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Posts tagged with “Tommy Thompson”

No Tommy for Senate [Or Maybe Yes…]

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!

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Daily Quick Hits

Video of the Day

A quick capture by the NRCC of Kagen in full “Talking Point Regurgitation Mode.”

You know, the job of a Press Secretary is to be on top of things to make sure her boss doesn’t make a fool out of himself in front of a national cable audience.

By the way, it’s never a good sign when you have a White House Press Secretary tell the press at the briefing ‘The attorneys are looking at it.’

The “What the $^&*” Story of the Day

There’d be comedy in this, if it weren’t so sad given his addiction and how no one in Madison seems to give a damn about getting him the help he needs because Democrats need his vote.  Tragedy thy name is enabling.

Rep. Jeff Wood had more than eight times the “therapeutic” range of an ingredient found in cough syrup when he was arrested in September 2009.

A state lab test result, which was obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal through a state open records request, showed Wood had high levels of Dextromethorphan (DXM) in his system when he was arrested by the State Patrol in Marathon County in September.

The drug is an over-the-counter cough suppressant commonly found in cold medications, which is often abused by adolescents to “generate euphoria and visual and auditory hallucinations,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Illegal use of DXM, which is also known as “poor man’s PCP,” is often called “Robo-tripping” or “skittling.”

PPP’s Russ-Tommy Poll

I know a bunch of liberal bloggers in Wisconsin are over-joyed by it (The Chief, dude, seriously, language.)  But I noticed this; as did the state media, Feingold went from being up 9 last November to being up 3…in a Democratic Polling Firm’s poll.

(Maybe if they keep calling Tommy a lobbyist some more…)

USPS Requests to Go Five Days-a-Week

Congress must still approve the move; but the time has come, and kudos to the Post Office for either seeing its own likely demise because of technology ahead of time.

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The Democratic Game Plan Against Tommy

When is a guy who never lobbied anyone; let alone even registered to lobby as a lobbyist in Washington?  When he’s Tommy Thompson, former Governor of the state of Wisconsin and former HHS Secretary, and he has to audacity to even contemplate challenging Russ Feingold to a Senate race.

As clearly pointed out by “DPW’s Brain,” Bill “Xoff” Christofferson, this memo by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling out of North Carolina seems to indicate the question about lobbying and who loves them is being asked.

We’ll have our full Wisconsin Senate numbers out tomorrow, and it’s a close race between Russ Feingold and Tommy Thompson. But there was one piece of information in the poll that bodes particularly ill for Thompson…and Dan Coats in Indiana as well.

1% of Wisconsin voters have a favorable opinion of Washington lobbyists. I think something polling at 1% is a new one for us. 77% view them negatively. And you better believe that if Thompson gets in the race that Washington lobbyist card will get played over and over and over again.

Tax and spend liberals, which Feingold is sure to be labeled as, are considerably more popular than Washington lobbyists. Only 53% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of them, and 18% even like them!

A bad national political climate has Feingold looking potentially a lot more vulnerable than would have been expected a year ago, but what Thompson’s been doing since leaving the Bush administration could end up being baggage on par with Feingold’s association with an unpopular Congress. We’ll have those numbers out in the morning.

PPP’s numbers are supposed to be out today.  I’m sure if they show Thompson in the lead, Christofferson will call them WPRI-paid shills.

Thompson may never even enter the race.  So admittedly, it is fun watching the Feingold campaign and other liberals chase shadows until a decision is made.

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Maybe Tommy for Senate is Happening

Admittedly, I’m still in the camp of “Believe it when he announces,” but this story in today’s Politico does make it look like a “Tommy for Senate” Campaign might be moving out of the “Hey, that’s a nice idea / match-up” stage, and actually into the “planning stage.”

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who served four terms as Wisconsin governor, is securing financial pledges and ramping up his outreach to longtime political aides in preparation for a possible campaign against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Thompson has alerted his Washington-based law firm of his moves and is contacting key clients about the prospect of challenging Feingold, the most tangible signals yet that he’s seriously exploring a 2010 campaign.

