to replace timidity with taking the risks of promoting a platform of bold solutions to our nation's problems. Unfailingly, people responded well to my positions:  opposition to the Iraq war; calling for a timeline to redeploy our troops from Iraq so we can focus on those who attacked us on September 11th, 2001; my opposition to the flawed provisions of the USA Patriot Act that threaten the freedoms of law-abiding Americans; my call for accountability for the Administration's arrogant disregard for the law especially with regard to illegal wiretapping; fighting for fiscal responsibility including tough common sense budget rules that will help end the reckless policies that have heaped a mountain of debt on our children and grandchildren; as well as my strong belief in guaranteed healthcare for all Americans and substantial investment in alternative energy sources and technologies.

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. This is because the hunger for progressive change we feel is obviously not about me but about the desire for a genuinely different Democratic Party that is ready to begin to reverse the 25 years of growing extremism we have endured.

I'm sure a campaign for President would have been a great adventure and helpful in advancing a progressive agenda. At this time, however, I believe I can best advance that progressive agenda as a Senator with significant seniority in the new Senate serving on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Judiciary and Budget Committees. Although I have given it a lot of thought, I cannot muster the same enthusiasm for a race for President while I am trying simultaneously to advance our agenda in the Senate. In other words, if I really wanted to run for President, regardless of the odds or other possible candidates, I would do so. However, to put my family and all of my friends and supporters through such a process without having a very strong desire to run, seems inappropriate to me. And, yes, while I would strongly prefer that our nominee in 2008 be someone who had the judgment to oppose the Iraq war from the beginning, I am prepared to work as hard as I can through the Progressive Patriots Fund, and consistent with my duties in the Senate, to maintain or increase our gains from November 7 in the Congress and, of course, to elect a Democrat as President in 2008.

Most important, I want to continue my work as a Senator from this wonderful State of Wisconsin. Our fourteen year ongoing conversation that has taken place in hundreds of communities in Wisconsin in the form of open Listening Sessions is the principal reason I have been perceived as "ahead of the curve" on many key issues. Simply listening to the reasoning and passions of Wisconsinites remains the best source of good ideas and common sense I've ever encountered.

I love this country very much and am so lucky to be able to serve it in the United States Senate. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement.

Sincerely,

Russ Feingold
Middleton, Wisconsin

I am extremely pleased and proud of the work Progressives here, and across the country, did leading up to Tuesday's monumental election. Our victory's proved that people-powered, netroots, grassroots, 50-state strategy politics works. Now, we have a historic opportunity to get our country back on track and it's time to get down to work.

And there is much work to be done - from fundamental election reform, to health care for all Americans, to an energy policy that makes sense, to fixing the President's flawed Iraq policy, to protecting America while also protecting our rights and freedoms.

That's a full plate, and it's going to take an effort similar to the one that carried Democrats to victory last Tuesday to get it all done. I'm counting on everyone here to do their part - I promise I will continue to do mine.

(Cross-posted at MyDD.com and boomantribune.com)

Originally posted to Russ Feingold on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:05 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  FWIW, Senator, (116+ / 0-)

    I'm damn glad you're staying as our Senator.  Thanks.  I'll be in touch with your campaign next year; this year was oddly quiet.

    "One way or another, this darkness got to give"

    by wozzle on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:06:00 AM PST

  •  Good luck, be in touch, and carry on (26+ / 0-)

    Thank you for keynoting the Maine Dem convention. You fired some people up. I know you will keep fighting and you gained a lot of respect along the way. If you're still online:

    Do you think a Dem President can come from Congress or is the whole 'mine the record thing' too big of an issue?

    Calling George Bush shallow is like calling a dwarf short, Molly Ivins http://www.just6dollars.org/

    by philinmaine on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:07:21 AM PST

    •  A big second to that "keep in touch" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scardanelli

      Don't be a stranger, Senator.  You're part of our community and one of our lodestars.

      I've voted for you in every poll, though I've never been sure you could win.  Maybe you made the same calculation.  I'm happy that we won't have to worry about losing you in the Senate, and that you're making the decision you think best for you.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 04:46:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somehow I know (27+ / 0-)

    it's really you, Senator, and not a staffer who just posted this diary.
    You are a light to the Democratic party.

  •  While I agree with you (168+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, selise, incertus, vicki, Sean Robertson, Inky, roonie, rhfactor, Cali Scribe, TaraIst, alisonk, thebes, RunawayRose, Lahdee, Coldblue Steele, Shockwave, wu ming, billlaurelMD, Xan, cotterperson, hyperstation, OLinda, JaneKnowles, Stein, LuLu, frisco, sobermom, Carnacki, bumblebums, mataliandy, Perdita Durango, ralphie, maggiemae, tlh lib, monkeybiz, Miss Devore, ReneInOregon, bronte17, mint julep, SamSinister, anotherCt Dem, bhlogger, jiffykeen, lunacat, ksh01, scamp, aimeeinkc, bobinson, javelina, gabie, peraspera, LondonYank, cognitive dissonance, nargel, Bronxist, Miss Blue, Torta, lilnubber, arkdem, celticshel, DemocracyLover in NYC, entiel, ghostofaflea, MTgirl, Noodles, Andrea inOregon, grayslady, churchylafemme, texasmom, xanthe, Penny Century, On The Bus, peregrina, rockhound, FLDemJax, produceus, grrr, lulu57, barbwires, DMiller, Donna in Rome, zett, WisVoter, Marianne Benz, American in Kathmandu, TexH, julifolo, rapala, vcmvo2, joanneleon, Fabian, tovan, 3goldens, SisTwo, PAbluestater, Elise, blueyedace2, docangel, Halcyon, JohnB47, Cake or Death, zbctj52, techiechick, dansk47, Sharon in MD, eaglecries, Overseas, sheddhead, Habanero, FindingMyVoice, Lisa Lockwood, bartman, JanL, murasaki, punkliberal, Land of Enchantment, orphanpower, maryru, occams hatchet, trashablanca, althea in il, BachFan, Do Tell, SFJen, RogueStage, tobendaro, emeraldmaiden, whitewidow, 4thepeople, ActivistGuy, Chincoteague, kestrel9000, Mensor, Loonesta, aphra behn, dangangry, greenearth, goodasgold, chrisRunner7, Lashe, Rachel in Vista, Eupraxsophist, DiesIrae, imabluemerkin, paul2port, zoots dream gearle, Pager, NewAmericanLeft, MO Blue, GodRifle, kurious, Snarcalita, Picot verde, norahc, RickBoston, Friend of the court, coolsub, AllanTBG, Pandoras Box, Susan Something, Cronesense, gary438, aelurophile, gloriana, operculum, mtspace, wakemeup7nov06, Got a Grip

    that there is a lot of work to be done in the Senate, and I certainly understand somebody not wanting to be president, I think that you would make a great president, and I wish that you were running.

    Thank you for your service to our country.

    "Good night and good luck" --Edward R. Murrow, Keith Olbermann

    by soonergrunt on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:12:04 AM PST

  •  I love having you and Harkin as Senators. (11+ / 0-)

    Iknow taking that step towards being President is tempting but because I consider the Senate to be so, so important and the fact that my two favorite Senators are Russ Feingold and Tom Harkin...then I have to say again...thank you for being a GREAT Senator and I hope for many, many years to come.

  •  We need you more in Congress anyway (19+ / 0-)

    Be thier conscience for them.  Try to make sure they do the right thing.

    •  Russ Out Now!? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      Russ Out Now!?
      by KDANTEATER

      Great, Senator, just great. Now I am going to have to return all of my Russ Feingold merchandise. The Russ Feingold hats, bumper stickers, balloons, mugs, thongs (don't ask). Do you know how much time I spent trying to find that Russ Feingold action figure? By the way, Ken looks just like you if you add dark hair. I will have to keep that rare Russ Feingold rookie card until it has presidential value. Only then it will sell for a good price on Ebay. Senator, I demand that you run for president in 2008. You do not have to run for yourself. You can run in order to make my uncontrollable spending spree count for something. You and your potential presidential bid unleashed the mad shopper within and dried up my accounts. If you do not run for president, than I am afraid that I am going to have to demand that you apologize to me for not running.

      Sure, Russ. You may say that it was my choice to buy all that stuff, and that you may be a little disturbed that I purchased Russ Feingold thongs: half price, great deal. I could not resist buying more than one, I admit. None the less, I expected you to run. You can't say that you did not give my the signs. I mean, you tried to censure the president, you voted against the Iraq War and Patriot Act, and you are the best man for the job. Speaking of which, you owe me for that Russ Feingold menorah. Okay, so it is my old menorah with a Russ Feingold pin on the front, but I paid a good dollar for that pin. Okay, so they gave it to me for free at a booth. Still it's the principle of the thing, they, through your lies, should not have decieved me.
      You may have given up on your presidential bid, but I have not. You are what America and my wallet needs. So please Senator, I plea that you reconcider your run for the presidency. If you do not, we may have to put up with Joe Biden, and I will blame you for that.

      •  There's this thing called the 7 Mile Fair here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        and some other nonstop, year-round, rummage sale-a-ramas in Wisconsin where you could unload your . . . well, I'm certainly not going to connect that verb to the noun "thong," no way.

        So send 'em our way in Wisconsin, where we're glad that we still will get to cover our bumpers with Feingold stickers.  

        But as for the other stuff, well, would those be thermal thongs?  Those sell best here.  Don't ask.

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

        by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:34:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Might I note the thought of a Joe Biden thong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sean Robertson, KDANTEATER

        thermal or not, just gives me the shivers.

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

        by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:36:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They need bracelets saying (0+ / 0-)

      WWRD

      What Would Russ Do?

      ('cept not made in a sweatshop in China or someplace)

      It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

      by zett on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:23:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for carrying the torch. (28+ / 0-)

    Now you've got more support in the Senate, you should be able to get a lot more done.

    You held the line.  We'll never forget, and we'll always be here for you, Russ.

  •  hope.... (23+ / 0-)

    there aren't many politicians who can inspire hope in me... you are one of them.  while i'm sad not to have your voice in the presidential campaigns, i count on you to keep up the good fight for all of us... including the many of us who consider ourselves your constituents - regardless of where we live.

  •  Thank you (21+ / 0-)

    Of course, it would have been nice if our first progressive Jewish President was also from the midwest.  Everyone from my shtetl would have volunteered and voted for you.

    Thank you for all you have done--and will continue to do for us, for the progressive movement, and for the country.

  •  Good Luck and God Bless Senator......n/t (9+ / 0-)

    "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job".

    by ParaHammer on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:15:21 AM PST

  •  I believe your decision (18+ / 0-)

       is a good one, both for Wisconsin and for the rest of us. The time may not yet be ripe for a truly progressive candidate for the presidency. As a Senator, you will have the ability to push the Democratic party to do the things we need to turn this country around.

       Thank you for all you have done, and I know that as a member of the majority party (God, those words are sweet) you will be even more effective.

       Keep up the good work.

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

    by happy camper on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:15:55 AM PST

  •  Thank you Senator. (26+ / 0-)

    Although disappointed, I absolutely respect your choice not to run.

    I do hope, sir, that you will continue to speak out and thus can help set the agenda for the 08 race, that you can continue to be a strong voice for principle and the right thing and thereby can influence the other candidates to remain true to their Democratic label.

    Thank you for all you've done, and best wishes.

    Henry: "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
    Republicans: "Give me liberty, or ...not. Just don't let them hurt me."

    by Marc in KS on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:16:21 AM PST

    •  I'd missed your postings (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marc in KS

      Let me interrupt to thank you for your work
      in Kansas and on Kos.  And congrats to you
      and all the KS Dems in the on-line community,
      for your victories, especially Nancy Boyda's in KS-02.

      You made Boyda's case her waaaaaay back, was it
      May, no June, and I sent her $25. Not much, but
      now I'm so proud -- thanks to you!

      •  Gosh, thank (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenearth

        you!  You helped us.

        Kansas is heading back into the reality-based community, bit by bit, and if Kansas can do it, even Utah can do it!  Heh.

        So, thank you.

        Henry: "Give me liberty, or give me death!"
        Republicans: "Give me liberty, or ...not. Just don't let them hurt me."

        by Marc in KS on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 03:44:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Together we are a serious force for change (11+ / 0-)

    and we will keep covering your back as you take the fight for restoring civil liberties forward.

    "Being a politician is a poor profession. Being a public servant is a noble one." - Herbert Hoover

    by LondonYank on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:16:23 AM PST

  •  At Least (21+ / 0-)

    You've got Bernie Sanders to make you a little less lonely in the most exclusive club in the world.

    Good luck to you. You had my support.

    •  You and Bernie are going to be a dynamic duo (16+ / 0-)

      Thank you for your early, clear decision. The progressive wing of the Party needs your experience and leadership. Bernie will be an excellent ally for you. Those of us who felt disenfanchised by many of administration decisions and actions will now have solid leadership in the Senate.

      Progressives have their work cut out for them. It's good to know the Senate will have your undivided attention to help usher through good legislation and block the bad, and there has been way too much bad legislation from this Congress that needs undoing. We need you in place.

      Please maintain direct contact with the netroots. Americans want more transparency in government, and you have garnered much trust among us. It will be invaluable to have your updates, and we are ready to respond when you need backing in the Senate.

      America is re-gaining repect for honor and integrity in government rather than deceit and disinformation. We are looking to leaders like you to help bring it back.

      A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. Napoleon Bonaparte

      by 4Freedom on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:34:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  did you hear what Bernie said about Russ? (25+ / 0-)

        "I'm gonna make Russ Feingold look like a conservative."

        The spirit of Paul Wellstone lives on!

        Use your green to turn New England blue! Donate here.

        by jab on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:40:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A throwdown to a Badger (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, machka

          makes us just want to say "Bring It On."

          Well, no, that phrase is forever tainted for us.

          But Bernie better know why we picked the badger for our motif before he messes with Russ.  Or us.  Grrrrr.:-)

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

          by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:38:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bernie gets his way because he's always the same (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zett

            He stakes out his positions and sticks with them. In a world where politician's values float on the tide of public opinion, Bernie has always been pro-labor and pro-working people and against the big financial interests that act against the interests of working people.

            Bernie voters are Greens, Progressives, Republicans, Democrats, and Socialists. Bernie's honesty about who Bernie is and what Bernie stands for is one constant in the shifting seas of politics. And he will make Russ look conservative. Bernie was probably raised on badger stew, but he's loveable anyway. ;>

            A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. Napoleon Bonaparte

            by 4Freedom on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:24:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks, I so enjoyed the story (0+ / 0-)

              of his run for mayor and rise since, which I saw just this week here -- since I grew up in Milwaukee watching the last of our many Socialist mayors, and that legacy does live on here.  And your info adds even more that tells me he is going to be fun to watch; it really will be interesting to see which committees he gets. . . .

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

              by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:59:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hang on and enjoy the ride - Bernie & Leahy (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cream City, zett, patginsd, lasky57

                are going to set off some fireworks. Every progressive tendency in the Senate just got alot of fuel for the fire.

                Only Iraq leaves my Democratometer still askew..will we, won't they, can Bernie's fierce anti-war stance help kick butt??? but, but, but Pelosi said, and Reid said We Are Going To Play Nice!!!!

                'fraid this lamb might just have to go rabid again, if so.

                Letter from Cindy:

                Open Letter to Reps Pelosi and Conyers
                We are Setting the Table Now
                Cindy Sheehan

                Dear Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Conyers,

                I am writing this open letter to you both on the day after Veteran's Day. A day that has so much more meaning to me since my son Casey was KIA in Iraq for absolutely no reason but to line the pockets of the war machine. I cried in front of his symbolic tombstone at Arlington Northeast in Philadelphia and I dreamed of him before I awakened. Casey's "tombstone" was planted in the ground directly across from Liberty Hall which was the birth place of our Republic. How tragic it was to see 2842 tombstones of our brave young people who have been killed by people who are trampling all over our Constitution and making a mockery out of the separations of power and the original intent of that document. 2842 citizens who were willing to volunteer for service and were killed by people who lied to the world to send them to invade and occupy a country in a war of aggression that has killed almost a million Iraqi citizens. How tragic it is that our newly elected Democratic leadership are already talking about abrogating their Constitutional responsibilities, again?

                We the people are shocked that you two are already stridently iterating over and over again that impeachment is "off the table." Since the historic Nov. 7th elections, I have talked to a boat-load of Americans who want impeachment on the table. We activists worked hard to make these elections about national issues, like the illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq, and the culture of corruption that, especially you, Ms. Pelosi have been railing against for months now.

                We the people put the Democrats back into power because we want to see a change in this country and a rejection of politics as usual. We want politics as unusual. We want to see the issue of impeachment and a speedy and safe withdrawal of our troops from Iraq de-politicized and brought into the realm of "right and wrong" where these issues belong, not "right and left."

                We the people are here to tell you that we are the ones that are going to be setting the table, now. For too many years, we have allowed you people, who are just like us and elected by us and from us, to tell us what the agenda will be. Like I told George in a recent letter to him (no response yet, hmm), a sleeping giant has been awakened in this country and we are not going back to sleep just because the Democrats, only with grassroots involvement and commitment, are back in power in Congress.

                It turns our stomachs when you talk about "working" with the Republicans. First of all, these people have allowed BushCo free rein in committing their high crimes and misdemeanors and crimes against humanity. Why would you want to work with murderers, liars, and crooks? When one works with criminals, one becomes complicit and culpable for those crimes. We elected you all to be different, not more of the same.

                Secondly, and more importantly, BushCo have openly committed egregious crimes which they have all admitted to. The question really isn't: should they be impeached, but why haven't they been impeached, removed from office and criminally charged and tried for these crimes, yet? I believe that when Congressional Representatives and Senators are sworn into office they take an oath to protect the constitution, not to protect and abet criminals. The investigation and eventual rubber stamp to begin impeachment proceedings against Nixon was a bi-partisan effort and Nixon wasn't even investigated for the level of crimes that BushCo should be investigated for.

                We realize that you have a tremendous and daunting task before you both. We know for six years that your governmental body has been busy giving its power away to a maniac who has abused and misused that power so incompetently and tragically. However, to say that impeachment can't be one of the issues that Congress begins immediate work on is not giving you all enough credit. Impeachment has been done before in our country and it has never before been so urgent.

                How many times has George said that the troops aren't coming home while he is president? How many times has BushCo lied to us and admitted those lies? Or been caught in those lies? How many people have they killed for greed of money and power and how many lives have been destroyed by them? How many laws have BushCo broken and admitted to breaking? How many people have they physically and mentally wounded by torture and by sending our brave young people wrongly to Iraq and not supporting them when they get there? How much longer will you allow them to violate and desecrate everything that we hold dear as Americans and human beings?

                We the people demand that you do your duties as officers and protectors of our Constitution and we demand that you do your duties as members of humanity to call a halt to the crimes against humanity of the Bush regime.

                When the 100th Congress is seated on January 3rd, we the people, who also have a duty to our Constitution (We the People is the first line) and a duty to humanity will be walking the halls of your offices to tell you what our agenda is and what we want on the table.

                I admire and respect both of you and I know you will do the right thing, but you better heed the will of we the people, or we will find other people who will. I hope you do believe that we want you to represent us and not the special interests of the war machine.

                We the people are serious about true change this time and we are willing to walk, work, sit, stand, write, travel, sweat, freeze, be arrested, and scream for these changes.

                Impeachment and removal from office are not for the squeamish or faint of heart, but we are not either of those things. We are all brave and (p)(m)atriotic Americans who realize that healing of the political divide that has characterized the Bush regime will only begin when our young people and the people of Iraq see justice for all of the death and misery that they have afflicted humanity with. Our children who have been sent to early graves or have to live the rest of their lives with PTSD or missing limbs, and the people of Iraq (not to mention the victims of Katrina) are crying out for this justice. Justice is meted out everyday in our world and if BushCo are not brought to justice then justice loses its meaning and effectiveness.

                Do it for Casey, do it for his buddies, do it for the people of Iraq, do it for the people who were devastated by Katrina, do it to bring legitimacy back to Congress and our Constitution, do it to raise our reputation in the international community, do it just because it is the right thing to do.

                See you on the January 3rd.

                Peace soon,
                Cindy Sheehan

                A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. Napoleon Bonaparte

                by 4Freedom on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 01:58:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  I gotta admit (0+ / 0-)

          I loved me some Bernie long time.  I was lovin' me some Bernie back when I was still all "Russ Who?"

          It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

          by zett on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:34:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I speak for a lot of Democrats (23+ / 0-)

    When I tell you my reaction is: "Oh, SHIT!"

    You were my guy, Russ, and you still are. Let's go get 'em!

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:16:26 AM PST

  •  Anti-Iraq-debacle (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, zett, ActivistGuy, kestrel9000, norahc

    Does this mean you are confident that another candidate will arise who is was opposed to the Iraq debacle from the beginning?

  •  Thanks for supporting 50-state strategy, Senator (45+ / 0-)

    I am extremely pleased and proud of the work Progressives here, and across the country, did leading up to Tuesday's monumental election. Our victory's proved that people-powered, netroots, grassroots, 50-state strategy politics works. Now, we have a historic opportunity to get our country back on track and it's time to get down to work.

    I agree, Senator.

  •  Bittersweet. (35+ / 0-)

    I understand and respect your decision. Know that if it had been different, you'd have had my full-on support.
    And you still do.
    Thank you, Senator, for all that you do.
    You are one of the many reasons I am proud to be a Democrat.

