Traveling Companion: Jim Pinkerton
Event: Russ Feingold interview
Here's something I've been noticing: more than a few Republicans don't want to come out and play this year. Couldn't find hide nor hair of Pat Toomey, the Senate candidate in Pennsylvania (and I offered to visit him during the week before the road trip began). Here in Wisconsin, where incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold is facing Republican Ron Johnson, the indefatigable Katy Steinmetz--round of applause here--worked the phones relentlessly over the weekend, but couldn't prise a schedule, much less an interview, out of his campaign staff for today. (We checked with a local political reporter who said this was not an uncommon experience). "He's the country club version of Rand Paul and Sharron Angle," said Feingold, whose seat Johnson is trying to win. "He says three things about me: I'm a career politician. I have no plan to replace the jobs that have been lost. And I'm helping the President run up the deficit. Doesn't say a word about what he would do, of course."
Feingold is in a tough race, pretty much a dead heat right now, because of the general dyspeptic spirit in the electorate. But he's confident he'll win, in large part because his maverick, populist record has keep him outside both Democratic and Republican orthodoxy on some of the most important issues this year: He's opposed free trade deals, which he says is the primary cause of lost jobs in Wisconsin.
( His is a voice that needs to be heardCollapse )
All my Cheesehead brethren and sistren better be out voting for Russ tomorrow.