24/7/365 campaign cycle broaches Fourth Dimension
Video via Cory Liebmann.
Republicans will say, 'This proves beyond any doubt that Russ Feingold is running scared from Tommy Thompson.' But I don't know about that. Thompson, despite his legendary profile in Wisconsin, is laden with baggage, much of which he's collected since he left the State (literally and figuratively: most significantly, the latter) to saddle up with the fondly remembered G.W. Bush administration.
For example, Secretary of Health and Human Services Thompson was cited by the Union of Concerned Scientists for rejecting a nominee — a Nobel recipient — to a department position because physiologist Torsten Wiesel had signed letters to the editor critical of Bush. (And as conservative Republicans teach nowadays, criticizing the President of the United States, well, that just isn't done in polite society.)
On the other hand it's not completely unreasonable that an individual of Tommy Thompson's entrenched position has long since lost count of how many corporations he's been serving in Washington, D.C.
Wait ... no, that's the same hand.
Feingold has been taunting Thompson ever since the "nonpartisan" (spare me) Wisconsin Policy Research Institute released "polling data" showing Feingold trailing significantly in a hypothetical match-up. WPRI, whose principals are closely connected to Thompson's career and fortunes, could scarcely contain its glee, and issued a statement for which they were "scolded" by UW Prof. Ken Goldstein, the academic-on-contract who'd collected the underlying numbers.
Comes now the result of a Rasmussen tally, showing Thompson and Feingold in a dead heat. Further, adjusting for Rasmussen's demonstrated historical propensity to skew conservative and Republican, that makes Feingold actually a polling favorite to beat not only Thompson, but also Feingold's two current (allegedly) non-hypothetical challengers Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake.
Thompson "hasn't ruled out" — as the saying goes — challenging Feingold so the WisDems campaign isn't so much one of fear but rather simply preparedness. Besides, they've got money to spend (good for the economy) and since neither T. Wall nor D. Westlake are serious candidates, they've got to spend it on something.