    Magic 95.5 (800) 296 - 9267 Calls from Kossacks aired FREE! 2-6p EST

    by kestrel9000 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:17:01 AM PST

  •  Dear Senator (13+ / 0-)

    thank you for sharing with us here at dKos and thank you for your continued important and needed service to the American people.

    yours is one of the few reasoned voices in the senate.. we definitely need you as a representative.

    please focus on making some progress on the numerous social and infrastructure needs of our country, and let's stop the nation building in other countries.

    "Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice." Spinoza

    by Superpole on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:17:07 AM PST

  •  Thank you Senator (17+ / 0-)

    for everything you do.  And thank you for being honest and straightforward in detailing your position on the '08 presidential race.  I for one, get very tired of hearing the coy responses of many possible contenders on whether they plan to run or not.

    I envy the fine citizens of Wisconsin their fine junior senator.  

    Good luck and 'give 'em hell'!

    ck

    If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went ---Will Rogers

    by Sasha Bear on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:19:13 AM PST

    •  Aye (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      I'll second that sentiment. Russ, ye be probably the best example of what a politician should be like. You statement about your intentions here goes along with that straight forward nature beautifully. Perhaps in ye senate career from here on out, people will be a little more prone to seeing you as a positive example of what is possible in the cut throat world of politics, and perhaps they themselves would being to emulate it.

      Good luck!

      Superior Military, Fair Taxes, Good Values-Democratic Mantra "But I won't be frustrated by the fire in your eyes as you're staring at the sun"

      by Izixs on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:09:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! (12+ / 0-)

    Well, at least you can ensure we retain a D seat in WI.

    What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell

    by RequestedUsername on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:20:04 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold (25+ / 0-)

    Thank You for Honoring your Oath of office and defending and upholding Our Constitution everyday you stand on the Senate floor. I think you would make a terrific President and am sorry you are not running.
    Please be sure to attach all the legislation that desperately needs changed IE: Military Commisions act,warrentless wiretapping,tortue, ect. ect. please attach them to the bill bush will NOT veto such as the military spending bill.

    (-7.50 -6.31) "I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it's hell" -Harry S.Truman

    by arkdem on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:20:26 AM PST

  •  I will be... (17+ / 0-)

    ...following with interest who you support for president. That nod will mean a lot to me, and I'm sure, many others here at dKos.

    We've got your back on all those issues you mention above. Don't be a stranger.

    [Bush] speaks to the audience as if they're idiots. I think the reason he does that is because that's the way these issues were explained to him. Graydon Carter

    by mecki on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:22:35 AM PST

  •  Your integrity re: Iraq gives you a powerful (10+ / 0-)

    voice in today's Senate.  Not only Iraq but so many other issues where the GOP has tried to rush something and you've put a spear into the ground and said "NO."  

    Thank you for staying where you are, Senator Feingold -- you will be a very strong Senator for Wisconsin and for America.

    Thank you so much -

  •  Thanks Russ (6+ / 0-)

    I appreciate the courage of your convictions and the duty to serve not just America, but the world.

    Ramesh
    Deputy Volunteer Coordinator - Massa for Congress

    http://www.massaforcongress.com/

    by optimusprime on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:23:12 AM PST

  •  Who Would Russ Nominate? (7+ / 0-)

    First I need to thank you for standing strong on the war. Next I must ask, if not you for 2008, then who?  At this point in time, who are you looking at with interest for 2008?
    thanks again for your courage and commitment

  •  Dear Sir (11+ / 0-)

    I apprecaite all the work that you do in the Senate. I hope that you can continue to help the progessive cause. You have my support. I am disappointed that you won't be President Feingold.

    The war is not going as advertised.- John Murtha, (-9.00,-7.59) Impeachment now, treason trials tonight, hanging tomorrow

    by Irish Patti on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:23:23 AM PST

  •  Thank you Senator... (12+ / 0-)

    for coming here to post this to us directly.

    While I can't think of anyone I'd rather see as our President in 2009, I respect your decision, and am glad you will be carrying the progressive banner forward in the Senate.  I have no doubt you will be a powerful and effective voice for us all, and I thank you for all you've done and will continue to do on behalf of our country and our values.

  •  If only to rub their nose in Iraq... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, norahc

    ... I'd throw my hat into the ring and let the party know that you, Howard Dean, and Jim Webb opposed it from its onset. I opposed it and so did 1000s of other activists, but who listens to us? You have a chance to pound Herr Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Rove, and it would take a team of wild horses to drag me away from that bullhorn if I were in your shoes. What have you got to lose? You don't have to resign your Senate seat to run. So you'll keep your seat and get a chance to tell America in a national venue "I told you so" and "this is what I would have done differently".

    Change the course--change the Captain. Change the crew. But save the ship!

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:26:44 AM PST

  •  so be it (4+ / 0-)

    Senator, I would have supported your run for president full-heartedly. You would make a superb leader of our nation.

    I know you will keep fighting the good fight in the senate on behalf of all Americans, and for that I am deeply grateful to have your voice and conscience.

    Now, might you consider the VP slot....?

    with deepest respect,

  •  Senator Feingold (16+ / 0-)

    When I heard about your plans to remain in the Senate and not run for President I thought of the line from 'In the Heat of the Night', "They call me Mister Tibbs!".

    We'll be calling you Senator Feingold for a long time and there will be nobody in the Senate that commands more respect. Thank you for your service to country. Some people make think you are a son-of-a-bitch but history will mark you down as an SOB in defense of the Constitution. That ain't bad.

    If you're after getting the honey, Then you don't go killing all the bees - Joe Strummer

    by joejoejoe on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:27:57 AM PST

  •  Your integrity is amazing (12+ / 0-)

    given the climate in Washington.

    When the time comes, an endorsement of a 2008 candidate from you will carry a great deal of weight with me.

    utahgirl

  •  You will continue to be a great influence... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, GodRifle, norahc, Allogenes, RosyFinch

    ... on the Party and the Senate.

    You'll also be a great influence on the new Class of 2006. I hope you can make sure the Leadership gives that amazing group of rising stars every opportunity to shine, grow, and reach its potential.

    Thanks for everything! Onward!

    "One does not discover new lands without consenting to leave sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

    by pat208 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:29:11 AM PST

  •  please reconsider (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, norahc

    Just say you're running, and then don't do anything.

    Let the wave pick you up.

    Best of luck in any case and thanks for your great courage.

    -10.00,-10.00. Beat that, motherfuckers.

    by frenchman on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:29:19 AM PST

  •  We need more people like you... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, norahc, zenobia

    Washington gets so wrapped up in "Who will run?" that getting any actual work done takes a back seat.

    Thank you for being commited to doing your job.

    We are the CHAMPIONS my friends!!!

    by weelzup on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:29:21 AM PST

  •  As disappointing as your announcement (13+ / 0-)

    not to run for president is, it's refreshing to encounter a politician who puts the interest of the country ahead of personal ambition.

    Many thanks for your past acts of integrity and courage and for the many still to come.

    •  I'm not sure I would read it that way, but (0+ / 0-)

      The Senator is aying he'd rather work in the Senate than run for President, If anything, in some ways, he is elevating his personal feelings above his possible service to the counry as President. Still, I can't fault someone for making that decision.

      "We support your war of terror!" -- Borat Sagdiyev (a/k/a Sacha Baron Cohen)

      by FischFry on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 02:57:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank-you Senator (12+ / 0-)

    for your all of your hard work. Nobody has been as true to progressive ideals and goals as you and I know that you will continue to offer principled leadership on these issues for many more years to come. When the American people see the benefits of progressive ideas put into practice through legislation, I believe the country will crave candidates who can truly lead us forward.

    "The way out is via the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?" - Confucius

    by Blue Intrigue on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:30:20 AM PST

  •  thank you for speaking (7+ / 0-)

    out during the darkest days - I owe you and a few others my sanity.  bless you, Senator.

    I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

    by xanthe on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:30:33 AM PST

  •  Thank You, Sir (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    American in Kathmandu, norahc

    for believing in the people of America and people-powered politics.  We support you in your continued work to bring real change in the Senate.  Thank you for your service, Senator!

    He Lied. He Spied. He Must Be Tried!

    by athenap on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:31:11 AM PST

  •  Thanks For Your CONSISTENT Inspiration ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, global citizen, norahc, mtspace

    and clarity of position.
    You have been THE progressive voice in the Senate.
    I think it is important that you have chosen to continue working from within that body.  Though the sound of "President Fiengold" has a great ring I agree that the Senate NEEDS your voice now, more than ever.
    Bless you Russ.

    Iraq - "The Crater Of Democracy" - GWB 10/11/2006

    by Kdoug on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:31:20 AM PST

  •  we need to reestablish our Constitutional balance (16+ / 0-)

    that means we need real patriots who are committed to the Constitution in the Senate.  You have demonstrated a thoughtfulness in your Senate service.  You are being  joined by several new senators who have displayed a similar kind of thoughtfulness, whether it is Jon Tester who fearlessly said that he would repeal the Patriot Act for which you were the sole opposing Senate vote or Jim Webb who argues for checks and balances and forthrightly explained why he opposed the flag desecration amendment proposal even whil running in a state (Virginia) in which visible patriotism is a very strong political issue.

    Only you can decide how you can best serve us.  I honor your choice, and look forward to your long service on behalf of ALL American in the US Senate.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:32:08 AM PST

    •  When the framers drafted Article I... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, imabluemerkin, jhop7

      ...they most certainly weren't conceiving of Congress as being a President-in-training program, or a halfway home for party hacks.  I would have been enthusiastic about a Feingold run for the presidency, but it's essential for our country to have Congressmen who take their Constitutional role seriously.

  •  Thank you sir (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Habanero, norahc, mtspace

    Thank you for all your service. In every capacity you have been a consistent champion of democracy. I look forward to seeing what you can do within the new Democratic majority Senate.

    "This is a Revolution, dammit. We're going to have to offend SOMEbody!"--John Adams, *1776*

    by aphra behn on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:32:37 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator! (6+ / 0-)

    I admire and respect what you've done in the Senate.  

    I also feel that one thing which handicapped the Democrats in 2004 was that TOO MANY people were in the game.  Those with little to no real chance of winning the nomination--Kuchinich, Sharpton, Brown--each ate up valuable time during debates that were broad rather than deep.  The time they spent answering questions would have been more effectively spent finding out MORE information on the 3 or 4 candidates with "legs."  Perhaps knowing more, a different choice might've been made and the outcome may have tipped in our favor.

    That said, I also urge you to talk to your fellow Democrats to suggest they do similar soul-searching to ensure that only those with a burning desire for the brass ring and a real chance to earn it will jump into the ring in the first place.

    We're behind you in your efforts.  Thanks again!

    •  I agree! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      norahc, Allogenes

      Please talk to the leadership and tell them to run only 2-3 candidates at most we had way to many in '04 and all their voices were drowned out and one repub voice was heard by all.
      Also tell them to please not attack each other in the primary, it is ammo that is only used against them in the national election.

      (-7.50 -6.31) "I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it's hell" -Harry S.Truman

      by arkdem on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:04:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  While I am sorry you won't be running in 08 (6+ / 0-)

    I respect your decision.  You were a breathe of fresh air these past 6 years when even my own Senators sold out.  

    Thank you for your service to our Country and for not being afraid to break rank and speak your mind and vote accordingly.

    One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. ~Plato

    by Cyn NY on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:34:40 AM PST

  •  Thank You Turning Back The Tide, Senator.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, paige, norahc, Allogenes

    ....and throwing your implicit support behind those who share your foresight for sound foreign policy, along with your reverence of the intentions of our forefathers.  Without you, I'm not sure this country would have made it through these dark days.

    Host a screening of my animated documentary DOOLITTLE RAIDERS!!!

    by tkmattson on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:37:18 AM PST

  •  Senator, What do you think of this Diary? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, norahc

    Please give it a look.  

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Best to you in your new capacity in the majority!

  •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hrh, arkdem, zett, Debbie in ME, norahc

    I can' say I'm not disappointed, but it's a selfish disappointment. Your reasoning, as usual, is sound.

    I would have been among your staunchest supporters should you have chosen to run (not that that means much); you've been my first choice for a while.

    Nevertheless, thank you for your hard work and adherence to principles--you are a beacon of integrity. I look forward to your continued thoughtful presence and high standards in the Senate.

    -8.38, -8.00 Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice. --Thomas Paine

    by hyperstation on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:37:49 AM PST

  •  Thank You: The 2006 Victory Began... (8+ / 0-)

    ...five years ago with a 99-1 defeat.  Thank you for fighting the good fight.

  •  Senator Feingold, we need you as the inside man (8+ / 0-)

    We will never change our party until we change the Senate from a collection of corporatists to true representatives of the people. We need your help in making the DLC totally irrelevant. We need your help against those who would not support the duly elected Democrat in the CT primary. We need your help on the inside, and I think you made the correct decision--for now, at least.

  •  You have earned my respect over and over (6+ / 0-)

    Senator Feingold. Your leadership in the senate is most needed now to reverse the unitary executive power that has pushed so many bad laws on us. The signing statements will be a big battle, too.

    I have no doubt you along with Sen. Leahy and others will accomplish much. However, I imagine that a major part of the battles ahead will educating us citizens - and the Bush cabal are already trying to get a head start on this. Our so smart top lawyer Gonzales will be going on a speaking tour next week to push the propaganda.

    We will be so happy to help you in any way. I look forward to hearing the debates. No way can Sessions, Hatch, Kyle. Graham and the other Republicans match you or Sen. Leahy with their shallow arguments.

  •  Wonderful letter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, norahc, Allogenes, FischFry

    I am grateful for your hard work with the progressive movement.  I will do my best to help in every way.  

    thanks so much, Russ Feingold.  Darn, I wish you would run but I also understand the importance of working in the Senate.  

    "I'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator." - Rep. Harold Ford

    by Sandy on Signal on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:40:12 AM PST

  •  The Senate needs your voice, conscience, and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, norahc, Allogenes

    clarity of purpose.  It REALLY needs it!  And now you may have some new blood/allies of the same character in Webb and Tester.

    God Bless You and thanks.

  •  New constituent here, disappointed (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, zett, norahc, Allogenes

    but respectful of your decision.  Your integrity shines through all that you say and do.  Having you as our Senator was the icing on the cake when we decided to move to Madison.  Imagine--going from Inhofe/Coburn to Feingold!!

    Thank you for speaking for us!  

    We do not grow by knowing all the answers, but by living with the questions

    by juslikagrzly on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:40:48 AM PST

  •  I am heartbroken (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, zett, norahc, Allogenes
    despite all our success this year, I really think progress in this country depends on getting the correct candidate for 2008 and not letting the pundit pick our choice. I am deeply sorry to hear about your choice and I wish you well. I am glad you will continue to be a force in the Senate.

    I guess I am now supporting the field in the 2008 race.

    "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which."

    by Lefty the playwright on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:40:57 AM PST

  •  Sigh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, andydoubtless, norahc

    So much for being excited about 2008.

    Unless Gore gets in, I have no one to actually like. Guess I have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary. Bleh. Edwards will easily lose as inexperienced and the failed presidential/vice presidential candidate.

  •  I kind of assumed (4+ / 0-)

    that anyone that I agreed with as often as I have agreed with you could not get elected President. I told myself once or twice, well he gets elected in Wisconsin and that's not exactly Manhattan, but I never quite believed it.

    Just know that large numbers of people trust your political judgment as much as they trust anyone's and are deeply grateful to you for what you have already said and done and will say and do in the future.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:41:45 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold (6+ / 0-)

    You would have been my number one choice for President, but I realise that it would be a uphill battle.

    My biggest regret is that I will probably never get to vote for you for any office, as I do not live in Wisconsin.

    One doesn't have to be president to make powerful lasting changes, and I wish the best for you in the future!

    The most un-American thing you can say is, "You can't say that." -G. Keillor

    by EvilPaula on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:43:01 AM PST

  •  I'm glad that you've made this decision (9+ / 0-)

    As I don't think the country is quite yet ready for a candidate as honest and progressive as yourself. It has to first be "prepped" for it. You'll be able to accomplish far more good in the senate than on the campaign trail. And someone's going to have to keep the next Democratic president honest and on their toes when he or she takes office in 2009.

    Best of luck in this next, crucial congress. You know that we here support you 110%. And thanks for all the great and courageous work you've done over the years. The country is vastly better off for it--even if it doesn't yet know it.

    "You are entitled to your math and I'm entitled to THE math." - Karl Rove

    by kovie on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:43:42 AM PST

  •  I admit to being disappointed, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, norahc, Allogenes

    but being able to look forward to what you can accomplish now that you're back in the majority is definite compensation.
    Please though, do try to reach out to those not of your party, such as... Senator Sanders.  : )

    Behold the Lambs of Kos.

    by greeseyparrot on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:43:52 AM PST

  •  Thank you from Tennessee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, zett, norahc

    Wisconsin has contributed a memorable roster of Senators and patriots to this nation.  You stand at the pinnacle.

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:44:00 AM PST

  •  ah hell (11+ / 0-)

    The truth is Russ, you are the only one I was excited about voting for, for Pres. I have yet to see anyone else in our Party that can or will be a real Progressive. I'm so tired of watching the Progressive agenda take a backseat to the Centrists. While we have added a few conservatives to our ranks, they won because Dems have progressive ideas.
    I wish you luck, and hope somewhere down the line you will not only run for, but win the right to be President, if not this time, maybe the next.

    -8.63 -7.28 He was carrying a skateboard on his back, a red rose in his fist, and the war.

    by OneCrankyDom on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:46:02 AM PST

    •  ditto to this (8+ / 0-)

      My husband and I were really excited about volunteering for your presidential campain. We are in the Chicago area. When I told him the news this morning, he literally almost cried.

      Senator, it takes a real strong progressive man to take the stances you have. It's not just the stances, at least not for my husband and I. We love your personality, your charisma, and we were really excited about voting for you.

      However, I respect your decision, and look forward to seeing more of your work in the Senate.

      •  flautist (0+ / 0-)

        I feel the same way - it is not just the stances.  It started out with the stances, but as I observed more about Russ- it is something about him that I came to adore.

        I didn't quite agree with the "piece of swiss cheese" comment in this diary.  

        It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

        by zett on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:57:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe Gore can convince you Sen. Feingold... (7+ / 0-)

    ...to join him as his running mate after he wins the 08 nomination.

    Your work for civil liberties protection is much appreciated in this time of frightening assaults on the Constitution.

  •  Senator Feingold, (6+ / 0-)

    i honor your decision to continue your work in Wisconsin, and thank you for personally coming here to let us know.
    Although, Feingold in '08 has a great ring to it, I know what you are accomplishing great things where you are.
    Maybe you could stop by YearlyKos in Chicago next August?

    You must be the change you want to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi

    by DeannaHawk on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:49:42 AM PST

  •  Whether you're running for President or serving.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, granal, Debbie in ME, norahc

    . . . in the Senate, you will be a force of nature, political conscience and integrity to be reckoned with.

    Thank you for continuing to fight like hell for your Country, its Constitution, its people and its place in the world as a catalyst for or agent of positive change.

    BenGoshi
    _____________________________________________________

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:49:48 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you for being one of the few, and perhaps the only, person in the Legislative branch who really understood (and understands) the true meaning of "Congressional Oversight" You took on Bush in a way few people had the guts to. GOOD WORK!

    Since I don't get a chance to address a Senator every day, please consider these suggestions:  

    1.  Enacting ALL of the 9/11 Commission recomendations is the most important order of business for the new Democratic-controlled Congress.  In addition to being the correct way to make America safer, the propaganda that Dems are "weak" needs to be addressed directly.  I've heard some of your colleagues mention this as a priority, but some others since the election have not mentioned it (Dorgan on the NewsHour).  Please make 9/11 Commission recomendations the #1 priority. If Bush vetos such bills, it will help us in the 2008 Presidential race.
    1. Craft a "Capture bin Laden" Bill.  I'd suggest something like an appropriation for the formation of a special force, Rangers, Seals, Berets, SPECIFICALLY assigned to bin Laden's capture, backed up by 30-50,000 troops who have been redeployed from Iraq to Afghanistan.  It's been 5+ years--can you attack America and get away with it? Let's just see Bush try to veto a bill like that.

    Minimum wage, healthcare, Social Security, and other such issues are important, but not nearly as those outlined above,

    Please continue your excellent work in the Senate, and please consider national office again in the future.

  •  Senator...would your office PLEASE look into (10+ / 0-)

    the 1992 chemical spill that happened in Superior Wisconsin?

    28000 TONS OF BENZENE contaminated the river.

    CHEMICALLY INDUCED CANCERS show up 10-30 years AFTER incidents like this (look at agent Orange)...people of WISCONSIN that lived in that area are now dying from cancers that cannot be treated.

    My sister was one of them...she died of AML, an acute leukemia which the doctors said would never go into remission because it was chemically induced and thus chemo drugs cannot touch it.

    The State of Wisconsin gave the necessary permits for BNR to knowingly use their substandard tracks to transport TOXIC CHEMICALS.  A questionable brokerage company got the necessary permits for the chemicals to come out of Canada and cross into the U.S. using SUBstandard tracks.

