Yeah, who here is actually shocked by this news?
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson will not run for the Republican nomination to take on Sen. Russ Feingold in the fall, WTMJ-TV (Channel 4)’s Charles Benson is reporting.
Thompson, governor for 14 years and a former cabinet secretary for President George W. Bush, had suggested he might want to enter the GOP race against Feingold, a Democrat. Recent polls show Thompson doing better against Feingold than Republicans who are in the race.
Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat seeking a fourth term in the Senate, was asking supporters in late March for campaign donations to help defeat the popular Republican politician should he decide to step into the race. In a fund-raising pitch, Feingold argued that he has taken on the special interests in Washington while Thompson has taken them on as clients.
Feingold faces two other Republican challengers – Terrence Wall, a Madison developer, and Dave Westlake, who owns a Watertown-based printer cartridge business.
Anyone who thought Thompson was actually going to run for the Senate, clearly doesn’t get Tommy G. Thompson. The guy loves being an executive, always has, always will. In discussions with old political science professors I’ve had dating back since 2000, I’ve always thought he’d hate being in the Senate (almost as much as Barack Obama did if “Game Change” is correct), and nothing has ever changed that in my opinion.
Now, if the guy can actually act like a party elder for once instead of a perpetual candidate…
UPDATE: Here’s what the Benson report is saying.
According to a source who have spoken with TODAY’S TMJ4 HD’s Charles Benson, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson says he will not run for Senator Russ Feingold’s seat.
Thompson is set to announce his future at a “tea party” rally in Madison on Thursday.
The source, who is close with Thompson’s family, tells Benson that he believees Thompson’s decision is not to run.
Thompson told The Associated Press on Wednesday morning that he hadn’t made up his mind on whether he’ll enter the race. He says, “The only person who knows what I’m going to do is myself and I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Benson explained that some of the reasons for not running include questioning how much power he would actually have as one of 100 U.S. senators and his successful business ventures which he would have to give up.
Pardon me while I bang my head against the nearest wall.
UPDATE II: Word is that we’ll know tomorrow what the decision is when Thompson speaks at a Tea Party Rally in Madison. What that is, is anyone’s guess.
UPDATE III: Welcome Hot Air readers!