Sunday, January 20, 2008

Feingold: Won't Endorse, Finds Edwards “Problematic!”

Aside from, perhaps, Al Gore, the presidential endorsement that most interests me is that of the man who I had hoped would run in 2008, Russ Feingold. As someone who has worked in the Senate with Clinton, Obama and Edwards, and who has been the single most consistent and principled supporter of progressive causes, I put great weight in his opinion on who would make the best president.

In this interview with the Appleton, Wisconsin, Post-Crescent, he indicates that, as of this point, he does not expect to make an endorsement, but he does seem to give what looks like a subtle “anti-endorsement” to John Edwards (my emphasis).
On the Democratic presidential candidates:

I did notice that as the primaries heated up, all of a sudden, all the presidential candidates — none of whom voted with me on the timeframe to withdraw from Iraq — all voted with me and when we did the Patriot Act stuff.

The one that is the most problematic is (John) Edwards, who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war … He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record.

When you had the opportunity to vote a certain way in the Senate and you didn't, and obviously there are times when you make a mistake, the notion that you sort of vote one way when you're playing the game in Washington and another way when you're running for president, there's some of that going on.

On whether he'll make an endorsement in the Feb. 19 Wisconsin primary:

Probably not. I'm having a hard time deciding between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as are many people. Those are the two I take the most seriously.

I go back and forth, to be honest with you. I'm torn on this whole issue of who's more likely to be progressive and really seek change vs. who's ready to do the job today. It really is a true dilemma in my mind.
I guess at the end of the day, in case my preferred choice, Barack Obama, doesn’t get the nomination, I have to take some solace in the fact that Feingold feels relatively favorable toward the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Frankly, it’s the first thing I’ve heard in weeks that reflects positively on her!


  1. Giraffe12:45 PM

    Unfortunately the process nearly destroys the candidates no matter who they are. I like Feingold, also and trust his judgment. I hate to see the democrats torn apart if Hillary wins. I, too am voting for Obama, but I want to get behind whoever wins. The stakes are too high. I'm so annoyed at Bill and how negative he has become. It's the way the game of running is played, but it is still going to give the republicans fodder for their mill.
    If she fights for us all as she is fighting for herself now, we will indeed be ahead in the long run. I just think Obama can bring more unity to the nation and get things done in another way. He doesn't think like the old guard. That's refreshing.

  2. Lost Wages Joe9:40 AM

    I saw the Feingold "non-endorsement" article on another site, and since my feelings towards Senator Feingold are similar to seenos', I was taken aback by his position on my preferred candidate, Edwards. This is the first criticism of Edwards that I've seen that I find credible, primarily because of the source.

    I still plan to support Edwards in the upcoming CA primary, but at this point it looks like its just going to be a "protest vote", cast in the hopes that Edwards can continue to steer the debate towards the issues that I'm most interested in.

  3. Lost Wages Joe4:52 PM

    Jane Hamsher at firedoglake has an interesting suggestion for Senator Edwards today; that he leave the campaign trail and go to Washington, to support Senator Dodd's fight against the FISA bill and retroactive immunity for the telecoms. The idea is to put Hillary and Obama on the spot to also do their jobs and return to DC to support Senator Dodd.

    I did as Ms. Hamsher suggested and e-mailed Senator Edwards, and I reminded my preferred candidate of Senator Feingold's recent criticism of his voting record. This was actually something that I'd been thinking about since Senator Dodd essentially suspended his candidacy a while back to return to DC to fillibuster the FISA bill. This is a great opportunity for whichever candidate is willing to do the right thing.