    The incident was largely covered up, it STILL is.  On my trip to Wisconsin in September to be with my sister as she lay dying I spent some time going through Court papers and trying to talk to attorneys that handled the cases both on the Defense and Plaintiff side, only ONE would talk...most hung up on me or said that it was not that big of deal.

    I met no less then a DOZEN people in 3 weeks that are either now SICK from the spill or have lost someone as a result of the spill...

    Wisconsin OWES them and my family their time.  I was told repeatedly that YOU sir are the person that would have the guts to do this.

    I beg of you, in my sister's name and her memory.

    Thank you...and congratulations and going with your beliefs...you have my utmost respect.

    Sincerely,

    Barbara Schulz
    equineestates at gmaildotcom

    •  So sorry -- some in my family from Superior (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      imabluemerkin, Aaa T Tudeattack

      and down by Mwokee, we haven't heard about this, as you no doubt know.  

      Consider contacting Jim Rowen, on wispolitics.com -- he is spearheading so much to save our Great Lakes and all that flows therefrom and thereto.  You can see some of his great reporting on that site and on jsonline.com, and he used to work at the Journal Sentinel.  He also knows well how politics works on such matters; he was on Soglin's mayoral staff in Madison, was chief of staff for our former mayor in Milwaukee, and just comes by it by heritage and by marriage.  His father was with the Washington media, and his father-in-law is none other than the great Senator McGovern.  So Jim is wired; get to him with this.  And I hope it helps.

      Again, I am so sorry for your loss.  My father is buried in Superior, too, so he is with your sister in many ways.

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

      by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:45:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cream City...THANK YOU.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream City, zett

        For the kind words and great info, I will go forward with it.  I gave Betti my word that she would not die in vain.

        •  You're welcome, and let me know if you (0+ / 0-)

          need more info to get to the great, good Jim Rowen.

          (Lucky me, his son is my alderman's aide.  Wonderful family all around, as you would expect of the family of the great, good Senator McGovern.  Btw, he's the great-grandpa of twins now.:-)

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

          by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 03:51:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, if you're not running (7+ / 0-)

    just keep doin' what you're doin', because your principled stances on the issues of the day mean a great deal to many of us here, in Wisconsin, and across the country.  We would have been pleased and honored to support your candidacy.  

    We'll be watching you in the senate -- and maybe in '12?

  •  Thank you, Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norahc, Allogenes

    for being a light of integrity and unvarnished truth in a body that has had a great need of both.

    I believe you are making the right decision. The Democrats, as the new majority in the Senate, have the opportunity to show those voters whose chose them by default, out of revulsion against the transgressions of the Bush administration and their enablers in Congress, that they can deliver positive, constructive change to our badly battered polity. If we want them to vote for us again in two years, it is essential that we demonstrate the substance that responsive and responsible Democratic government can provide.

    I consider your voice crucial to that effort, and I count on you to be in the forefront of that work; running a presidential campaign at this time would certainly make you less effective in the Senate.

    Though you are not my Senator, I feel proud just to know that there are enough discerning citizens to elect you somewhere in our country.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:52:43 AM PST

  •  Disappointed, but I understand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, norahc, Allogenes

    I'm looking forward to you giving 'em hell in the Senate. Please keep a close eye on Schumer, et. al.

  •  thanks senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, norahc, Allogenes

    I thought i would have to move to Wisconsin to get any representation, Minn. native.  But NH now has a good start, with Shea-Porter and Hodes.  We need a progessive posse, and a support system to respond to the right wing assault due to come thier way.  I was proud to hear your answer on that talk show, about if the country gets straightened out you wouldn't have to run for president.  We need great senators, off point but i think Mrs. Clinton would also be more effective in the senate.  As much as i would like to see her health plan revised and installed.  My deepest regards to you.  Please give a warm welcome to our progressive candidates in the house.  love,

    democracy is not a spectator sport

    by zenobia on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:53:35 AM PST

  •  Exactly what's wrong with our system (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norahc, Allogenes

    The good ones can't stomach what it takes to win.

    I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies..

    by lesliet on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:53:41 AM PST

  •  Lieberman's $387,000 petty cash (3+ / 6-)

    Sen. Feingold,
    If you had come to my area to campaign for President I'd have been at every event with a placard:

    WHY DIDN'T YOU STAND UP AGAINST LIEBERMAN DESTROYING CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS?????

    How could you have been silent over a national figure like Lieberman blowing a $387,000 hole in campaign finance laws?

    Your signature issue, the issue where you made your name, was the McCain Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law and all you had to do was stand up and speak out against a lollapalooza of an attack on campaign finance laws.  And you were silent.  You, sir, I would not trust as far as I could throw you.  You stand for nothing.

    •  Sigh. (14+ / 1-)

      The Lamont campaign made it perfectly clear they asked Russ to come way too late.  Russ was booked for the remainer of the dates until the election.

      I am troll rating this comment to get rid of it.  It is an insult, a load of crap, and 100% untrue.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2845+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

      by Miss Blue on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:21:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Miss Blue (5+ / 0-)

        I didn't troll rate it, but I found it sad

        'Who among us., blah blah'

        To trash Russ is a view into something I can't comprehend - what is the point today of all days?

        Sigh, indeed

        Save $ on image hosting account at smugmug - use my mYYrlt9brzUDE token to save $5

        by Blue in VA on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:24:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't put your faith in politicians (0+ / 0-)

        The man's signature issue is campaign finance reform.  Its the first thing anyone ever heard about him.  Be honest with yourself:  You KNOW that Feingold was aware of the $387,000 petty cash and he was silent.  No amount of wishful thinking that the man is a hero changes it.  

        Lets not turn into Ted Haggard's flock, which is what will happen if you let politicians be dishonest to your face because they know you don't like calling them on it.

        •  You are very misinformed. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cream City, vcmvo2, imabluemerkin, norahc

          I"m done with you.  I prefer to speak to people who know what they are talking about.

          "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2845+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

          by Miss Blue on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:43:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  are you kidding? (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TaraIst, Woody, Miss Blue, zett, norahc, jezlin

          You're going to compare our relationship to Russ with fundamentalist "christians" to Ted Haggard????

          The only time I was disappointed in Senator Feingold was in voting for Roberts - and I'm still not sure if he did the wrong thing - maybe Roberts will turn out to be a moderate...

          I don't know why Senator Feingold chose not to speak up about Lieberman - maybe it was a political calculation of not losing Lieberman to the republican caucus, maybe it was not...

          but in the context of the words, and more importantly the actions (ie laws and positions supported) - it is clear to me that this Senator has extraordinary integrity.

          Perfectionism is the enemy of good enough - and this Senator is much more than good enough...

          I'm not ready to make nice... (Dixie Chicks)

          by grrr on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:49:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, its the same thing (1+ / 3-)
            Recommended by:
            john de herrera
            Hidden by:
            Miss Blue, ChuckInReno, Pager

            Its not perfectionism to expect that Feingold would speak up about a national figure blowing a $387,000 hole in campaign finance reform.  

            Feingold is the one who decided to betray his integrity and, no this is not something petty.  How many millions of words did Russ Feingold speak about campaign finance?   How many TV shows did he do on it, getting his name and face national prominence?  And then he's silent when a national figure takes a dump on it????  

            •  I've learned to hold back since Gary Hart (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zett

              I was prepared to dedicate a year and a half of my life to his election. It's a peculiar business because you can put your hopes, even your own livelihood into another individual. The commenter is right to caution against idolizing very fallible human beings. Yet, we all do it, Every four (or eight) years we go falling in love all over again with someone new -- then there's the mid-terms...

              On the other hand, Russ seemed to have it all going for him, except name recognition and media coronation.

              "We support your war of terror!" -- Borat Sagdiyev (a/k/a Sacha Baron Cohen)

              by FischFry on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 03:09:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  As far as .. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Woody, trashablanca

            Feingold voting for Roberts ... I think it had to do with qualifications .. Just because you didn't agree with Roberts politics didn't mean he wasn't qualified .. I can't speak for Russ .. but I am sure that had something to do with it .. besides .. didn't Roberts agree that there was precedent?  Alito was no such chase .. that is one of the things about Russ .. he tries to be as fair as possible

            •  When Roberts said (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zett

              his hero was Rehnquist (a man who unabashedly openly attacked the idea of Jews and women on campus) it sickened me.

              Having said that, maybe it was the right political calculation - maybe Roberts was the best of bad choices...I have too much respect for Senator Feingold not to give him the benefit of the doubt.

              As far as putting politicians on a pedestal, no person let alone politician should be hero-worshipped - hero worship is a way to avoid personal responsibility.

              On the other hand, intelligence, competence and integrity  deserves recognition. I think Senator Feingold
              deserves my deep respect.

              I'm not ready to make nice... (Dixie Chicks)

              by grrr on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 04:25:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  How the hell would he know? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miss Blue, trashablanca

          It was not a major issue.  It did not draw any press on the news at all.  So please, stop assuming.

          •  Campaign finance is his signature issue (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            john de herrera

            Oh, my, gee, don't let politicians pull the "Oh, I never heard about that" crap.  Feingold wasn't running for reelection this year.  He's got no excuse to be so busy not to know about a national figure like Lieberman blowing a $387,000 hole in campaign finance laws.

            Or, to put it another way, are you really saying its just coincidence that NONE of the authors of the McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform said anything?  Please.  

            •  Excuse me, but Feingold was so busy... (5+ / 0-)

              He may not have been running for re-election, but he was certainly running all over the place helping other people with their campaigns.  And he didn't focus just on national campaigns.  Just in the past 3 weeks, I have seen him in our little city campaigning twice for state-wide seats - and those are just the events I could make.  

              •  So, we should pander to the politicians? (0+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Hidden by:
                dangangry

                Politicians pander to the voters, not the other way around.  We have a responsibility to be diligent about holding them accountable.

                Gee, what couldn't they get away with if we accept, "Oh, I was too busy to hear about one of the most prominent politicians in the country blowing a $387,000 hole in the law I wrote."

          •  Ah but according to Lois (8+ / 0-)

            He should have known because she knew. And if she knew every other person,particularly Sen. Feingold, must have known. And he did nothing because why...apparently he's guilty of conspiracy to uh...something...

            Of course don't ask the man first what his thoughts are on Joe's slush fund- Just try and convict him of the worst possible motives...

            Sheesh!

            "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind." John F. Kennedy

            by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:00:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not the AUTHOR of campaign finance law (0+ / 0-)

              The man is the AUTHOR of campaign finance law, remember?  

              McCain Feingold Shays Meehan Campaign finance law.

              Please.  Don't accept "I didn't know."  Of course, you can't make someone know something if he thinks its not in his personal interest to know it but that speaks to integrity.  

              •  I'm not worried about Sen Feingold's integrity (8+ / 0-)

                He has it in spades! Why not pursue your complaints to the FEC and the major news outlets. Keith Olbermann would follow it I bet!

                I hate Joe Lieberman- think he's a worm - the lowest of the low. I supported Ned. I still am upset that he lost but he started the ball rolling for our Senate win! The man's a hero to people here. So get on Lieberman's case- file a complaint! I'm assuming that you're a CT resident. If you are make noise- complain to the ethics committee. That, imo, might actually get you somewhere. Force Joe to be accountable for his actions- find out if Bloomberg was involved! These are all Metro/NY questions that can be investigated.

                "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind." John F. Kennedy

                by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:21:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hold politicians accountable (2+ / 6-)

                  Gee, why would you ever want to let a politician slide like that?   That I don't get.   I liked hearing Webb say the other day that he intended to provide a voice to those who have no voice in the corridors of power.  What good is a politician with the attitude that he uses issues to benefit himself but if it might not be in his self-interest, he'll keep his head down?   People on this thread are saying that they have Feingold's back????   How absurd.  Don't rely on him; he's proven you wouldn't want to do that.

                  •  No that's not true (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bronte17, Miss Blue, SeattleLiberal

                    He was one of the few Senators or representatives (for that matter) to go after Bush on Censure. Also on a timeline for withdrawing from Iraq. He was roundly ridiculed in the MSM for those stances. I think that your issue is with Joe & since he is (ugh) a sitting senator- go after him on the corruption issue.

                    But if you insist that only Sen. Feingold can hold Joe accountable then you should also bother Sen. McCain to speak out about it since he was the co-author of the bill. Let's hear what the certain 2008 Presidential candidate on the Republican side has to say about his good buddy "Joe".

                    "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind." John F. Kennedy

                    by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:38:12 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The diary isn't about McCain! (0+ / 0-)

                      If it was about McCain, I'd say he was a man of casual, self-interested integrity as well.

                      •  Then write your own diary about it (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        jezlin

                        I'd be interested to find out about the slush fund of Joe's. Look in Maryland Michael Steele & Bob Ehrlich pulled a really nasty stunt- they printed up fliers saying they were Democrats & that black democratic leaders Kweisi Mfume & Jack Johnson supported their candidacy (they didn't). Then they used 6 charter buses to bring in black homeless men from Philadelphia to distribute these fliers at polling places. They were caught and so far it's being investigated! But their campaigns were forced to admit it. We'll see what happens but we pursued
                        it with the people directly responsible.

                        Do you see how that ultimately will get more leverage against that sleazy behavior in the future? Also I have no idea if Joe will run again in 2012 but this needs to be researched. It definitely can affect that route and/or his legacy...Your choice, of course.

                        "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind." John F. Kennedy

                        by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:01:27 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Here's some information (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          vcmvo2

                          http://www.nhregister.com/...

                          I think you have to register, which is always a nuisance.

                          •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lois

                            The FEC is involved and that non-partisan fund (are they local?) I think I'm going to write to the FEC and complain! Ha! Joe acting all holier-than-thou is sooo typical. "I've always complied with the law" So, of course, that should deal with that! How dare anyone question Holy Joe's ethics?

                            It's sickening and I hope he catches hell for this!

                            Oh and I didn't have to register to read the link :)

                            "Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind." John F. Kennedy

                            by vcmvo2 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:33:18 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  No one alive is omniscient and omnipotent (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zett, vcmvo2

                    So not everyone can be completely on top of every issue at every time.
                    I supported Ned too, and think the $387,000 should be investigated.
                    Speaking out against the war, identifying impeachable offenses and being the ONLY one saying anything, etc. etc. are much bigger than one VERY LATE stage revelation about campaign finance....

                    It actually IS time for a change!

                    by netguyct on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:32:23 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  When you're hunting weasils (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cream City, zett, vcmvo2, imabluemerkin

      You have to look at the percent of weasils trapped, and transported from your premises

      You are never going to get all the weasils

      I am so proud of Sen Feingold for giving his best - in challenging times - and being a true progressive

      I wear my PPF 'Don't spy on me' gear proudly

      We have your back, Senator

      Save $ on image hosting account at smugmug - use my mYYrlt9brzUDE token to save $5

      by Blue in VA on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:22:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like McCain still can see your sign (0+ / 0-)

      if you want to use your time wisely.

      You are not doing so here.

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

      by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:46:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I heard you the first time! (0+ / 0-)

      The thread is beginning to get derailed by an argument!  Please let it go!  If you want to know, ask Russ, If he is the man I think he is, he has a reasonable answer for you.  If he has no good answer, then you could do a diary on it and we would all learn something.

      Impeach Bush/Cheney

      by dangangry on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:24:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Senator Feingold for Majority Leader (12+ / 0-)

    I think the Senator would be perfect for the job.

    He's a man of utmost integrity, speaks clearly about the issues, and his leadership would help differentiate the issues to the point where Republicans will have no shot of winning elections except in a couple of Deep South states and a couple of states in the upper Rocky Mountains.

  •  On the Subject of Iraq (5+ / 0-)

    This supplemental appropriations bill - I think it was on the order of $160 billion - was an absolute shocker.  All the more so because it seemed justified if a big part of it is to replace outworn equipment.

    Certainly the pressing issue facing us in Iraq is how to end the carnage and contain the consequences for Iraq as well as the rest of the world.  But the fiscal lunacy involved is steadily creeping up on us, and at the current pace it is going to blow up on the United States some day.  The bond market or the foreign exchange market is going to call a halt to all this debt.

    Is there anything wrong with you and your colleagues in Congress saying - here and now - "We can no longer afford the Iraq War"?  The statement is true, it is clear the public wants much greater control over federal spending, and why wait for the financial markets to provide the necessary discipline.  Isn't that why we have a Congress?

  •  The Senate will be privileged to have you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Allogenes, greenchiledem

    Please continue to lead by standing up for your principles, they serve all Americans so very well.

    Strategery, slapping right wing crap against a wall of truth.

    by fromer on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:55:55 AM PST

  •  Why didn't Feingold endorse Lamont? (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Lois, lrhoke, Sprinkles, checkmate
    Hidden by:
    leberquesgue
  •  thanks for your help (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Allogenes

    in the senate.  i'm sure your decision is the right one (this time - never say never).

    besides, does every successful likable senator have to be a presidential candidate?  the way the press runs through every handsome or pretty potential candidate every time they give a speech or appear on their program, we'd have 485 presidents and nobody in congress.

    sick of that mentality, f

  •  Senator, rethink your decision (6+ / 0-)

    http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/

    Glenn Greenwald's thoughts (and another steller must-read post)

    Despite all of that, when Feingold stood up and advocated censure -- based on the truly radical and crazy, far leftist premise that when the President is caught red-handed breaking the law, the Congress should actually do something about that -- the soul-less, oh-so-sophtisticated Beltway geniuses could not even contemplate the possibility that he was doing that because he believed what he was saying. These Beltway pundits and the political and consulting classes to which they belong immediately began casting aspersion on Feingold's motives and laughed away -- really never considered -- the idea that he was motivated by actual belief.

    •  It wasn't just the beltway (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Demena

      I seem to recall even a few on this blog that assumed Russ did that out of selfish motives.  I seem to recall the word grandstanding floating around a time or two.

      Those people owe Russ an apology.

      It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

      by zett on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 01:25:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for all you've done, Russ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Allogenes

    and as a former Wisconsin resident who voted for your election and re-election twice, I'm thrilled that you're going to continue as Wisconsin's senator.  

  •  Just moved to Wisconsin (5+ / 0-)

    Senator, a lot of people here and elsewhere had their hopes high for you, but it is an understandable decision on your part and I for one appreciate your addressing this community directly.

    However, I am glad that as a new resident of Madison, I'll be able to work for and vote for you so long as you wish to remain an advocate for the people of the great state of Wisconsin. Thank you for your candor, and for your tireless advocacy for all the things that are right in America.

    •  maybe I'll see you around (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mihan, barbwires

      I'm going to be moving to Madison soon, myself. I figured I'd end up volunteering for Feingold '08 at some time in the not too distant future, which was a selling point, tell you what.

      Senator, you were my favorite out of all the candidates who've suggested they might run so far. I'm disappointed about that, but at least I'll have a good Senator when I move, which is a thing to be grateful for.

      Please consider visiting us at Yearly Kos this next time, anyway. A great many of us would love to have you stop by, as you can probably tell.

      •  I love Mad-town (0+ / 0-)

        the progressive culture, the bike lanes, the farmers market, the natural food stores, State Street, UW-Madison. Either way I guess we'll get to work for Feingold '08..just re-elect, this time. And we get to work for Rep. Tammy Baldwin.

        Have you picked out a place to live yet? I'm pretty familiar with the options now if you ever need advice.

      •  and you're from Olympia? (0+ / 0-)

        Man, I almost moved there instead...didn't because I'm still in school after the military, and I'd have wanted to go to UDub if I lived in WA. But Olympia seemed like the place to be.

  •  At the end of the day, Senator (6+ / 0-)

    this is your decision.  You owe us, in the online communtity, nothing.  You have done such yeoman work as a Senator that your decision to stay in that position can only be a positive sign for the legislative branch of government, to which you have chosen to dedicate the balance of your career.

    A decision to run for President, in this day and age, entails an enormous burden to be put on both the candidate and to his family.  I can fault no one who, having weighed the pros and cons, decides that he or she can be of tremendous service to the country in his or her present postion, while sparing his or her family the inevitable trauma that would arise out of a presidential run.

    You have my best wishes for continued success as Senator from Wisconsin.  You also have my thanks for your service to the nation in that capacity.

  •  A true statesman. (4+ / 0-)

    Though I would have supported you in a run for the presidency, I admire your wisdom. You have the foresight to know where you're most needed. This shows what a true statesman that you are, putting your constituents as the top priority.
    Thank you for your work, your integrity, and your ideals. Don't stop fighting.

    "No matter where you go, there you are" -Buckaroo Banzai "I drank what?" -Socrates

    by UEtech on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:00:13 AM PST

  •  I am deeply disappointed. (5+ / 0-)

    The Democratic front runners (with the exception of Edwards) are so strongly associated with what has been stagnant and negative about our party that I fear we'll be looking at a McCain presidency in 2008.
    I respect your decision, but 8 more years with a Republican president is more than I can bear.

    ...each day the dread of learning who has fallen, who will not return from this terrible war.

    by althea in il on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:01:11 AM PST

  •  Political paradox (18+ / 0-)

    I love this part:

    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. This is because the hunger for progressive change we feel is obviously not about me but about the desire for a genuinely different Democratic Party that is ready to begin to reverse the 25 years of growing extremism we have endured.

    In an age of super-sized egos among our political class it's refreshing to see someone who hears the cheers but does not immediately assume that it's personal. Regrettably, it's just that sort of humility and reality-based thinking that is sorely lacking in our presidential wannabes.

    I respect your decision, Senator, keep up the good work.

