WI-Sen: Tommy Thompson's Just Not That Into It
by Josh Orton, Fri Feb 12, 2010 at 06:00:28 PM EST
When asked specifically whether he'll challenge Russ Feingold, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson has usually been Captain Indecisive.
And that's fine - he can enjoy the publicity that comes with his hedging. But something tells me this race isn't up Tommy's alley, given that our former governor doesn't exactly seem ready to re-immerse himself in state-specific issues:
“This election… it’s going to be decided on things, you know, that really are not that particular to Wisconsin.”
There's two possible takes on Tommy's comment. I mentioned the first above - that Tommy's not keen on returning to the sort of comprehensive policy work that running for statewide office requires.
But there's a second possible take.
One of Feingold's declared Republican opponents, millionaire developer Terrence Wall, launched his campaign with an off-key TV ad attacking Feingold on two fronts: for supporting health care reform, and for not "listening anymore," despite the fact that Feingold goes to great lengths to visit all 72 counties in Wisconsin every year.
And Tommy Thompson knows that...it's no secret that Feingold consistently wins support from statewide independents who, while they may not agree with the Feingold on everything, know Senator Feingold well and trust his consistency.
So in a cycle when every Republican in America is running against Washington, how much room is there for a former Republican Cabinet Secretary who actually supported one of the Senate's versions of health care reform?
Probably not much. And Tommy's no fool.