  •  Dear Senator, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, greenchiledem

    I personally would like to thank you for being a voice of reason coming from the kingdom of Babyl.
    Yours was often the single voice speaking truth to the scurrilous contentions coming from the WH.
    Your service has been appreciated across the country and I am sure the people of Wisconsin know what a fine person they have as their Senator.
    I would appreciate any help you would give the national party in keeping focussed and in making sure that the ideals you have stood so strongly in support of are not soon forgotten.
    Thank you for appearing here again. Although I think you would be an excellant president, I can't imagine anyone going through the process. But, that being said, maybe by summer of '08 you may see the need by the country and change your mind.
    Anyway, I just wanted to thank someone that I feel is a true American hero.
    John Boyer

  •  You had my vote locked up, Senator (12+ / 0-)

    ... and frankly I'm a bit heartbroken now. But I respect your decision. You've gotta be sure it's what you really want to do.

    And I'm certainly grateful that you're there to further progressive causes in the Senate.

    Could you do something for us? Get on Al Gore and get him to run, please, kick him in the butt if you have to. For me, it was either you or him, so I have one big hope left now.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    by Buckeye Hamburger on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:05:01 AM PST

  •  I support you, even when I disagree (5+ / 0-)

    I am so very proud to have you speaking for me in Washington DC, that is one of the best things about living in Wisconsin.

    I have not agreed with every one of your decisions over the years, I do not agree with this one.  But you have earned my support even when I disagree.  I can not presume to know what is best for you so I accept this as the right choice.  But I am disappointed.

    You continue to have my thanks and I continue to be optimistic that you will be a key component of progress and improvement in the nation and the world.

    I have absolutely no doubt that you will be a voice for justice and compassion in the coming debates and decisions, thank you for being there.

    I sure wouldn't complain if you became Attorney General or Secretary of State in 2008, but I am confident you are going to continue speaking for us no matter where you are or what you do.

  •  Sigh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, vcmvo2

    Well, I would have voted for you.

    In any event, this country is lucky to have you serving in any capacity.

  •  Thank you for your patriotism (5+ / 0-)

    and loyalty to the idea of a just democracy, Senator Feingold. I would have wholeheartedly supported a run for president if you had made one, but frankly I'm relieved to know you'll stay in the Senate and help keep things on the right track there. Your vote against the Patriot Act shows that you understand the difference between right and wrong and aren't afraid to act on it.

    Thank you!

    My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the strongest. -Gandhi

    by Rachel in Vista on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:10:26 AM PST

  •  OK, what about 2012? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Miss Blue, arkdem

    That's what I'm talking about.

    •  2016 would be better... (0+ / 0-)

      hopefully there will be a Democratic president in office who deserves to be re-elected for a second term. :)

      "The profile of corruption in the exit polls was bigger than I'd expected.." Karl Rove Wed Nov. 8th, 2006

      by Esjaydee on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:44:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please find out about Katrina (7+ / 0-)

    Dear Senator,
    I hope you and the new Dem, house and senate will find out what really happened with the failed response to Katrina and hold the gov. accountable for it.

    Also, you are fantastic!

    Also, did Al Gore personally contact you and Mark Warner to let you know that he plans to run in 2008?
    Love that Gore. We WILL get him to the presidency if he runs.

  •  Makes sense (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PAbluestater

    Reading your analysis, Senator, I think you're making the right choice. Good for you. Thank you for continuing your important work on behalf of us all.

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:12:58 AM PST

  •  Oh no. (7+ / 0-)

    Senator Feingold, after supporting you for 23 years, this is the first time you have disappointed me.

    WI needs you, but America needs you more.  I won't ask you to reconsider but I hope and pray you will keep yourself open to a Vice President position if asked.

    There are many on this site who would love to see you in the AG seat, or on the Supreme Court as well.

    Rest assured you will have this WI voters support for the rest of your polical career, in whatever capacity you choose.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2845+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

    by Miss Blue on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:15:18 AM PST

  •  Good choice, Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, DC Scott

    I suspect the Presidency isn't all it's cracked up to be, in terms of the power to make change and get things done.

    Best of luck, and keep slugging.

    Yes, there are still FEMINISTS on Daily Kos! Join the fabulous Supervixens every Thurs. night.

    by hrh on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:16:12 AM PST

  •  Keep fighting the good fight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    operculum, greenchiledem

    You generated a lot of optimism when there was little, and your reasons for making your decision are valid.  Thanks for your continued service to America!

    "The terrorists never stop thinking of ways to harm our country, and neither do we." - George W. Bush, 8/5/04

    by IrishAlum on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:17:46 AM PST

  •  What about civil liberties in Presidentail race? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andydoubtless, Msinformed

    Okay, you were my first choice.  But not just because I wanted you as President.  I long thought you could not win.  (but there are no candidates that appear to be able to win, from either party.)

    I wanted you to run so that the two issues of the war and civil liberties would be important issues in the Presidential race.  Someone will make an issue of the Iraq war.  But what about civil liberites?  How will we make it an issue without you?

  •  My Top 3 Choices for '08 were... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    calichick, althea in il

    In no particular order: Feingold, Warner and Gore.  They've all shut the door on a run.  So I'm in the undecided camp.  Actually, I'm in a camp I never thought I'd be: ABC  Anyone But Clinton.

    "The only difference between me and the Surrealists is that I am a Surrealist" S. Dali

    by SpiderStumbled22 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:18:02 AM PST

    •  Gore hasn't ruled out running (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dangangry, imabluemerkin

      There are increasing rumors that he maybe thinking about running.

      I personally do think that he will run since that would be the best way to take his message on climate crisis to all Americans.

      I want to take this opportunity to take my hat off to Sen. Feingold, who has always been one of my favorite senators. He is a complete class act.

      I hope to see him either as Gore's VP or on the Supreme court bench (if he has an interest in either or both).

      Thanks for everything you have done and continue to do to further progressive casues, Senator.

  •  Thanks Senator! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    It's dissappointing that you won't be up on stage for the primary debates laying down some midwest common sense.

    That's more than offset by seeing a genuine public servant putting the greater need ahead of the personal gain.  

    Both sides of the aisle should pay heed to your commitment, because if and when you do chose to run, me and about 51%+ of the country will vote for you.

  •  I read your e-mail message, Senator, and... (11+ / 0-)

    actually got tears in my eyes - I didn't realize how much I'd been wanting, hoping for your candidacy. Likewise you can't realize how much hope and affirmation I've rec'd from your courage and integrity during these last awful six years. A Feingold 'run' would have ensured that truly progressive values were part of the national debate - we will never find 'middle ground' unless a real 'left' is articulated. I will continue to support you but alas! will never get to vote for you.  May the people of Wisconsin appreciate what they have and continue to return you to the Senate for as long as you wish to serve...

    "In order to be respected, authority has got to be respectable." Tom Robbins

    by va dare on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:19:30 AM PST

  •  I fully understand Sen Feingold no need (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    to lose a senate seat with so much work to be done for the country in the future!

    Could I impose upon you for a favor if you read this comment?

    Could you see if Lincoln Chaffee would be opposed to being a VP on a national unity democratic ticket in '08?  And send him my condolences on his loss.  He is a good man and of all the republicans running this last election was the most worthy in my eyes of keeping his seat.

    Thank you.

  •  Thank from a constituent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, annefrank

    For your service, and your positions. I would have happily volunteered for you and voted for you in a presidential run. But I respect your decision and I'll continue to be proud that you're my Senator.

    Kelly McCullough - WebMage available from ACE books (Penguin)

    by KMc on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:25:15 AM PST

  •  You've Demonstrated How a Patriot Should Act... (4+ / 0-)

    ...Senator Feingold, by your staunch defense of our liberties, by your untiring work to help elect more Democrats to Congress, and by your continued work in the Senate.  

    While I am disappointed by your decision not to run for President in 2008, I agree wholeheartedly that the country needs more Progressive Senators like you.  I know your efforts will be key to bringing accountability to an administration that has been running amok.  I know also that you will continue working to restore the voice of the people in government.  Thank you for being a leader with integrity and courage--I hope you will have a long career in the Senate and will continue to lead the way for other Congress people.  

  •  You are a true patriot (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, joanneleon, Msinformed

    thank you Senator, for being one of the few politicians that is willing to tell the truth. You are one of the rarified few that can put their country's interests ahead of ego or personal aspirations.
    Keep on doing the fantastic work you've already done in the Senate...and start thinking about '12...

  •  Just solidifies my opinion.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon

    that you are exactly what you have always appeared to be- a statesman and patriot, dedicated only to the progress, health, and growth of our 200+ year old experiment in government, not to the financial or personal enrichment of yourself. However, that won't stop me from keeping my "Russ '08" sticker on my car and my motorcycle. I will add at least one more for someone else, but I want people to know, at least here in Wisconsin, that you were my first choice. I will see you at the Appleton meet and greet and will be as proud to shake the hand of a true patriot as to shake the hand of a presidential hopeful.

    The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. ~Albert Camus

    by TtexwiTyler on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:28:12 AM PST

  •  Dear Senator Feingold (6+ / 0-)

    I too am sorry you are not running in 2008. Like so many others here, I deeply respect your principled stand on important issues facing this country. That voice will be needed in the coming two years to help steer the tone and direction of the 2008 presidential campaign.

    While I am not from Wisconsin, I consider you to be MY representative in the People's House.

    Thank you for your service.

  •  Swiss Cheese (13+ / 0-)

    Senator Feingold, your comment is probably correct:

    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

    However, don't ever forget that the swiss cheese didn't take those positions.  Nor did Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, or any other Democratic Senator.  Only you have, and that is why you have such a strong base of supporters here and around the country.  Keep fighting the good fight and please make sure we see real change over the next 2 years and beyond.

    Thanks, Senator.

    •  with all due respect, Mr. Feingold... (5+ / 0-)

      as bstotts says, "swiss cheese didn't take" your positions. I rarely vote for the man or for the woman (or the cheese!). I vote for a list of positions. The man or woman who takes positions that most closely matches my list gets my vote. So, yes, if swiss cheese had taken your positions and were on the ballot instead of you, I'd vote for the cheese. And that is the way I wish everyone voted in this country.

      I'd have voted for you in a second in '08 for president. I wish I lived in WI so that I could vote for you for senator (although, I'm fairly happy with my own two democratic senators...)

      keep up the good fight. You inspire us all here.

    •  bstotts, thank you for saying that (0+ / 0-)

      I wanted to, but I kept stumbling over the words and took it out of my first comment on this thread.

      It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

      by zett on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 01:30:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If the swiss cheese had taken (0+ / 0-)

      his positions, I'd damn well want the swiss cheese to be his running mate!

      Impeach Bush/Cheney

      by dangangry on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:16:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear Senator Feingold (8+ / 0-)

    You have inspired me and you were definately on my list as one of the top three candidates I had hoped to choose from.

    You truly are a progressive who stands by his principles.  I hope the term "progressive" increasingly becomes synonymous with "principled".  Judging by the reasons you've given to continue your work in the Senate, I believe you to be realistic, prudent and positive.

    Wish we had more like you, but I guess they don't come around everyday.

    Sincerely, Nolalily in New Orleans

  •  You have already made so much difference (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, greenchiledem

    Senator Feingold, and you have given progressives hope over these last seemingly hopeless 6 years. When so many of us were wondering if there were any true principled statesmen left, you showed us how it is done.  Wisconsin is so lucky to have you. I am happy to have you remain as a significant progressive force in the U.S. Senate.  With you there, we know that our concerns and interests will be addressed.

  •  Without question, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Albatross, greenchiledem

    Senator Feingold, you are one of the finest politicians in America - now and in the past, Thank you.

    I'm not ready to make nice... (Dixie Chicks)

    by grrr on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:36:17 AM PST

  •  Russ for Majority Leader! (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, teknofyl

    touche pas à mon pote!, -7.63, -6.56

    by Mr Bula on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:36:31 AM PST

  •  Dear Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, carolinacal

    I am sad that you will not be seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination, but I respect your decision. You remain my first choice, though, and, as far as I'm concerned, whoever is the nominee will be "second-best". You are one of the few politicians I have ever known of who genuinely seems to understand the meaning of "public service". Thank you, sir, for all you have done and will continue to do.

    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by LynneK on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:36:49 AM PST

  •  Trying to find a silver lining... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, brainwave, zett, carolinacal

    Four years ago I moved to Wisconsin and, for the first time in my life, experienced representative democracy in a close to ideal form -- thanks to Senator Feingold.  

    Now that the power of the Unitary Executive will at least be checked, perhaps being a senior Senator on several committees will translate into as much progressive change as becoming president.

    I do hope this means that we'll get to hear more from Senator Feingold, rather than less.  And I know this probably means more listening sessions for us in Wisconsin, which is a great thing.

    p.s., Sorry, Senator, for shoving you aside when I was trying to get into see Kathleen Falk at UW-Eau Claire.

  •  With all due respect (12+ / 0-)

    I think you're wrong here:

    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.

    Quite on the contrary - it's your ability to say stuff like the above, as much as your positions and the extraordinary courage with which you have defended them, that sets you apart and has us cheer.

    Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

    by brainwave on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:38:55 AM PST

  •  Our loss, and our gain. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brainwave, zett

    If the US had been ready for it, I think you would have made a great president.

    That said, as a Senator, please help be a force for keeping at least some sections of the Democratic Party in touch with, concerned with, working with, and maybe even representing the grassroots.

    •  Senator Feingold may yet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, el cid

      become a great president some day. Not in 2008, but he's young. He has what it takes, and you don't lose that kinda stuff, I daresay.

      Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

      by brainwave on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:45:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't say I blame you or don't understand. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, kraant, Cato come back

    And yes, you can do a lot of good for our cause if you stay where you are.  Whatever your decision, we've got your back just like we have Dean's back.  One thing I beg of you.  Please try to get the real message of this election through the heads of Reid and Pelosi.  Iraq - get out!  We want Murtha and not Hoyer.  Hoyer is a K Street Dem.  Corruption - is a broad label. It includes DeLay, Abramhoff, and stalking kids on the internet, but it includes so much more.  It is K Street owning our politicians and writing legislation that allows them to rip off tax money,jobs, the environment, etc. at will.  Corruption is always having enough money for what K Street wants (wars, bombs,tax cuts for the rich, etc.) but always being too broke to afford national health care, social security, roads, bridges, alternative fuels, science, education and other things that make us a nation of better people.  Corruption is Schumer and Rahm and Carville thinking "they" won this election and always disregarding and disrespecting Dean, you, and the net roots.  Corruption is not having "Clean Elections".  Corruption is being corporate owned and voting your corporate lobbyists best interests instead of the best interests of the American people.  Corruption is conspiring under the table to screw the tax payers and American people and calling in bi-partisanship.  Corruption is NOT investigating and holding responsible Bush, Cheney and every other rich, fat cat politician for the crimes committed.  Not investigating is telling poor people and black people everywhere in this country that justice only applies to them.  Justice isn't, in fact, blind; she is bought and paid for.  John Conyers is right when he says justice must be served or we cease to be a nation of laws.  I am concerned the DC/DLC Dems don't have the guts to do what is right here.  This is not about revenge.  It is about justice and what America really stands for.  All in all Senator Feingold, I don't trust Schumer, Rahm, Hillary, Obama, Lieberman, or the Clintons as far as I can throw them.  We will be watching like a hawk.  If they screw us over like they did Lamont, Dean, and Hackett, we will know it; and we will hold them accountable.  

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

    by dkmich on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:40:32 AM PST

    •  yes to defining and examining corruption broadly! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, Cato come back
      I'm wondering if it will be possible to persuade  Sen. Feingold 6 months from now  "to walk for the Presidency" -- that is, set up a very modest Feingold for Pres campaign office, staff of 2 or 3,  that simply supplies citizens and reporters with position papers on all the issues and takes care of the minimum mechanics of insuring that Feingold is on the ballot in the primary states. No more, no less. No touring around the country, no handshaking, no speeches,  100% focus on Senate work.  If a growing number of people want Feingold to be the Democratic Party candidate or the Unity 08 candidate, despite the fact that he is NOT RUNNING, but just trying to build a conserving consensus the slow and easy way by putting out a steady stream of pro-Constitution, pro-Nature, pro-Clean elections/Clean energy/Clean production position papers, I think he should keep himself available in a way that doesn't detract from his Senate work one iota.
      In fact, "walking for President," or even crawling (not ruling it out  and just ignoring the "Go Russ Go" office) would help him get things done in the Senate!

      Charlie 'Pathminded' Keil I also blog over at Conserving Consensus.

      by Pathminded on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 02:00:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Senator Feingold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    You have been the most principled and courageous member of the Senate during the bleak years of the Bush regime.  You will play a critical role in inspiring other dems to take our country back.  November 7th made this possible, but only strength of convictions in the Senate and the House will make it happen.
    Oh, and about Connecticut, I had the pleasure to work alongside a member of your Patriot Corps in Connecticut, and she made a great contribution to Ned Lamont's campaign.

  •  Plato wrote (7+ / 0-)

    that the philosopher king would not want to rule and would have to dragged kicking and screaming back into the cave into office.

    To say that it's unfortunate that our nation's best and most principled lack the inclination to seek power would be the understatement of the year.

    But it is a testiment to your character that you made this decision, Russ. You're too genuine to put yourself on that phony platform all over the country and make cheap one-lined soundbites in front of a camera.

    Keep keeping it real, Russ. And pass some damn good legislation this term.

    It is easier to stay out than get out. -Mark Twain
    (-1.88, -6.77)

    by Bundy on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:43:27 AM PST

  •  More enthusiasm for you than the cheese (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Albatross

    Truly. You were my number 1 choice and I'm sorry to see you bow out, but I do understand and honor your reasons. I also believe that -- alas -- the selection of the Democratic nominee is going to be a divisive battle. Who knows, maybe you'll be some intelligent nominee's VP choice. I can hope for that, at least.

    Thanks, sincerely, for all you do, have done, and will do in the future. I admire you.

  •  I am sad to see you are not running. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, vcmvo2, joanneleon, operculum

    But very pleased to see that you are doing what you want to do. You have done it so well and I am confident that you will keep the progressive message going out to the people in this corporate media landscape.

    Thank you Senator Feingold for all that you have done and all that you will still do.

    There were times that I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up entirely but your powerful message kept me involved.

    There were times I was so down on almost every member of the of the Democratic Party in the Senate but there was always your diaries, the Progressive Patriot page, a C-SPAN speech  and occasionally coverage on the other T. V. stations to remind myself why I’ve been a lifelong Democrat.

    Congratulations on being an important voice in The Democratic leadership. The now Majority voice that will heal this nation! Godspeed to you.  

    And once again, my thanks for being a shining star in one of the darkest eras in American politics.

  •  Thank you... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    I'm a Biden supporter, so this news is good for me.
    But you are right, we do need you in the Senate.

    And Senator, thank you for telling us yourself.  It was a classy move.

  •  I doubt that a piece of Wisconsin swiss cheese, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, vcmvo2

    even one espousing progressive ideas, would have been able to manifest the courage and leadership you have shown during these difficult times. Your courage to stand alone on key issues has provided a beacon of hope to those of us despairing of even the possibility of honor in politics. Thankyou for your service and for your strength and clarity of mind. I'm sure you have made the right decision and for that I thank you as well even though I would have wanted you as my president. Perhaps someone else will emerge who possesses the requisite qualities.

    "Your point. Their village." --Zhivago to Strelnikov

    by ailanthus on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:47:04 AM PST

  •  who will carry progressive voice 2008 primaries? (0+ / 0-)

    The Senate between now and 2008 will be a backwater holding place (unless we have a Supreme Court appointment, a real debate on defunding the war, or an impeachment trial).

    The real action will be framing the agenda for the 2008 presidential debate and the next Democratic Administration.

    I am very concerend that this move, while I understnad and support it, will greatly dampen the progressive voice - who will carry tht torch?

    I really hope that the motivation is as stated, a personal one, adn not some caving in to the so called "moderates" in the democratic party or the Clintonistas.

  •  Wisconsinite understands (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    overturned turtle

    A 2008 for you would be a total waste.  You're not dumb.  The Dem establishment--Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Howard Dean--have got it in there swollen heads that this country needs only their self serving laws. Look at their track record.  Hillary destroyed Health care in the 90's with her HMO crap.  Dean and Kerry are busy making the laws forcing people to pump money into the insurance industry that they are heavily invested in.  And Kennedy...he's a plain old fart that was a thorn in All of America's side.  

    Feingold, you've and the rest of the sensible Dems have got it rough bucking those ego greeds.  I don't envy your group at all.  But, somebody has got to do it.  This whole next two years going up to 2008 will take its toll on America.  If this small group has their way, America's going to places like Bain Capital, LLC, Aetna insurance, and China.  That small Dem group is listening to only money in their own pocket.  Forget the voice of the majority.  I'd actually prefer a Rep in power than that clique.

    Pray for Good Change to happen.

    by piec on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:52:21 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    I hope the rest of your Democratic colleagues prove to be as wise as you are proving to be.

    "You have to keep your knee on [Bush's] windpipe until the danger is past." -- Garry Trudeau

    by tbetz on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:53:01 AM PST

  •  In response: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, DC Scott

    Senator, when you say:

    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.

    you are absolutely correct.

    A piece of Wisconsin swiss cheese that voted against the war and against the Patriot Act, against the Military Commissions Act of 2006, that in short stood up for our Constitution and our American way of life back when it wasn't cool to do so would have my unhesitating vote.

    In short, you say that like it's a bad thing.

    A student of my writings, here and at Daily Kos, would have noticed that few actual Senators receive that honorific from me. Perhaps it is written off as callousness and lack of social graces on my part, and there is some justice to this. But the reason I call so few of your colleagues Senator is that so few have earned it. I say this not to fawn, but so that you understand that from outside the Beltway all many of us know of you are the positions you have taken, and many of them are positions we like to think we would have held were we in your place.

    Still, the choice is yours, and this Decline-to-State can't fault you for deciding to continue your fight in the Senate (although being Moody Loner, I will continue to suspect some sort of backroom deal).

    Take care, Senator.

  •  Bummer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    You were my first choice.

    Senator, would you consider being Wes Clark's veep?

    If the American people can't trust the electoral system to give them a fair result, then your democracy is broken. Period. - Febble

    by Eddie Haskell on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:55:06 AM PST

  •  Thank you Senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indybend

    I appreciate your commitment to princples and am glad that you will stay in the Senate to lend a clear voice on protecting our civil liberties and our National interests--the two are not and should not be contradictory!  Otherwise we do not have a country that is worth fighting for or defending.

    Thank you for your service to date and in the future.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:55:41 AM PST

  •  I'm disappointed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annefrank, LeftOverAmerica

    You were far and away my #1 choice. Having said that, I look forward to your effort in advancing the progressive agenda in the Senate.

    Don't be a stranger around here.

    the next voice you hear will be your own - Jackson Browne

    by Coldblue Steele on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:58:31 AM PST

  •  From Wisconsin (0+ / 0-)

    A 2008 for you would be a total waste.  You're not dumb.  The Dem establishment--Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Howard Dean--have got it in there swollen heads that this country needs only their self serving laws. Look at their track record.  Hillary destroyed Health care in the 90's with her HMO crap.  Dean and Kerry are busy making the laws forcing people to pump money into the insurance industry that they are heavily invested in.  And Kennedy...he's a plain old fart that was a thorn in All of America's side.  

    Feingold, you've and the rest of the sensible Dems have got it rough bucking those ego greeds.  I don't envy your group at all.  But, somebody has got to do it.  This whole next two years going up to 2008 will take its toll on America.  If this small group has their way, America's going to places like Bain Capital, LLC, Aetna insurance, and China.  That small Dem group is listening to only money in their own pocket.  Forget the voice of the majority.  I'd actually prefer a Rep in power than that clique.

    Pray for Good Change to happen.

    by piec on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:00:46 AM PST

  •  My favorite Senator... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indybend

    the man with more courage than 99% of the Senate.  Enjoy holding onto your seat, sir.  While we all would've like to see you as President, this way we can enjoy you for years and years to come.

  •  The decision as to running in 2008... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, Alohaleezy, zett

    is yours to make Senator. I ask you to take a look at my post regarding the nomination of Robert Gates to Sec of Defense titled: 'It's Time to Stop Playing Games!'

    You can start 'helping fix Mr.Bush's flawed Iraq policy...' right away.

    Please consider doing so.

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

    by Nestor Makhnow on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:04:58 AM PST

  •  I'm one of those... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back
    ..who was ready to hitch up a U-Haul and move to New Hampshire to work on your behalf, Senator, so I'm a little saddened today.  But I respect your decision and the reasons for it, and look forward to your being a strong progressive voice in the new Senate majority.  Let's get our country back!
  •  Supporting you for '08 would've been no-brainer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, dangangry, Cato come back

    For months I've been telling anyone who'll listen that you'd be my pick for presidential candidate, but now I have absolutely no idea.  

    I hope that you can work behind the scenes to help us nominate a candidate who isn't a transparently calculating opportunist, someone who has an actual record of integrity instead of just talking about it.  Someone who is a proven economic populist who will stand up for working class Americans against corporate special interests.

    Thank you for your service and leadership.
     

  •  You were the first to stand up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    Good decision Russ. We need you there. Speaking as a Minnesotan who elected Paul Wellstone for two terms and who was working on getting him back for a third, you exemplify so much of what Paul stood for. Keep up the great work in the Senate. Help Harry and Nancy do the right things for our country.

    We will not forget how you have been here for us and how you stood up for all of our beliefs when so many cowered. I'm sure I am speaking for many in the DKos community when I say to you:

    You need anything, ask us. We've got your back.

  •  Serious Respect, Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    Thank you for putting the good of the country ahead of personal ambition.

    But we'll shout from the bow "Your days are numbered" / And like Pharaoh's tribe they'll be drownded in the tide / And like Goliath they'll be conquered

    by zerocrossing on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:09:36 AM PST

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    2016 then?

    I was just a wee lad when Johnson followed Kennedy but never has a Democratic President followed a Democratic President who served two terms in my lifetime. Fingers crossed.

  •  Thanks for the respect. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    Senator, I wish you the best.

    Now who the heck can we legitimately get behind...that's the problem...but hopefully somebody good enough will emerge.

    Thanks.

    "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

    by Mumon on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:13:27 AM PST

  •  FWIW I believe you would have won (3+ / 0-)

    You had the right and principled record, the right look and you always sounded good and sensible on TV, which is more than I can say for any of the presidential candidates since Bill Clinton.

  •  Sorry to her this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    But I hope to hear your voice on the Judiciary Committee....

    Another day not watching the vulgar ABC.

    by Castine on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:15:12 AM PST

  •  We're With You Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    There IS a lot on our collective plate.  Time to get at it with the same fervor we showed for the past 2 years.

    Best to you.
  •  Thank You Russ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    For everything that you've done.  

    I had been looking forward to voting for you, but now I'm going to put that energy behind whoever you endorse (if you do endorse someone).  I also look forward to seeing you continue your work in the Senate, where you are needed even more than the White House.

    Stay Well.

    "You will either hang from the gallows or die of syphillus" "And that depends upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

    by ChapiNation386 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:17:03 AM PST

  •  Patriot Act... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    I hope one thing that will somehow come from a Democratic House and Senate will be a repeal of the Patriot Act. You were courageous against it when so few others were.

  •  I wish you the very best Russ Feingold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    nothing but the very best.

    In loving memory of Sadie, my camping, hiking & swimming friend. August 9, 1995 - January 23, 2006. She was the very best.

    by jhwygirl on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:19:50 AM PST

  •  Keep listening to we the people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    and not the Corporate elites.

    Keep up the good work Senator.

  •  Thank you, Senator Feingold. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    You were the only one that stood up to the erosion of our Constitution when the "PATRIOT Act" came up to a vote in the Senate. You were one of the few that's opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, BEFORE the war began. You are still one of the very few voices on Capitol Hill in support of full equality for LGBT Americans.

    For these, and more, I am very grateful. Keep up the good work in the Senate.

    http://atdnext.blogspot.com I'm keeping California blue... How about you? www.precinctcaptains.org

    by atdnext on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:22:22 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much, Sir. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    It is such a refreshing change of pace to have a Senator who has kept his integrity after having served for as long as you have, and who has the strength to stand by his convictions, even in the face of overwhelming opposition.  I have the greatest admiration and respect for you.  I didn't think it was possible to respect you more than I did, but you've managed to prove me wrong by addressing us progressive netroots directly and letting us know your plans and reasoning.  You're a great man.  It makes me wish I lived in Wisconsin.  Good luck in the coming Congressional session, we're going to need your kind to repair the damage that's been done.  Thank you again.

  •  Disappointment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, zett

    Look I know that you weren't gonna win, and that the effort involved in mounting a campaign is extremely daunting, especially a campaign that's a long shot.

    So I understand.

    But we are desperate, right now, for people in politics who speak out forthrightly and honestly.  That you won't be on that dais during the primaries will make it easier for the other candidates to cavil.  That you won't be out speaking the simple truth will mean there is that much less truth spoken.

    I hope you can find a way to continue to inject honesty and American values into the political discourse.

    •  How do you .. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, Cato come back

      know that he wouldn't win?  How many people outside of Wisconsin and the blogs know much about Russ?  How many people outside Arkansas knew who Bill Clinton was before he ran?  Look at all the people that were willing to pack up and move to NH or IA to work for Russ(I am one of them).  Russ could win.  He just feels he can do better things in the Senate.  We'll see what happens in '08 and go from there.

  •  Thanks, Senator Feingold. I will be forever (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dangangry, jhop7

    grateful to you for voting against the "Patriot" Act.

  •  Just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    wanted to add my Thanks to you for addressing this early on. Our house has been waiting for you to decide. And, although we had hoped you would run, and take, the WH in'08, we certainly respect your decision. And certainly, we are most happy that you will have a Leadership role in the U.S. Senate.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:28:01 AM PST

  •  Thank you for putting this out here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    I love me my Al Gore, but I sure didn't appreciate him leaving us in the abysss wondering for a good 1.5 years about whether he would run or not.  Maybe he just didn't know.  But we didn't get total confirmation in 2004 until, golly.... the beginning of 2004 or something.....

    So I appreciate you having the respect to just tell it like it is.  Though...you would have had my vote, my feet for canvassing, my $5 (lol), and so much more were to run.

    I look forward to you CONTINUING to block bad or inadequate legislation.... legislation that will play to the center (as scarily right as that is these days....).

    Thank you.

    Googlebomb WA-08 - Dave Reichert http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/287797_reichertsideweb06.html

    by letsfight on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:28:37 AM PST

  •  I would have been SO proud to vote for you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Elise, dangangry, operculum

    Which I can't say about most Democrats in the running for 2008.

    Good luck with your next Senate race, and keep Wisconsin on the path of goodness!

  •  Feingold / Favre '08 bumper stickers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg

    Shoot - what am I going to do with them now?

  •  Thank you Senator Feingold! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    This Texan has admired your courage in standing up for progressive American values in the face of fear and intimidation. I second the other Kossacks that we will be there for you as you take up the important work for the MAJORITY in the Senate.

  •  Sigh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    I certainly understand your feelings and reasoning, Senator, but my 'Russ Feingold 2008' bumpersticker hasn't even arrived yet (ordered it on Thursday) and it's already passe!

    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz (1829-1906)

    by iheartfreedom on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:33:09 AM PST

  •  The fight is not over Russ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, dangangry, Cato come back

    It's not time to get back to work, it's time to finish the bloody fight!

    Impeach Bush!

    Be the alien you want to see in the world.

    by PaulGaskin on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:36:36 AM PST

  •  This decision saddens me, as I feel that you, Sen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    Feingold, are just what our nation needs for a president: intelligent, thoughtful, orogressive, determined, fair, and persuasive.

    Perhaps another candidate will emerge with these same qualities, someone to use the bully pulpit to further the wave that we have just seen.

    I do look forward to reading about your continued good work in the Senate.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:36:49 AM PST

  •  You have my full support Senator Feingold! n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Well that's not what I wanted to wake up to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    Thanks for (in some sense) telling me directly, I somehow missed news of it until now. Still a bummer. On the other hand, there are other good candidates and we only need one to run. One in fact would be ideal, make the decision easier.

  •  Thanks for stopping by, Senator Feingold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    Because of your courageous and principled stand, you have tremendous support here for whatever you choose to do, whether in the Senate or in seeking higher office.

    I wish we had 60 more senators like you.

    "You have the power to give Americans a reason to vote again." - Howard Dean

    by Malacandra on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:41:42 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, dangangry, Cato come back

    Thank You for posting this here. Please remember that the voting machines should be a priority in the 110th congress. We need Paper Ballots, Hand counted in front of as many people that want to observe.  It should be a felony for anyone that tries to prevent Any American from voting! Our vote must be Transparent and Verifiable! You will always have my respect for voting against the war and the patriot act. Please keep up the wonderful efforts for all of us Americans.

  •  Senator Feingold -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    I support your decision 100%.  There are very few things this country needs more right now than people in Congress who understand the job Congress is supposed to be doing, and who are now in a position to do that job and do it well.

    The most important job right now is to restore checks and balances and to take back the powers that the Constitution gave to Congress once and for all.  The thing we need most is to restore the Constitution itself.  I'm glad you'll be doing that.

    What would make me deliriously happy would be to see you stepping into the role of Senate Majority Leader, or, barring that, the chairmanship of any one of those committees you listed above.  So, if you've been wondering what to get me for Christmas...

    Seriously, though, kudos to your decision and best wishes to you on the job ahead of you.  Don't be shy about coming back here to report on your progress, and please let us know if you need anything from us.

    Laugh-a while you can, monkey-boy! - Lord John Whorfin

    by Mehitabel9 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:45:10 AM PST

  •  Give me liberty, or give me Russ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Thank you Senator Feingold for all of your efforts in Congress to secure and maintain our freedoms.

    2 great women for WA: Cantwell & Burner

    by rustydude on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:48:02 AM PST

  •  2008 won't be the last election ever. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, zett

    You know if you change your mind down the road...we'll be here.

    It's true--after the rapture, we get all their shit. Unfortunately, they all shop at WalMart.

    by techiechick on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:48:36 AM PST

  •  Dear Russ, you are NOT a piece of cheese. (4+ / 0-)

    I respect your decision and am glad that you will be a strong force in the newly revived legislative branch.  Presidents have many things to pay attention to (the ones that pay attention, anyway) and the damage that has been done to our government will take much focus to repair.  I can't think of a time in history when any Senate has had more important work to do.  I am delighted and grateful that you have chosen to make your stand in the Senate.  However, somday, it would be my honor to cast a vote for you.  Unless you are planning to move to California, I hope you run for national office eventually.  Thank you, for all that you have done and will do.

    Go Russ!

    Bush fights crime by making it legal.

    by Friend of the court on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:52:13 AM PST

  •  The guy who least wants the job (7+ / 0-)

    is the best candidate for it.

    Thanks for showing us why you're the best candidate.  Too bad you're not running.

    ----------------
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are always cocksure and the intelligent are always filled with doubt. -- Bertrand Russell

    by gpm on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:53:20 AM PST

  •  Senator... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus, operculum

    Senator Feingold, you were always my #1 choice for 2008 since at least 2004. I had fervently hoped that you would run, so this information comes as a considerable disappointment to me, though I understand your reasoning and respect your decision.

    You have always been one to stand up for your beliefs when it has been hard to do so. You remind me of the Dixie Chicks in that regard: it's easy to criticize the war and the Bush administration now, but it was hard to do so back in the dark days of 2001-2003, but you (and they) took courageous stands when it mattered and when it was hard to and everyone at this website knows what the score is in that regard.

    That being said, we desperately need someone with your progressive outlook for 2008. While for me the ideal candidate would be you yourself, since that is not possible then please do whatever is in your power to ensure that the 2008 nominee is in that mold.

    Thank you for your tireless work on our behalf, Senator. I assure you it will not be forgotten.

  •  Well damn. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I guess I have to take that Feingold 08 bumper sticker off my car, then?

    I respect your position, Senator.  You've given the decision a lot of thought, and I support it.  And I'll admit, this makes it easier to support Clark in 08. :)

    Thank you very much for coming to the netroots and telling us.  Our respect for you is immense, and that only makes it stronger.

    (maybe in 12?  Feingold in 12? :)

    You can't tame the white supremacist power structure with cheese!

    by andlorr on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:02:54 AM PST

  •  as a Clark supporter (5+ / 0-)

    I am relieved that Feingold has made this decision because Russ Feingold was probably Clark's greatest potential competition on substance and national security positions.  Feingold voted against the PATRIOT act and the War and no other Senator whose considering a presidential run can say the same thing.  Clark advised Congress to avoid this war at hearings and his criticism of the PATRIOT act resonates from the voice of a national security expert and someone who fought for the liberties of America for more than 30 years.  Watching the kos straw polls for the past couple of years, Clark sat comfortably at the top for the first few months after the election.  But Russ eventually earned that spot after making bold stands regarding the Rice nomination, judge nominations and the nuclear option, censure of the president, etc. .   I hope the netroots will coalesce around a candidate and win against whoever the DLC and the media want to crown nominee.  And I hope that candidate is Clark because he's progressive, liberal, and brilliant, but also because we will face serious national security issues in the near future with all the hostility the current administration has stirred up.  We need an effective and responsible leader for this and Clark is clearly that person.  Visit his website, listen and watch his media clips.  Read his blog.  

  •  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, dangangry, Positronicus

    (al la Vader)

    It now must be Clark or Gore... there can be no one else.   Period.

  •  Good luck to you Senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I was proud to vote for you in 1998 (when still a WI resident), and I hope you will continue to be a voice for common sense progressive policies in the Senate for years to come.

  •  Thank you Senator Feingold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Thank you for your leadership and courage. And thank you, too, for your ongoing dialogue on this site.

  •  sir, i am saddened to hear you won't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    be running. i believe your voice would have added important information and views to the campaigns. however, i respect your thinking and decision. thanks for your voice and actions in the past and into the future. you have many fans at kos including myself.

  •  I respect your decision, Senator Feingold (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, zett, Positronicus

    Unfortunately, this tends to confirm my suspicion that the kind of person I could truly support as President is the kind of person who is too smart and principled to seek the Presidency.

    Thank you for having the courage to vote against the Patriot Act and the Iraq War.  

    I think you can, and will, do a lot of good work as a senior Senator.

  •  Thanks, Senator. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    Grab hold of this administration and ring out the the unconstitutional slime that have perpetrated on America.

    And by the way, this past summer I went to the Sox game (and about a half dozen southside restaurants -- great spots all) with your brother and Mike M.  Many great stories were told of your exploits growing up.

    WOMAN: My cat's in the tree! MY FATHER (a fireman): He'll come down. WOMAN: No he won't! MY FATHER: Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?

    by Bob Johnson on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:23:01 AM PST

  •  Senator, you were my first choice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    Thankk you for your courage and your convictions.  All the best.

  •  Thank-you for posting on dk, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    and thank-you for representing progressive causes.

    We need to become a Fair Broker in the Middle East, or we will never have the respect of the Arab and Persian people.

    Americans have now seen what preemptive war looks like and they don't like it. American bombs fuel extremists.

    by mattes on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:24:53 AM PST

  •  Mr. Senator, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    You would make a wonderful President and I would be prouder than all get-down if you were. You would have had my vote, my money and my support.

    But I think you have made the realistic call. I don't think this country would go for it. For whatever reason.

    You are the voice of reason in the Senate. I look forward to you staying around for a long time, staying brave as we know you will, and staying resolute.

    You will forever have my respect for your vote on the Patriot Act. You are top dog in the Senate in my book, and I am confident you will remain so.

    To a long career and a happy life.... America has your back.

    ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

    by Tirge Caps on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:27:04 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    This nation and all true patriots of this nation owe thanks to you for your courage in being one of the lone, national voices speaking out against (what I believe to be) the criminal usurptation of the Executive Branch and the president's war policy in Iraq.

    As far as I'm concerned, you and (believe it or not) Stephen Colbert were among the first and most public voices to exercise that courage.  Your decision to remain in the Senate, after the 2006 triumph, should quiet the voices that claimed you were taking these stances for sheer political advancement.

    Thank you and know that there are those out here who know and applaud your courage and fighting spirit.  Give 'em hell in the Senate.  And if they're going down, toss 'em an anchor so that they'll stay down.  We cannot afford to let their like gain ascendency again.  Nor can we afford business as usual in-fighting and wibble-wobbling among the Democrats.  The fight continues and I can think of no better individual to be a general in that fight and no better place to wage the battle than the Senate.

    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:29:52 AM PST

  •  Thank you for all you do, Senator. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I am grateful to have you on our side in the Senate for the near future--plenty of time to run for President in the longer term, as our country re-learns what it is to be a fully-functioning democracy.  God speed!

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:32:09 AM PST

  •  Good Luck To You Senator Feingold (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I for one am extremely sad that you have chosen not to run for president. You were my first choice and IMO the best choice. Right now I feel that unless Al Gore changes his mind and runs that there will not be a candidate that I will be able to enthusiastically support. Not much left but DLC candidates who won't put themselves on the line for anything that matters.

    Oh well, I'm sure that your work in the Senate will help turn back the damage done by the Republicans and those Democrats that would not take a stand.

    Good luck and God bless.

  •  Dear Senator Feingold: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    Although I am heartbroken, I know you will continue your passionate fight in the halls of the Senate for common sense progressive values that we in this community and the majority of Americans support. I am, however,  saving my Feingold for President button for the future.

    ...and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.

    by rlharry on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:33:39 AM PST

  •  President Feingold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    Senator, I am happy you decided to not run for President. I am proud to say I am from Wisconsin when your name comes up. I hope you will continue to serve as a politician to whom other politicians can look as a model of citizenship.  

  •  follow the money in Iraq (4+ / 0-)

    Senator Feingold,

    It is long overdue for the Congress to take a more active role in the governance of the nation.  As a Senator who is indeed "ahead of the curve," you have an important role to play in bringing the legislative branch back to its proper roles of policy initiative and oversight of the faithful execution of the laws of the land.

    In the minds of many citizens, the most pressing issue before us is Iraq.  Though pundits and cynical operatives may call upon the Democrats in Congress to present "their plan," I hope you will point out that it is not appropriate for Congress to usurp the Executive's role as Commander-in-Chief -- even when the Executive is performing that role badly.  The role of Congress to exercise oversight to make sure the funds appropriated by Congress are being used well and properly for their assigned purpose, and in support of policies that reflect the will of the American people.

    So my advice to Democrats in Congress is this:  follow the money.  What has happened to the funds appropriated by Congress?  Congress and the American people have a right to know this, and claims of "national security" must not be used as a smokescreen for picking our pockets.

    I realize that this approach does not directly address the issues that cause many of us to feel deep moral outrage.  However, I believe this cool and neutral approach will lead to towards the ground of truth better than an approach that fans the flames of partisan passion.

    Thanks for your attention, as well as for your service, Senator.  You are a valuable man.

    Homeland: as in Bantustan, or as in home of the brave and land of the free?

    by homeland observer on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:40:20 AM PST

  •  I love you, Senator. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus, operculum

    It'd be great to have your as our president, but as long as you're fighting for our side, I can't complain.

  •  Thanks for being my voice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    What a relief it has been to have at least SOMEONE in congress speak what has needed to be said.  I'm sorry you're not going to run for president, but I understand your decision and will support you all the way.

  •  We thank you, Senator Feingold (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, zett, Positronicus

    Thank you Senator Feingold for announcing your decision here, and offing a heart-felt explanation to those who had supported you as senator, and in our hoped for presidential campaign in 08.

    I, like many others here, were looking foreward to supporting your bid for president in 2008. I can't speak for any others, but I did so because I trust your judgement. I know that it's too early for you to back a candidate for 08, but your future endorsement will carry a ton of weight in the decisions of many. And of course, this will place you on the short list for the VP spot.

    I would like to see you run for Senate Majority Leader, because in my opinion you are the best leader in the country right now. Not to take anything away from Harry Reid, but no other senator can match you on the issues, in integrity, backbone, charisma, and the ability the think and speak on their feet. I anxiously await the results of your work on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Judiciary and Budget Committees.

    - Israel has the right to exist, and responsibility to coexist.

    by Opinionated Ed on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:41:28 AM PST

    •  I would love for Russ to be Majority Leader (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Positronicus

      Barring that, Chairman of one of the above committees (well Sen. Leahy has Judiciary, right?)- my pick would be Intelligence...

      BTW, Opinionated Ed, I like your sig very much.

      It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

      by zett on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 04:13:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  IIf not now... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Then when? Feingold '12? ;-) Sorry to hear that you are not running for President, but I look forward to seeing you raise your voice in the Senate. You are the voice of change, you have a majority. Keep doing what you're doing, Senator, and tell those Senators how to make Americans proud of their nation's representatives again. I needed to figure out how to word that sentance without making a botched joke, such as "how to make Americans proud of their nation again." Fox News would respond, "why do you hate America first?" That may very well have been a botched joke, but anyway, I hope that you will run for president or vice president someday!

  •  I'm sad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazzcon, zett, Positronicus

    But I understand.  I support you in your decision, and I know that you will continue fighting for the the 90% of us who have been drowning in the mess the Republicans have created.

    And let me just say that if you decide to run at a later date, well, you can count on my support at the very least.

    God bless you Senator, you've been a point of light in an otherwise very dark time for this country.

    "It's time to stand up - not to cheer, but to fight back." - Russ Feingold
    Iowa for Feingold

    by WMiller on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:45:09 AM PST

  •  Feingold 2016 (8+ / 0-)

    after 8 years of the next Democratic Administration.

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:46:30 AM PST

  •  Senator, this Californian is disappointed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazzcon, zett, Positronicus

    that she won't have a chance to vote for you at any time in the foreseeable future.  

    That said, the thought of having you in the Senate as part of a majority, and finally in a position to push through some of the reforms we all want and have not had the chance to implement -- well, I can certainly understand why a statesman like yourself would determine to stay in the Senate and get the work done that you've wanted to, all this time.  You are quite simply one of my favourite Americans and I wish you every satisfaction in serving the nation as part of our Majority.

    So perhaps 2016 then?  ;)

  •  Now I have to change my sig line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    :(

    Give me John Edwards or Russ Feingold or both. Together they could make a difference!

    by ladylib on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:47:23 AM PST

  •  Bummer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    This is truly a bummer, sir, but I respect your decision and look forward to your continued leadership in the Senate.

    However, if you have any interest in auditioning potential First Ladies, I hope you'll keep me in mind :)

    Plain old mother talk ain't nowhere near strong enough to describe such a terrible mix-up as life. -- Mark Harris

    by skeptigal on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:51:38 AM PST

  •  Ah, damn. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, zett, Positronicus

    Sen. Feingold, you were my candidate of choice, but I certainly respect your decision.  Please keep up the good work.

    Wow.  This is more depressing than I would have thought.

  •  Are we supposed to draft you now? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    Kidding.

    Thanks for your integrity Senator.

    However you serve you are an essential part of our Democrati Party.

    Thanks for your service.

  •  Thank you Senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus, operculum

    For all the work you have done so far, and your integrity.

    This announcement only goes to show why you are such an excellent leader-you have made the decision on a timeframe that allows for other candidates to develop their campaigns.  This respect for your peers demonstrates once again your character and why the United States needs you.

    November 7, 2006 the long night ended, and there is a lot of work to do now that the sun is up.

    Live Free or Die-words to live by

    by ForFreedom on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:56:46 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold, you are such a gift ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I'm proud to call you my Senator and I live in Virginia!  However, you have spoken for me on numerous occassions....and I thank you!

    We have so much work to do in the next two years fixing our broken country from the current administration!

    I'm not sure I want any of our Democratic Senators to be away from their seats campaigning for President.  I hope you understand, your decision makes me feel a little more reassured we'll get those "playground bullies" afterall :D

  •  Senator Feingold's wisdom is beyond question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    There is important work ahead to repair the damage done in the nightmare years of Republican rule.  I wake every day and feel the lightness of hope.  Our nation needs an astute senator like Feingold to press for change so the hope becomes our reality.

    Thank you Senator Feingold .

  •  if you love this country (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    let's hear you make the case that our electoral system is in need of repair--especially in the area of what type of computer code tallies votes.

    c'mon russ, some of us out here know what the deal is. we need someone in the senate to help secure the vote from private interests.

  •  Just adding my thanks for all you do. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus
  •  Dang. If not number #1, then who? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, annan, zett

    I'm sorry to hear Russ won't be running in '08. At the same time, he will be very effective leading the progressive mission,

    as a Senator with significant seniority in the new Senate serving on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Judiciary and Budget Committees.

    In this diary, greenreflex suggests

    we arrange to divvy up the house and senate committees, so that we are ALL aware of what is happening at any time in our new congress.  A spread out, amateur press is always superior to a centralized corporate one, right?  Here's our chance to put the magnifying glass right over, and I mean directly over our elected representatives.

    What could be more fun and satisfying than following Senator Finegold's work on one of more of his committees? I look forward to reading about Russ often!

    Thank you, Senator Finegold!

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    I'm sorry to hear you're not running for president - you have been my first choice since you alone opposed the Patriot Act.  But I feel lucky as an American to know you're on the floor of the Senate standing up for the Constitution  and the American people.  Keep up the excellent work!

  •  Thanks Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, RudiB

    I am heartened by the fact that you will be remaining in the Senate to fight for us.

  •  Impeachment?? 87% in MSNBC poll say yesssss!!! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, zett, dangangry, Positronicus, davidk

    87% of the 374471 respondents say...."Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial."

    "Never doubt that a thoughtful group of committed citizens. ...etc., etc." M.Mead "I, on the other hand, am not so sanguine." ez

    by ezdidit on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:13:18 AM PST

  •  that's too bad, senator... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    ...but it makes sense.

    i just wish someone would convince senator clinton to make a similar decision.

    anyway, now that you're staying put in the senate, i can be kinder to other candidates. as long as your candidacy was a possibility, i would probably tune them out completely.

    thanks for your unparalelled service, senator.

    p

  •  Thanks for everything, Senator! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus, RudiB

    We appreciate your coming here to tell us, and VERY much appreciate your defense of all things American during a very bad time in our history.

  •  Very sad to hear this, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    We will look closely at how the choreography is evolving, and who you are supporting as the candidates field narrows.

    Indeed, the contradiction inherent in all evil is that it arises in the desire to eliminate evil. James P. Carse

    by alivingston on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:14:16 AM PST

  •  This hurts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    Selfishly, I'm very sorry to hear that, Senator Feingold.  You were my first choice and I was prepared to do everything I could to get you into the White House.  I don't think our current potential crop of candidates (except maybe Gore) has the courage, integrity, and progressive values that so many of us see in you.

    I do respect your decision and value your judgement, though.  You are right that there is much damage to be undone, and the Senate may be the place for you to effect the most positive change for our country and planet.

    Enjoy your majority status, Senator, you have earned it!!!

    Your President is a pathological liar.

    by freedom fried on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:15:00 AM PST

  •  shoeless russ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, Positronicus

    say it ain't so, russ, say it ain't so.

  •  Oh, well okay, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    since you put it that way.

    You've been on my top ticket for months now.   Replacing you won't be easy, you know.  

    Who knew I'd ever find a reason other than cheese and those funny accents to be envious of Wisconsinites?

    I know you will do a(nother) wonderful job right where you are, Senator Feingold.  Thank you for your work and for your words here today.

    "I think I like today. I think its good. It's something I can't get my head around." ~ Angels and Airwaves.

    by CJB on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:16:16 AM PST

  •  Thanks for all that you have done (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, RudiB

    Our country is better off because of your efforts.  Best wishes on continued service.

  •  Thank you, Senator Feingold. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    I am a moderate, and this President is anything but moderate.  He blew a patriotic plan in 2001 into a total scam; see "Iraq For Sale."  He and his neocon aberrants are common criminals.  

    You, however, are so right on.  I am particularly heartened by your common sense and humility.  Godspeed to you, sir.

    "Never doubt that a thoughtful group of committed citizens. ...etc., etc." M.Mead "I, on the other hand, am not so sanguine." ez

    by ezdidit on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:18:29 AM PST

  •  doit differently-lead Peoples democracy; real job (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    Dont think of it as any more than a job for the people of the land and you can run without messing up your  life. Good purposful work never hurt anyone,but the presidency has sure taken alot of insular ,kingly,pompus trappings of late and its not healthy.

  •  Thank you Sir. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    For your service to our nation. You are (in my humble opinion) the best Senator on The Hill.

    Wisconsin is lucky to have you. And so are the rest of us.

  •  Russ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    You're a real American hero.  I wish you were running, but I respect your decision.

    Now who the heck am I gonna support??

    Visit Sinister, the home of a left-handed left-wing Okie Jew.

    by ethanthej on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:26:17 AM PST

  •  while part of me is heartbroken, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    another part of me is grateful that your voice of moral clarity will remain loud and strong in the senate.

    thank you, sir, for all your work.

    "Once thy head bangeth, thereforever Rocketh a Hurricane liketh!" -Schwede

    by birdbrain64 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:29:38 AM PST

  •  Thanks, Sen Feingold. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, Positronicus, RudiB
    You are a Patriot & an Inspiration.  

    Enjoy the 110th!  We all worked our butts off for it, & we are very proud of you & Howard Dean.  I hope you'll give Howard,  the Congressional Leadership, & all of us grunts out here a pat on the back when the 110th opens in January.

    Happy New Year!

    "Booyaa!" Howard Dean

    by x on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:29:51 AM PST

  •  You were my first choice. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, Positronicus, RudiB

    And I am sorry that you have decided not to run. In your diary you say,

    Our victory's proved that people-powered, netroots, grassroots, 50-state strategy politics works.

    I hope that you will carry that message to those in the Democratic Party who are attempting dismiss and minimalize the 50-state strategy.

  •  I'll add my voice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus, RudiB

    to say thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for this nation.  In the dark days that were the first six years of the Bush administration, you were one of the few lights that gave hope for a better future.  I will not forget.

    I'll miss the discussions your presidential candidacy would have brought to the fore; but I understand and respect your decision to decline that opportunity.  My best wishes to you in your continuing role in the Senate.

  •  Russ Out Now!? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arkdem, Topaz7, Positronicus

    Russ Out Now!?
    by KDANTEATER

    Great, Senator, just great. Now I am going to have to return all of my Russ Feingold merchandise. The Russ Feingold hats, bumper stickers, balloons, mugs, thongs (don't ask). Do you know how much time I spent trying to find that Russ Feingold action figure? By the way, Ken looks just like you if you add dark hair. I will have to keep that rare Russ Feingold rookie card until it has presidential value. Only then it will sell for a good price on Ebay. Senator, I demand that you run for president in 2008. You do not have to run for yourself. You can run in order to make my uncontrollable spending spree count for something. You and your potential presidential bid unleashed the mad shopper within and dried up my accounts. If you do not run for president, than I am afraid that I am going to have to demand that you apologize to me for not running.

    Sure, Russ. You may say that it was my choice to buy all that stuff, and that you may be a little disturbed that I purchased Russ Feingold thongs: half price, great deal. I could not resist buying more than one, I admit. None the less, I expected you to run. You can't say that you did not give my the signs. I mean, you tried to censure the president, you voted against the Iraq War and Patriot Act, and you are the best man for the job. Speaking of which, you owe me for that Russ Feingold menorah. Okay, so it is my old menorah with a Russ Feingold pin on the front, but I paid a good dollar for that pin. Okay, so they gave it to me for free at a booth. Still it's the principle of the thing, they, through your lies, should not have decieved me.
    You may have given up on your presidential bid, but I have not. You are what America and my wallet needs. So please Senator, I plea that you reconcider your run for the presidency. If you do not, we may have to put up with Joe Biden, and I will blame you for that.

  •  Dear Senator Feingold: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I hoped that you would seek the office of President precisely because of the qualities you bring to the table as our Senator--not because I was swept up in the call for change.  I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, and I hope this is the only time we will ever disagree on an issue.  While I am grateful that you intend to continue your patriotic service, I truly regret that the Democrats will not have your name on the Presidential ticket in 2008.  

    Best wishes to you in your continuing efforts in the Senate, and wherever your political journey takes you.  You will always have my vote!

    "If I could have one wish, I would have people accept the importance of our common humanity." --Former Pres. Bill Clinton, The Today Show, 09/21/06

    by desordre remplir on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:34:32 AM PST

  •  Thank you for the Patriot Corps. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back

    Dan the precinct man stepped into volunteer organizing seamlessly from Day 1 and made a real difference for Tessa Hafen in NV-03. The loss was heartbreakingly slim, only 3900 votes, probably because of the last weekend robocalls.
       Sestak developed an awesome grassroots team with your organizer on board. Sending out trained ready to roll field ops is a brilliant way to help campaigns.
     

    ....the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. FDR 1933

    by Tailspinterry on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:41:48 AM PST

  •  A Person of Principle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2

    Senator, tears came to my eyes when I read this.  I understand and respect your decision.  I am happy that you will continue to be there for us in the Senate as a man of principle.
    But where are we going to find a person of principle and a person of courage to lead this country in 2008?
    We have too many calculating politicians and too few statespersons.  You, sir, are a statesperson.

  •  While you were my first and only choice for (4+ / 0-)

    President in 2008, I take comfort in knowing that you will fight on for us in the Senate.  The work you have done there, especially over the last five years, has shown a rare combination of good judgment, common sense and political courage.  I am confident that history will judge you kindly for the stands you have taken.

    Best of luck in the new Senate and thank you for letting us know now, so that we may move on and find a candidate who stands for real change in this nation.

  •  Senator, we'll miss the opportunity but (3+ / 0-)

    respect your decision.  You are a shining beacon of common sense in the Senate, and we will, while missing out on your leadership in the grandest scale, are all the better for having you serve us all there.

    Missing the opportunity, but wishing you all the best and hope you don't rule out later runs,

    A military mom in Tennessee.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: that all men are created equal.

    by Moesse on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:45:02 AM PST

  •  Why do the best leaders never run? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    And is that a statement about what the Presidency actually is?

    Bless you, Senator, I'm terribly disappointed again.  But understand you position and respect it.

    I'm still hungry for a real leader to occupy the Presidency, tho.  This country is in desperate need of leadership--especially after the debacle of the Bush presidency.  

    And Hillary doesn't do it for me, tho I'd grudgingly take her over a Republican any day.

    So who will have the charisma, skills, and competency to rehabilitate what it means to be an American president?

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

    by m00nchild on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:45:03 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold (4+ / 0-)

    I am so glad you will continue your important work in the Senate. You're role has been so so important during the past few years. I don't know what we would have done w/out you!!

    lawstudent922

    PS I met you at University of Miami a couple years ago, you gave a speach at like 8:00am at the Law School. It was really interesting. I learned a lot about the Patriot Act.

    It's not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:45:56 AM PST

  •  A mixed blessing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    My dream of President Feingold is dashed! That being said, having you in the Senate has been a bright spot these past few years, and I hope you will continue to fight for what's right. I trust your judgment that this decision will be what's best for yourself and for the country.

    "Of course your need to consume is an exception due to your incredibly challenging circumstances."

    by Topaz7 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:46:06 AM PST

  •  Keep fighting the good fight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, RudiB

    There are an awful lot of messages to plow through here, so I'll keep this simple.

    Thank you for all you've done over the last six years to correct the policy and legislative disasters foisted on us by the Bush administration and the Republican leadership.  I would have happily voted for you for President, but am equally happy to have you working for progressive causes in the majority in the Senate.  Best wishes and best of luck.

    Anger can be power. You know that you can use it.

    by sciguy on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:46:41 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, RudiB

    for coming here and giving us your decision straight up.  As one of your constituents, I'm very sorry that you won't seek the Presidency, but at the same time I'm very happy that you'll be representing us in those powerful and important committees you're on, as well as in the Senate as a whole.  I'd like to see your influence more and more in the leadership of the Senate.  Thanks so much for all that you do for us!  You're so hardworking and we can't thank you enough for your courage and integrity.  I think you will have a tremendous opportunity to influence many things in the coming Senate sessions and hope that you will stay our Senator for a long, long time.  Just knowing you're there fighting for us and for all Americans makes me feel safe and secure.

  •  Those who want power... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    are unfit to wield it (see:Bush.)

    Those who do not want power wield it wisely.

    Think about it, Senator.

    We're glad to have you in any role; I hope you'll continue helping us out, regardless of how you decide to do it.

    O it is excellent to have a giant's strength: but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. --Measure for Measure, II.2

    by RogueStage on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:52:31 AM PST

  •  My heart is broken (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Positronicus

    I so wanted you to be my president.

    I know you will be able to do so much more in the Senate than you could do while out campaigning for the next two years, and I understand how hellish your life would have been had you undertaken this effort. Therefore, I understand your decision not to run.

    I just wish the entire population of the US could see that the man representing the people of Wisconsin would be the best person to lead us all.

  •  Thank you for your progressive work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus
    and I am glad that you are going to continue to be our man in the Senate. I can not help but feel some nostalgia for an idea that was a far off dream: your presidency.

    Verdi did a better job of expressing my feelings:

    Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate;
    va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli
    ove olezzano tepide e molli
    l'aure dolci del suolo natal!
    Del Giordano le rive saluta,
    di Sionne le torri atterrate.
    Oh, mia patria sì bella e perduta!
    Oh, membranza sì cara e fatal!
    Arpa d'or dei fatidici vati,
    perché muta dal salice pendi?
    Le memorie nel petto raccendi,
    ci favella del tempo che fu!
    O simile di Solima ai fati
    traggi un suono di crudo lamento,
    o t'ispiri il Signore un concento
    che ne infonda al patire virtù!

     Again, thanks for your work.

    "The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers. " Jung

    by sailmaker on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:05:29 AM PST

  •  broken heart here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus

    Senator - Are you sure?!?!? I just can't believe this! This is truly heartbreaking. You have been my dream candidate for 5 years now. Have you ruled out running as VP if asked by someone like John Edwards or Al Gore?  I think I might be okay with that :)

  •  Dear Russ (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Elise, blueyedace2, Positronicus

    I cannot tell a lie - I'm profoundly disappointed but at the same time I completely understand your decision.  I personally had my hopes pinned on you because you have unfailingly stood up for what's right and good in this world when few others were principled enough to do so.

    Wisconsin is lucky to have you continuing on in the Senate, as is the rest of the country.  If all our Senators were as stand-up as you are, I firmly believe our country would not be in the mess it is today.  Our country needs your insight, your passion, your compassion, and your ethics.  I was just hoping you'd take all those character traits to the White House!

    Thank you for all you've done and will continue to do.  You, sir, deserve the Medal of Freedom.  I wish I had the power to present you one.  I can't think of a more deserving individual.  

  •  Senator Feingold, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, blueyedace2, Positronicus, RudiB

    We appreciate you so much. It was incredibly thoughtful of you to post here personally.

    We'll stand behind you and do whatever we can to help you repair our country.

    Thanks!

  •  Senator (5+ / 0-)

    You're literally the only Senator I could have had excitement about supporting.

    Having said that, I understand your decision.  All things in their own time - I hope, however, that you will help guide the party in the Senate (the long-standing Dems and the new ones) to leverage ALL resources at Democrats' disposal - the Netroots, the traditional party structures, and the Congressional House and Senate leadership positions.  We have to build on the momentum we had last Tuesday and extend our majorities.

    Jim Webb's my Senator-elect!! Woo hoo!!

    by RenaRF on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:12:30 AM PST

  •  Thanks Senator Feingold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, RudiB

    Congratulations on taking back the Senate.

    You were my favorite candidate for president, but I respect your decision, and part of me is happy that  you won't have to endure the ugliness of a presidential race.  Best wishes.

  •  Dear Senator Feingold (9+ / 0-)

    In a couple of the diaries on your decision I said this, and I will now repeat it to you.  You are the Daniel Webster of our times, a great stateesman in the Senate. You uphold the democratic and republican values and principles that this nation was founded upon, you are what Madison hoped all Senators would be, but you are sadly almost alone.  Carry on your work, defend the constitutional order against the encroachments of the Uniteary Executive, and most importantly, please start cukltivating those values among the newcomers in the Senate, reach out to and mentor people like Jon Tester and Sheldon Whitehouse that can help you build a nucleus of a truly Madisonian Senate.

  •  I am sorry you won't be seeking the nomination. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I would have supported you 100%. But, atleast the country will have a great senator.

    Senate Majority Leader Feingold, perhaps?

    Thank you for all you've done.

    Russ Feingold and Jon Tester in 2008!

    by Basil on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:23:16 AM PST

  •  To everybody's Senator -- and mine, too (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, blueyedace2, machka, Positronicus, RudiB

    Senator, just in case your staff isn't surveying the "Cheddarsphere" for our state's blogs such as Badger Blues, I posted this there, too -- to the blogger's comment about your announcement now making useless his "Feingold for America 2008" bumper sticker:

    "Feingold still will be for America in 2008 and well beyond, we hope, and still will be standing firmly for America’s core principles.

    "As ever, he may be able to do so more in the Senate than he could have in the White House — especially, on the campaign trail for the next two years.

    "It will be a crucial two years for this country, when we need him focused on what this Congress can do to get us back on course.

    "That he still will be here for us in Wisconsin, too, is a bonus for us.

    "Thanks, Russ. I’ve had my concerns about some of your votes, but I’m glad that you’re everybody’s Senator -- and mine, too."

    You will know the local political slogan I'm paraphrasing in that last paragraph.:-) As for those concerns noted in it, your staff might know me if I wasn't under a nom de plume here! as I certainly have not refrained, as one of your early donors eons ago, from raising Midwestern heck with your office when we disagreed on crucial votes that you cast.

    But -- bygones.  As long as you keep raising Midwestern heck in Congress, you're a keeper with us in Wisconsin.  And now that we don't have to open our checkbooks for a while for Congressional districts elsewhere in the state, I'm setting aside some funds for your re-election here . . . because we know that this announcement also means that the state and national GOP is buzzing about who to run against you, and it could be a campaign that will be East Coast-costly and not at all Midwestern nice.

    Btw, on a personal note, I was delighted to read in my morning paper that you're personally happy these days.  You and yours -- including your sister, whom I admire as much as you -- deserve it.  Shalom.

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

    by Cream City on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:23:34 AM PST

  •  To say that I am disappointed ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    would be an understatement.

    I respect and understand your decision. Thank you for being a man of integrity and for so effectively promoting progressive values.

    "I don't want to weaken the Patriot Act. I want to repeal it." - Jon Tester

    by slatsg on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:25:52 AM PST

  •  That would be one hell of a piece of cheese! (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you, for who you are, what you do, and what you stand for.  The Progressive path should not be the road less taken, and should not be feared or ridiculed by anybody, from the President down to the local Republican wag.  Much less our fellow Democrats.  Thank you for not walking on water, but for doing naturally what almost every other potential progressive has been afraid to do:  break from the yapping status quo and wade into the debate on the strength of your own hard-won knowledge and perspective.
    Thank you.

    you learn something new every day, if you're paying attention

    by jhop7 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:28:27 AM PST

  •  Al Gore for President now that Russ is out. (6+ / 0-)

    I am asking all who supported Russ to support Al Gore's candidacy instead.

    Al Gore's views are very similar to Russ' on Iraq and the Patriot Act and he has found his voice after the 2000 election. I will be proud to support him and hope many others would as well.

  •  When you stood up for the Constitution, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, mtspace

    and so few others did, I sent you an email to say that I would be there for you in '08. I think you could have sparked an important debate by being on the stage, but I understand and support your decision to stay in the Senate. Although I'm more than a thousand miles away, you can count on me (and I'm sure other netizens, to send $$$ for your re-election campaign. Thank you for being courageous and thoughtful. I'd be so proud to have you as my Senator!

    "When thought is too weak to be simply expressed, it's clear proof that it should be rejected." Luc de Clapiers

    by RudiB on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:32:13 AM PST

  •  Here's to a strong senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    I believe the Senator is making the exact right decision

    we can't now lose the senate again because everyone with ambition runs for the brass ring

    Senator Feingold is a great Senator and thats what he should be.

    I also wish Senator Clinton would just keep her Senate seat strong

    hell i'd be glad if she doesnt turn Lieberman on us

    she will never be as good a president as she is a senator in my opinion.

    thanks Senator Feingold for being here today

  •  Senator Feingold, thank you for your service (5+ / 0-)

    to our country.  I have never lived in Wisconsin, but some of my best friends are from Oshkosh.  I can honestly say that I have liked every person I have ever met from Wisconsin, and it is no surprise to me that a state filled with such wonderful people elected you to represent them.

    You have already shown what kind of a difference a Senator can make in this country, by writing responsible, productive legislation, by asking the important questions in hearings, and by helping to shape the national conversation on a variety of issues.  While you might have had a more major role as President, it would have been for at most 8 years, and I am confident you will continue to lead our country in the right direction as a Senator for at least 12 more years.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Honesty is still the best policy.

    by oscarsdad on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:32:59 AM PST

  •  Nooooooooooooooooooooo! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Say it isn't so! Please Russ, Please Run!

  •  Thank you, sir (4+ / 0-)

    We must all come together and support the only candidate who can unite us all...

    Al Gore

    RGJ/Dallas112263

  •  I've been a great cheerleader on this site (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    behind a potential run for president. Even before I saw you speak in Brooklyn around the time of the censure resolution, I'd been a supporter of whatever you do, and that solidified it for me.

    I'm looking forward to your work with the new dem majority and appreciate the leadership you will surely provide(as you always have) in the senate.

    THough I'd love to see a presidential run, I understand this decision. We'll be watching out for all the ways we can help.

    Please keep the dialogue going (I have no doubt you will). Perhaps we'll see you in Chicago?

  •  You would be a wonderful president (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus, mtspace

    I have no doubt that you would be a wonderful president, but I respect your decision. You are needed in the senate to help turn this country around. Keep up the great work for the people.

  •  Why Sen. Feingold? (5+ / 0-)

    You're the one Senator with the courage to stand up against the Patriot Act, and for that alone (not to mention yr opposition to teh Iraq War) you would have had the support of a lot of Americans, myself included. I hope you reconsider. But seeing as though that's doubtful, I hope you take a major leadership role in defining the Senate's adgenda, as well as in selecting the eventual nominee through support and organization. Best wishes, Senator!

    [RED/GLARE]

    For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity.

    --Mark Twain

    by redglare on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:43:56 AM PST

  •  Give 'em Hell Russ! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    The country will swung left enough by 2012 for you!

    House and the Senate? Lordy! Lordy! Lordy!

    by Lew2006 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:46:57 AM PST

  •  Whoever out next president is he or she will (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    be lucky to have someone in the Senate like you !

    Strength and wisdom are not opposing values

    by CTMET on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:50:23 AM PST

  •  Russ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    While a "Feingold For President" campaign would have been one I would have loved to support, I respect your judgement and your commitment to the people of Wisconsin.  Hope you will be a strong voice in this new and much improved Senate this coming year.  

    All the best, Russ!

  •  Thank you, Senator... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    docangel, Positronicus

    While I would have supported you wholeheartedly, I recognize the need for someone with your convictions, and courage to stand by them, in the Senate.  Hopefully, with the addition of principled, progressive Dems like Jim Webb, John Tester and Claire McCaskill, it will be a little easier to carry on with a sane, progressive agenda, limit the damage BushCo can do during the remainder of their administration, and get our country back on track.

    You are the example of a true public servant, and you have my deepest respect.

    Proud member of the VLWC.

    by ceriboo on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:52:25 AM PST

  •  Don't stop kicking ass Russ! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    docangel, Positronicus

    And don't let them take away my right to give President Bush the finger to his face! :)

  •  As a Cheesehead (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cream City, zett, jdbrooklyn, Positronicus

    I am extemely proud of whatever you decide to do already.  You will excell at whatever that is.

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't. It's in the bible!

    by d3n4l1 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:54:31 AM PST

  •  Your Presence in '08 Will Be Missed (4+ / 0-)

    Many of us really wanted you to run--and win, but respect your decision. Perhaps you can help us lobby Mr. Gore into throwing his hat into the ring?

  •  I would've gotten a Feingold for President... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, jdbrooklyn, Positronicus

    sticker and adorned it proudly.  While I'm disappointed by your decision, I'll be happy to have you in the Senate for a long time.

  •  Just as well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus

    No, hear me out, before you throw the tomatoes. I've wondered whether a Democratic president, any Democratic president would be able to hold the office for two terms. Any Democratic president (perhaps even a Republican one as well) will need to make difficult choices to fix the mess this president and his party has made. Perhaps we should sacrifice a Democrat who'd be on his/her way out, so to speak? Just my musings....

  •  What a shame... (4+ / 0-)

    I would've gone to hell and back to make you the next President, Senator Feingold.

  •  In my perfect world (4+ / 0-)

    I would get to vote for Feingold / Kucinich in '08. And it would be a landslide in your favor.
    Senator, you are one of a mere handful of elected representatives who deserve respect. Please keep up the good fight, and please continue to use your position for the betterment of all Americans. And try to help your more timid peers to find their frickin' cajones.

    "Letting Bush interpret the Geneva Conventions is like letting Hitler interpret the Talmud." Randi Rhodes

    by mrgrandefromage on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:14:47 AM PST

  •  Senator, may I contribute to your list? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    First off: thank you for posting your decision here at Kos, that means a lot to me and clearly everyone!!!
    In a way I'm sorry for your decision since you're the ONLY senator who rejected the Patriot Act!!! (and thank you for that too, at least you've got your head screwed on correctly).
    The one item I'd like to add to your important list of what we, collectively, need to work on is the crucial issue of re-instating Habeus Corpus!!!  I know you said: protecting America while also protecting our rights and freedoms, which I take to mean HABEUS CORPUS!!!  We've got your back Sir. Thank you!!

    --the first female speaker of the house of representatives EVER? That's right: a Democrat

    by jdbrooklyn on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:14:47 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadB0y, zett, Positronicus, mtspace

    You are the only person worthy of the office of the president right now, so it's really sad to hear that you're not running. I was looking forward to enthusiastically supporting you, and I'm in the south.

    Now the remaining people who could run are social conservatives. Fun.

    Thanks for all you're doing in the senate, and I wish you'd reconsider.

    We are the youth, we'll take your fascism away. (-7.50, -7.33)

    by indiemcemopants on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:20:18 AM PST

  •  You are a true Statesman.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, Positronicus, mtspace

    and I thank God and your parents for you!  Please keep this community posted on your plans, hopes and dreams for real democracy.   You're one of the few  elected officials (maybe the only) with a real set of principles and the cojones to make a stand.  Thank you, sir!

  •  Okay. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    I haven't even read the 389 other comments yet - I've been in a RL black hole for the last two days, but caught your email and then saw this post here.

    Stunning.

    My first thought is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." You have served your country well in your current position, and I'm guessing you'll be able to do so as long as you wish.

    My second thought? "Please don't let this clear the way for Hillary Clinton."

  •  I have to buy some Wisconsin cheese (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    "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."

    Strangely enough, many of us pay more attention to positions that to "personalities".  Especially, Senator is one of very rare politicians who strive to have consistent and logical positions, that one can understand even while having a different opinion.

    Good luck, Senator, you will have a full plate indeed, but I am puzzled who will be a better candidate in 2008.  I mean, a better candidate that will actually run.

  •  Dare I say, sir, "You are wrong." (5+ / 0-)

    I've seldom disagreed with you, Senator Feingold.  I do today.  Sadly.

    1.  America deeply needs a President who does not crave the office.  It's not about you, Senator.  It's about America.
    1.  You are the man best suited to lead this nation and your decision not to serve is wrong.  Well intentioned and principled, to be sure, but nonetheless wrong.

    Thank you for being a voice in American politics, and for all of your efforts, past and future, on behalf of all of us.

    "Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner." - James Bovard

    by Gasonfires on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:37:59 AM PST

  •  I always said to myself, if not to others (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    that I would support whatever decision you made.  I knew I could count on you to make your decision based on what you thought best for the country.

    While I am personally disappointed (I so wanted to campaign for you) it is your life and your decision to make.

    I will keep my eyes peeled for opportunities to help my favorite Senator in whatever way a country girl from WV can.  In the past, I have faxed my Senators and others with what amounts to this message on more than one bill: Do what Russ said! Be like Russ. :) I am prepared to do that again.  I am also prepared to continue my (albeit meager) donations to PPF. Please let me know what else I can do to support the good work I know you will continue to do.

    I usually try not to be maudlin, but I can't help this:

    In my heart, you are my President.

    It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something. - Russ Feingold

    by zett on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:40:49 AM PST

  •  My very best wishes to Senator Feingold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back

    What I sent in my reply to the email I received:

    I am very sorry to hear this message about not running for president in 2008.  I can not think of a better person to run this country than one who has shown the courage that Senator Feingold has consistently shown.  He kept me going when the days were dark. He was someone to believe in and trust.  

    I understand that serving in the Senate is very important.  I am grateful to have him on important committees.  I shall hope for maybe a change of mind about running for president in 2012.

    All my very best wishes and many thanks to the Senator who stands tall for decency and what is right.

    "Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit." Wade Davis

    by cfk on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:49:20 AM PST

  •  Thanks Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    You had my vote in '98 and '04 and will continue to have it for any office you choose to persue.

  •  Typical for you: a wise and thoughtful decision (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Thank you for putting the good of the country first, as you always do. I feel much better knowing YOU'VE got OUR backs.

  •  Keep kicking ass, Senator. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Censure this rotten president we have.  He deserves far more, but censure is a good start.

  •  As i said in my diary this week... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett

    I trust you to make the decision, and i support you 110 percent.  I am so excited to see you lead in your committees and in continuing to set a very high ethical bar.

    Good luck Senator.

  •  It's a disappointment, Senator Feingold, though (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    it's totally understandable and I humbly disagree that a piece of Wisconsin cheese could possibly be as convincing as you have been and will be whenever you stand up and speak truth to power.

    I salute your service to our country.  We are lucky to have you!

  •  You Are A Patriot (4+ / 0-)

    Senator Feingold, you are truly a patriot. I would have volunteered for your campaign if you had decided to run. But I respect your reason for not running and we all know that the work to undo the damages has just begun.  

  •  My first vote ever (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, Positronicus

    ...I voted for you for the Wisconsin State Senate. My last vote in Wisconsin, before moving to the hinterlands of Texas, I helped send you to the United States Senate. You were, have been, and always will be, the perfect man for the job. Thank you for standing up for our Democratic principles, and I wish you only the best in the future.

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. ~ John F. Kennedy | (-7.88, -4.05)

    by machka on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:04:55 PM PST

  •  Please Push for Repeal Patriot Act, Etc. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Cato come back, Positronicus

    As disappointed as I am, nevertheless that gives you strength to position yourself with clarity on critical issues.
    Thank you for being one of the few patriotic members of the Senate who apparently bothered to read and understand the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the the rule of law.
    Please push for the repeal of the Patriot Act. I think you will have allies. Go meet Tester from Montana.
    Please repeal IMMEDIATELY the military auth act from a few weeks ago that allowed rape and torture and suspension of habeas corpus.
    Please repeal the language buried in one bill that lets the president (note the case of that word) do an end run around posse comitatus and governors and in essence implement martial law at will with the National Guard.
    Please make sure that any bill resurrected to make unwarranted wiretapping of American citizens legal is dead on arrival.
    In other words, please give us back our Constitution, please lead a drive to remind all members of Congress of their oath of office.
    The wife of a friend of mine back in Alabama wrote and asked if we were feeling better after the election. I wrote back that at least I had suspended, for now, researching retirement options in Canada and Costa Rica. Believe me, I had been. At 60 I had every reason to believe we were spiraling into a police state.

  •  aww, damn. (3+ / 0-)

    You'd have had my vote.

  •  I think I understand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus
    Senator Feingold.  No sense in making the aggressive stance you are going to take with the administration a political issue such that you stand accused of grandstanding for your candidacy.

    We appreciate your sacrifice and wish you success in helping us turn this thing around in the most aggressive manner possible over the next two years.

  •  of course, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    threre's a "secondary" high-profile job you DON'T have to campaign for.

  •  Thanks Senator Feingold (4+ / 0-)

    for having the courage and strength of character and critical thinking to be one of our very best Senators.
    I always love to hear your questions during Congressional testimony because your objective is simply to get at the truth and serve the public interest.

    I appreciate your courage to vote against the Patriot Act and of course to vote against the IWR. I too worry about the judgement of Senators who voted for it.

    I hope you enjoy the next Session of Congress now that Democrats (the grownups) are in charge. You will now have the opportunity to bring your formidable skills to bear and in the process, hopefully, help persuade a large majority of voters that "Democrats do it better". We need that in order to fortify our majority in 2008, win the Presidency and start reversing some of the unconstitutional horrors perpetrated by the Bush/Cheney regime.

  •  BRAVO! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, Cato come back, Positronicus

    I believe you would be an excellent President, but I feel you are still much needed in the Senate. Mr. Feingold, you are truly our "watchdog", and you need to continue this important work. Bless you for realizing this.

    "I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down yet"

    by MadMs on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:22:36 PM PST

  •  For What it's Worth.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Thank you for often being the lone voice identifying the most egregious offenses of the current Administration.  
    Thank you for being principled, and taking a stand when  it was most desperately needed.  

    Please continue as best as you see fit.  You're doing the nation a great service.

    It actually IS time for a change!

    by netguyct on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:22:46 PM PST

  •  Heartfelt thanks for your leadership and courage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    Sir, you were always a beacon of hope in the darkness of the last 6 years.

  •  Thank you, sir (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    You have important work where you are, but just know that if you did change your mind you'd have much support.

    BUSH KILLS DEMOCRACY

    by LeighAnn on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:29:33 PM PST

  •  Thanks, Russ. (3+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your service.

    Thank you for your honesty.

    While I'm a little disappointed that you're not runing, I'm delighted that there are politicians of suitable stature... who could run, seriously... and choose not to, and the reasons are good, non-political ones.

    We're better off fo having you in the Senate.  

    My thanks to the voters of your state for putting you there, and keeping you there....

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:32:00 PM PST

  •  Yours is a strong voice of reason (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    and your integrity, an example for all.

    We are deeply grateful to you and your outstanding service to the people of Wisconsin and the nation.

    While many of us believe that you would be an outstanding President, we greatly appreciate your thoughtful and principled work in the Senate.

    We are fortunate to have you in any capacity.

    Thank you.

  •  Thank you very much, Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, Positronicus

    for all your words, for being honest, for showing that you value your oath of public service.

    Godspeed.

    There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one. -5.25, -4.67

    by wolverinethad on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 12:51:40 PM PST

  •  I was looking forward to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, DBunn, Positronicus

    your straight-forward honesty and courage out there on the campaign trail.  The country is in desperate need of some real leadership right now.  However, we are also in need of long-term stalwarts in Congress to keep our ship of state on a steady course.

    Of the available field, you've been the only one earning my trust.  There's a certain depth in your judgment that others simply don't measure up to.  But, it is because I do trust your judgment that I believe your decision not to run for president (this time) is inherently wise.  It is not a decision I welcome, but it's one I accept.  We do need you in the Senate.  We need more like you in the Senate.  Perhaps, with your help, we can make that happen.  (Can we require x-rays of candidates to ensure there's a backbone hidden somewhere inside the package of visible flesh?)

    Discovering you some months ago, watching you emerge as the one (and sometimes the only one) articulating what defines the real core of this nation, its unique character, kept my head above water so to speak.  For the first time in decades, I was way ahead of the game.  I knew exactly who my choice would be for '08.  Your principles, ethics, honesty, and record left no doubt.  Thank you for restoring my confidence.  I look forward to your continued wisdom and efforts in influencing the policies of this nation.  It's reassuring to know you'll be there for us.  You're one of a kind in my book.

    •  Beautiful comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Positronicus

      You said it well, better than I could.

      My hope is that Sen. Feingold will be able to use his position in the Senate to help create the underlying conditions for other candidates (who are running for Pres) to take more progressive positions.

  •  Disappointing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, DBunn, Positronicus

    This is a real blow to those looking for a progressive champion to back for 2008.  I can still get excited about Gore, maybe Edwards but after that there is no one currently being discussed that gets me terribly excited.

    The upside is that we've got Feingold advancing the cause in a Democratically-controlled Senate and that's an alternative I might have gladly settled for just a couple of weeks back.

    Thanks Senator Feingold for the great work!

  •  You've set a benchmark (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Cato come back, DBunn, Positronicus

    by your courage, one I hope your peers will pay heed to as they work to repair the damage from this Administration.

    Thank you for providing hope and leadership when it seemed there was no one to answer those needs. May you continue in happiness!

  •  Thank you for your wonderful service of all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, DBunn, Positronicus

    the people of the United States.

    I think of you as my Senator too, even though I am in New Hampshire.

    I have one thing to ask: please consider involvment with the DSCC: we need a voice inside the mechanism to effect change. The actions of the DSCC in this last cycle were troubling and new voices must be heard in the next election cycle.

  •  Thank you sir (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cato come back, DBunn, Positronicus

    I admit I'm a little disappointed you're not running for President, but looking at the last several years in perspective, it may be that we need you in the Senate even more.

  •  Thank you, Senator Feingold. (5+ / 0-)

    I would have voted for you for president, but I am happy you will be there in the Senate for this first important round of wrestling with the tactics of the Bush Administration. For instance, please join with Jim Webb, Barbara Boxer and others in a real push to get Bush to admit that he won't leave Iraq until he's sure he has established permanent bases there. In many polls, the people of the U.S. have said they don't want this, yet Bush and Cheney continue on their covert path to establishing permanent occupation of Iraq and saber rattling at Iran and Syria from within Iraq.

    Please work hard to make sure we do not wind up as permanent occupiers of Iraq.

    Thanks for all your hard work, and please help reinstate habeas corpus. Our constitution needs you.

    "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

    by martyc35 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 01:50:46 PM PST

  •  Judicary Committee (4+ / 0-)

    Senator, heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your courageous leadership on the the Judiciary Committee during recent confirmation hearings.  While you absolutely would have had my vote for President, I am deeply grateful that the country will have a cool head like yours on the Judiciary Committee when we begin to try to undo the right-ward tilt begun under Reagan and reaching its apex (or nadir) under President Bush, et al.  

    I also extend my gratitude for your laser-sharp questioning of Administration officials on the NSA eavesdropping program.  And your solitary opposition to the destructive Patriot Act.  I know there's more that I'm missing, but you get the idea:  you've been watched and you have inspired so many of us with your work.

    There is so much work that needs to be done on Capitol Hill.  So very much.  Thank you for your service to date and the able service I know you will provide in the future.  

    All the very best to you.  

    Had enough. Voted Democrat, 2006. Woohoo!

    by DC Scott on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 01:53:10 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, jdbrooklyn, DBunn, Positronicus

    If only more of our representatives would realize how much we need integrity in Washington.  

    Tell everyone there:  Stop the lies.  Stop the spin.  Let's get this country back on track!

  •  Hey Russ! Can we clone you a few hundred times?! (5+ / 0-)

    So we can have a Congress that takes it's responsibilities seriously, and looks out for the people instead of their own careers and the corps. who fund them? :)

    I'd love to see you as president, but you're doing a great job in the senate!

    "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." - Mother Jones

    by Erevann on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 01:57:07 PM PST

  •  You are among my favorite (4+ / 0-)

    ...senators, and I cherish you for your principled opposition to the Patriot Act. You were the only one who stood up for our freedom that day. I would vote for you for anything you ever chose to run for.

    "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

    by eyeswideopen on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 01:59:25 PM PST

  •  Russ' Senate agenda: Post Crescent interview (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, imabluemerkin, Cato come back, DBunn

    http://www.postcrescent.com/...

    Feingold will chair the Constitution subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee with oversight of civil liberties and privacy issues as well as the Africa subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee.

    ...Feingold intends to use his Constitution subcommittee to examine how much the Bush administration might have overreached its authority. “Clearly I’ll be fighting to make sure we don’t unnecessarily infringe on people’s civil liberties and the rights of innocent Americans — whether it be on illegal wiretapping or problems with the USA Patriot Act,” he said.

    The international spread of terrorism will be an area he will focus on as chair of the Africa subcommittee.

    ...”I certainly don’t have plans to do investigation after investigation,” said Feingold. “But there needs to be inquiries into what went wrong on a number of things from wiretapping to mistakes in the war in Iraq. And we will find the facts. And we will seek accountability where appropriate.

    $662.66
    51,245 votes for US Senator.

    by ben masel on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 02:07:17 PM PST

  •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DBunn, Positronicus

    Thank you for all you've done and for what you will do to return this country to a democracy!

  •  Things that Russ didn't talk about changing: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dangangry, Positronicus

    Ending state sanctioned torture
    Restoring habeas corpus
    Ending detentions without charge

    C'mon, Rusty. Let's tackle the things that REALLY matter first.

    Democrats have a mandate. Republicans go on man-dates.

    by HollywoodOz on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 02:19:32 PM PST

  •  Be the Swiss Cheese!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, DBunn, Positronicus

    We can't make someone run for President, if they don't want to 00 but the idea that the Democrats can create much of an agenda for change, while Bush is is office -- that just doesn't compute. While the White House is in such Conservative hands, I think the next Democratic presidential candidate will have more impact in crafting the new progressive agenda, than nay senator could dream of having.

    I'm especially disappointed, because I was really warming up to a Feingold candidacy. I was an Edwards supporter in '04, but I was arriving at the conviction that Russ Feingold would be the finest President of any of the possible candidates.  It isn't just the positions you espoused, It's also the person taking those positions. If Swiss Cheese would get the same support, then I say "Be Swiss Cheese." But, I think Russ Feingold is far more substantial than a block of cheese.

    This is disappointing news. I don't expect that you would get a great deal of consideration for Vice-President, but I hope that you would entertain that idea, at least. I hope you find your enthusiasm then.

    "We support your war of terror!" -- Borat Sagdiyev (a/k/a Sacha Baron Cohen)

    by FischFry on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 02:44:47 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, DBunn, Positronicus

    Your voice will definitely be missed from the 2008 primaries.

    "I understand fully that Iraq is not Vietnam. After all, President Bush is even there today."- John Kerry

    by TheJohnny on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 02:57:10 PM PST

  •  Sad to Hear, I had High Hopes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, Positronicus

    I've always thought that any politician who runs for office because they want to be a politician is the wrong person for the job. I wish it was possible to draft you for president.

    "lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed"

    by yuriwho on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 03:08:39 PM PST

  •  Swiss? No. Muenster? Maybe. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, Positronicus

    Beyond that, I'll echo the thoughts of the first comment, and note that it will be satisfying to have you working within the majority for a change.

    But hey, don't rule out the VP nomination, okay?

    I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

    by UntimelyRippd on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 03:19:47 PM PST

  •  #1 Task = Define Progressive, Publicize widely (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, Positronicus

    For a hundred years the financial and corporate elite attended diligently to demonizing everything Progressive.

    If people really knew what Progressive means, what Progressive does. . . . .

  •  Thanks, you cross-posting jewel of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, pop tart, Positronicus

    a Senator. I just told my brother the other day that you were high on my list of possible Pres. contenders.
    Thanks for letting us know, and thank you for your service to the Nation.

  •  Cheers Mate! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pop tart, Positronicus

    I voted for you twice back in my Wisconsin days, and they remain two of my proudest votes. I'm just a little chagrined that I won't get the opportunity to vote for you some more. But it's refreshing to see a politician approach the presidential race in an informed and strategic manner instead of as a platform for his personal ambitions. You come across as a guy who is genuinely concerned for his country's well-being. Any endorsements for the 2008 race? Since I was planning on voting for you, any other candidate would have to work pretty hard to win my approval...unless Dr. Dean wants to emerge from the shadows...but then he's as selflessly devoted to progress as you are, it seems. The two of you are classing us into obscurity! Stop acting so chivalrous, will ya?

  •  With you and Sherrod in the Senate Majority ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus

    ... I'm already beginning to hope for a better trade policy.

  •  Senator Feingold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus

    Since I heard about your vote against the PATRIOT Act I knew that you understood what the United States is really about, what it means to be a citizen and a real patriot. Even though I'm heartbroken by your decision not to run in '08, I understand and support your wishes. When I met you at that picnic this summer in Milwaukee ( and did the only job interview I've ever done at a picnic table!) I was impressed by your humility and willingness to listen. I hope you kick butt in the Senate for the next several years and that someday in the future you decide that it's time to run for president. When you do, I will be right there behind you, with lots of other Americans (witness this thread!) to take back our country and "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"!

    We hold these truths to be self-evident ...

    by randy lynn on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 04:13:52 PM PST

  •  No... I am afraid that a piece of cheese would (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus

    NOT have solicited the same response as you did from me. YOU Mr Feingold were a hell of a lot more then that and stood out because of who you were NOT because of your political claims.

    I appreciate your decision and can see the logic of it in many ways but I want to make sure that you realize how much of the passion surrounding you was because of YOU; your stands; your words; and your leadership.

    I'll look forward to following your further adventures in the Senate and will continue to hope to be able to follow you as president of our country someday.

  •  A politician without (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Positronicus

    an overblown ego is a grand thing.  Just keep up your good work and don't forget to check in with us, just because we are in the majority doesn't mean we can't still be friends and talk about issues.  Don't be a stranger here.

  •  Senator. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, pop tart, dangangry, Positronicus

    I am not an american (disclosure) and have no vote in american politics, but I would nevertheless ask you to consider my following points as the last remaining superpower is so influential in the world.  American politics deeply affect almost everyone.

    I am not sure what people mean by "off the table" but I really, really don;t like to hear it.  I think that you (as many others are not) are well aware that the invasion of Iraq was a heineous crime.  That crime has resulted in the death of over 655,000 people and place the whole world under threat.  It has impacted (trough oil prices) the standard of living of almost everyone on the planet.

    And we are angry.  Justifably angry.

    If Bush and cronies are not held to account then america will be supporting the criminal acts of his cabal.  America will be guilty (after the fact if you wish).  I don't want to see this.  I really, really don't want to see it.  So far the rest-of-the-world has maintained some tolerance in the hope that you will put things right.  If you fail to do this the tolerance will end and the USA will be public enemy number one.  I think the consequences for the USA (and the rest of the world) would be severe in the intermediate and long term.

    It is necessary that Bush et al. face justice.  It is more important than "getting your house in order", more important then "getting out of Iraq", more important than even global warming because unless justice is server you ability to do any of those other things is going to be a lot harder.

    Please, please see that justice is served.

    With respect and

    Best Wishes, Demena

    by Demena on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 04:41:47 PM PST

  •  You broke my heart Senator (5+ / 0-)
    I was really looking forward to working on your campaign.  Keep fighting the good fight in the Senate and I can only hope that some day you'll decide that its the right time to run for President and I'll be glad to do whatever I can to make sure you get there.
  •  Thanks for standing up what is right Russ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, pop tart, Positronicus

    Keep up the good fight, we will be there with you along the way.

    You know we live in strange times when hearing something as simple as the truth almost seems shocking.

    by redhaze on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:07:41 PM PST

  •  I really (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DBunn, Positronicus

    really wanted Russ to run for president. Many people disagree and brought up any excuse from him being Jewish to his divorces or his geographic location as reasons why he should not run, but I know that his principles, qualifications, and progressive ideas would win in a landslide. I'm not disappointed today, because Russ is exactly right. If he were to disappear from the senate to campaign next in the next two years, it would be "at our nations peril" to borrow a phrase.

    Here's to two good years of oversight, investigation, and checks and balances.

  •  You were my guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus

    Senator Feingold, of all the Democratic contenders, you stood out for me. I'm sorry you won't be running for Pres, but I understand and support your reasons for not doing so.

    I think I hear you saying what so many others here also say: that there's important work to be done, and we all must find the way that we can help the most. It might not be the glamor position, but as long as it's the position that helps the most, then that's the right choice.

    Ironic that even as you choose a "lesser" role for yourself, you reinforce the reasons that I wanted you for Pres in the first place.

  •  Senator Feingold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus

    Thank you for your integrity and leadership over the past 14 years - you're an inspiration. We'll be there for you in '10 and beyond.

  •  Senator Feingold--You Prove Us Right Once Again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WISCONSIDINK, Positronicus

    Mr. Senator, you make it so difficult to be angry at your decision.  On one hand, I'm not shocked or angry that you made this decision--indeed, it is in keeping with your selfless, impassioned character.  On the other, this country truly needs you at the helm come January 2009.  I can think of NO ONE who fills your stately shoes, Russ.  And I'm angry that I will have to settle for second best, whoever that may be.  I want to tell my children one day that I saw a truly rare, truly courageous leader steering our country to its highest potential.  

    I'll end with this: I'm still keeping my California for Feingold '08 blog running, however, in order to keep your visibility up and to show others what an outstanding job you'll continue to do in the Senate.

    Thanks for all that you have and will do for Americans, Senator Feingold.  You truly are an inspiration.

  •  Thanks Russ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WISCONSIDINK, Positronicus

    It's a joy having you for my senator, and I don't disagree with your decision to stay in the Senate. However, if you're tapped for the vice presidency, I hope you go for it. You're the best Dem we've got.

    Recipe For America - A people-powered movement to take back our food system

    by OrangeClouds115 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 05:57:47 PM PST

  •  Senator Feingold, thank you. (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your wisdom, your passion for our state and for our country, and for your persistence in speaking truth and common sense when no one else seemed willing to do so. I would love to see you elected President, an honor that I believe you have earned. But I am reassured by the knowledge that you remain my Senator, and that you will be there, reminding all of us of what an earnest, honest, and brave representative looks like and is capable of accomplishing. I've contacted your office many times, mostly to tell you that I am proud of you, but often to respectfully ask that you consider my viewpoint. You have never failed to respond. On one occassion, you sent a personally prepared and signed note. I know you're always listening, always there. Again, thank you.

    Sincerely,

    A proud and grateful Wisconsinite

    "Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightening..." Frederick Douglass

    by WISCONSIDINK on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:24:18 PM PST

  •  This reminds me of Bill Proxmire (0+ / 0-)

    ...another fine Wisconsin Senator, often discussed as a possible Presidential candidate, who always preferred to remain in the Senate, where he felt he could accomplish more for the people of this country. There is one big difference, however: looks like Russ won't need the hair transplant ;)

    "Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightening..." Frederick Douglass

    by WISCONSIDINK on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:36:30 PM PST

  •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for all your hard work. You have my deep appreciation.

    Liberal Thinking

    Think, liberally.

    by Liberal Thinking on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 06:48:55 PM PST

  •  Darn! (0+ / 0-)

    Russ, you appear to have more integrity and desire to truly make a difference for this country than anyone else serving in the Senate or House of Representatives.

    I spent quite a bit of time today raving about you and how I couldn't wait to hear if you were running for President in 2008 -- and I came home to find out the news that you aren't.

    You had my vote.

    I respect your decision not to run, and I respect your reasons for making that decision, but I am so very saddened that I won't have the opportunity to proudly cast my vote for you for President.

    Keep up the great work in the Senate! We're counting on you and the other Democrats in the House and Senate to put this country back on track... and make it easy for everyone to vote for a Democratic President in 2008 -- whomever that now will be.

  •  As disappointed as I am, Senator, (0+ / 0-)

    I respect your decision.  You've obviously thought it through, and I think that choosing to continue to do in the Senate that which you do so well is the right decision.  

    There's always 2016!

  •  Senator Feingold (0+ / 0-)

    You are a source of inspiration to me and although I believe you would make a fine president I wholeheartedly applaud your decision. The fact that you really are in a position to make a significant contribution is an asset to this entire community and indeed this entire nation. May God bless you and may you continue to carry out your work in the fashion that we have all come to appreciate.

  •  Did Russ answer the Lamont is anti-semitic smear? (0+ / 0-)

    Just wondering. I know for all his "support" his schedule did not permit him to come to Connecticut.
    Did he say "I know Ned Lamont and he's not anti-semitic"? That would have been great, but I don't recall seeing it.

    It seems there are a lot of Feingold experts here, so I'm sure someone knows. I wish Russ had run, because the things he has to say need to be heard on a national stage.

    •  anti-semitic (0+ / 0-)

      Did that cost Lamont any support during the campaign?

      •  The NY Times and Media Matters found it important (0+ / 0-)

        Some of Mr. Lieberman's supporters say there is a strain of anti-Semitism in the antiwar left that could make Jewish voters uneasy about supporting Mr. Lamont.

        "There's a small but vocal pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel and perhaps anti-Semitic faction of the Democratic Party,'' said Dan Gerstein, a former Lieberman aide and informal adviser to the campaign. "It is a small minority but it is getting bolder, and even worse. There is a growing tolerance of it in the progressive community."

        Mr. Lamont has tried to distance itself from the more strident anti-Israel positions of some his supporters. "To me, that has nothing to do with the campaign," he said. "But we decry it whenever we hear it."

        http://mediamatters.org/...

        People assumed Macaca was important in Virginia.

        •  Well (0+ / 0-)

          If a straight shooter like a former aide to Lieberman says Lamont is anti-semitic, by gum, it must be true. And a growing tolerance of palestine in the progressive community? Oh my. Unless Lamont flies a confederate flag and has a noose hanging in his office, or has the protocols of the elders of zion on his recommended reading list, this is bullshit. A condemnation by Feingold would have been helpful if only to show that Lieberman will do or say anything to benefit himself personally.

  •  Thank you, Senator Feingold (0+ / 0-)

    You were definately on my short list for Democratic presidential candidate for 2008 - I respect your decision, and thank you for your continued service and very good work.

    ```
    peace

  •  Bob LaFollette Would Be Proud... (0+ / 0-)

    ...of the most fearless, best darn Senator in the USA, Russ Feingold.  Not every Senator is running for President, you have important work to do.  Hangf in there and you know you will always have our support.

  •  Thanks for doing what's unpopular (0+ / 0-)

    but entirely necessary; the Senate is very fortunate to have you and you'll be an invaluable member of the majority.

  •  Why post it again Senator? (0+ / 0-)

    You announced your decision earlier and the news most certainly reached all of us? Why make a big show of doing it again?

    My suspicision is that some part of you really does want to run, and you want us to give you that encouragement to do it. In that case you have my support.

  •  Always remember Paul Wellstone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    va dare

    Russ,

    As you continue your stellar career in the Senate as our leading progressive voice, please keep Paul Wellstone in your heart.

    When tough votes arise, as they inevitably will, just ask yourself..."How would Paul have voted?"

    When you have to decide between taking a stand and going along, ask yourself..."What would Paul have done?"

    You won't go wrong by asking those questions.

    Best wishes from your friends and supporters in upstate New York.

  •  You will be missed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annefrank

    Your intelligence, wit, and humanity would have significantly raised the bar in the Presidential debates for 2008.

    Keep up the good work in the Senate. And on a personal note, I almost love Wisconsin swiss cheese as much as I love you.

  •  With all due respect: Blah, Blah, blah. (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't we hear all this from Cuomo in '88?

    Look where it got us.

    THANK YOU, HOWARD DEAN!

    by thinkdouble on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:40:52 PM PST

  •  Thank you for your courage (0+ / 0-)

    in basically STANDING ALONE in your warranted proposal to censure Bush!

    Not a victory for our Party -but an Opportunity for our Country. - Pelosi

    by annefrank on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:52:46 PM PST

  •  OBVIOUSLY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    this is why you MUST run.

    you don't have to run, but you can't make us stop saying it!

    btw, can you put chafee to some good use?

    strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

    by pyrrho on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:00:56 PM PST

  •  Missing you (0+ / 0-)

    Just in case you've got anyone tallying the responses here, know that this Asian American would be quite willing to bust her butt for presidential candidate Feingold and -- though stuck in another state -- will go on doing her best for Sen. Feingold, because Sen. Feingold has only ever done his best for America.  

    Thank you.

    --Kate

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:20:34 PM PST

  •  Wisconsin's is a proud progressive tradition.... (0+ / 0-)

    and you serve it well, Senator.

    Thank you and bless you, wherever your path may lead us...

    "the people have the power to redeem the work of fools" --Patti Smith

    by Immigrant Punk on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:24:07 PM PST

  •  You honor us, Senator Feingold (0+ / 0-)

    For many years now you have frequently been the lone voice of courage in the U.S. Senate.

    My preferred Democratic candidate for 2008 has wavered between yourself and General Clark.  The coin toss goes to Generl Clark only because you are such a bedrock of integrity for us in a Senate full of so many blowhards and cowards.

    Even if you were to win the Presidency, your absence from the Senate would have been a blow to our nation.

    You are an example of not only what a true Senator should be, but also what a true American should be.

    Look Out! Homosexuals are gonna force your guns to have abortions!

    by Predator Saint on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 10:25:43 PM PST

  •  Dear Senator Feingold (0+ / 0-)

    I respect your decision and it is true that there is much to be done.  If this is your choice, I am comforted by the fact that a man of your character will stand us in good stead wherever you serve.  I want to thank you for being a beacon of hope during the last six years when there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel.  Your courage in the most difficult circumstances heartened us.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  (If you change your mind, you have my vote!  You were my preferred candidate.)

  •  Quite Nobel (0+ / 0-)

    I donnot agree with all of your postions, but I am impressed with your nobility of spirit. I doubt I would have your humility if I where in your shoes...

  •  You are a stand up man Senator (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your courage and leadership.

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

    by Grant Caesar Peters on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:07:28 PM PST

  •  open (0+ / 0-)

    convention

    we'll stand him up against a wall and pop goes the weasel /rufus t. firefly

    by 2nd balcony on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 11:29:03 PM PST

  •  If not 2008, willyou run in the future? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett

    I have watched you on CSPAN and witnessed the confidence and integrity in all of your actions. I understand your reasoning to stay in the senate. But I hope that you will run someday. You would make an excellent president. Please keep this in the back of your mind as you help our country recover from the destruction of our civil liberties. You are the one person I believe would give up all the power that the Bush administration usurped these 6 years. I believe you would do this voluntarily.  This is why I wish you would change your mind. I trust you. I normally don't trust politicians.

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