“The governor has taken additional steps in the past week and will continue to do so over the next several weeks. If the meetings go well, you can expect to see an exploratory committee set up near the end of March,” former state commerce secretary and Thompson campaign manager Bill McCoshen told POLITICO.

Another longtime Thompson ally said the governor already has $200,000 in potential donations for a campaign that doesn’t yet exist.

“If you talked to me two weeks ago, I would have put it at a 50-50 shot. Now it’s at 70,” said the Thompson aide, who requested anonymity to avoid offending his friend. “He’s asking serious questions like, ‘Who would run the campaign? Who would do the fundraising? When would we announce? How much could we raise?’”

“Gov. Thompson has taken every opportunity in the media to try to remind voters he’s popular and get his ego stroked,” said Sachin Chheda, a Democratic consultant and chairman of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party. “We’re not seeing anything other than the usual dance where he likes to see his name in the paper, which occurs every few years when an election comes up.”
The Politico reports Thompson insiders say any sort of announcement for a Senate run won’t occur until the State GOP Convention, which is May 21-23, in Milwaukee.
Tommy does like the big lights and the big events ah?
Frankly, I think waiting that long is a bad move.  Especially, if he’s not running since he’ll be taking away momentum which could go to the Terrance Wall candidacy if that’s all Republicans in Wisconsin end up with.  It’s not fair to the Wall or Westlake campaigns, just as it wasn’t fair to the Green and Walker campaigns in 2006.  Somewhere, Thompson probably knows this.
You just wonder if his ego cares.

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Thompson Joins Hedge Fund

Taegan Goodard reported on this late last night; seems former Governor of Wisconsin and HHS Secretary (not to mention hopeful Senate candidate to some) joined a hedge fund in an advisory role…yesterday.

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was announced as the newest advisor to a Peak Ridge Capital Group venture capital fund.

Thompson, who served as governor for America’s Dairyland for four terms from 1986 through 2002, was known for his push for healthcare reform. Not surprisingly, he was also the secretary of health and human services for President George W. Bush from 2001 until 2005.

Thompson will be relied upon at Peak Ridge for his expertise in agriculture and agribusiness. The firm is currently investing its agricultural technology fund, having announced its first investment from the vehicle.

Rapid Diagnostek is a Wisconsin-based company developing a hand-held device to test for illness or disease in 60 seconds.

The fund is designed to invest in agricultural technology companies providing solutions for food supply, lowering the cost of production and improving efficiencies in the supply chain. The fund also invests in clean technologies, as well as chemicals, systems and biofuels processes.

How this effects any run for any public office is anyone’s guess?  Though, given the Chelsea Clinton (she still works for one in New York City) and John Edwards (he joined to ‘do research on poverty) connections to hedge funds in the past, I’d love to see how this one gets used as an attack by DPW and the DSCC if Thompson does make the plunge.

However, joining a new firm pretty much means Tommy isn’t running.  Any other kind of speculation is just kidding yourself.

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Yes, But Will Tommy Pull the Trigger

Every time I read a “Thompson Mulling Senate Run” story, I flashback to the 2003 Wisconsin Republican Convention in Stevens Point where I was sitting with the Outagamie Co. delegation begging with the rest of those present for the former Governor-turned HHS Secretary (or was he former Secretary in May 2003…) to run against Russ Feingold.  As history, he turned down the request of the crowd, and in fact, started naming legitimate candidates to run in his stead.

(Former Lt. Governor Margaret Farrow was one of them if memory serves…)

Well, the Politico has another one of these stories today.  I’ve had numerous talks with numerous people and I keep telling them the same about a Tommy Senate run: “I don’t know.”

Then the topic would change to a “Well, what if Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts” scenario.  Again, my answer was: “I don’t know.”

So once again, if Tommy jumps in, I’m gonna say I’ll back him all the way, but can “Hamlet-Brett Favre” act stop once and for all?

Former Wisconsin Gov. and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson is still considering a challenge to Sen. Russ Feingold (D).

In a brief interview Wednesday about the possibility of a Senate run this year, Thompson, a Republican, would only say: “I’m not saying no.”

The former governor mused last fall about a potential gubernatorial or Senate run, but if he does mount a campaign this year, it’s now almost certain to be a run against Feingold.

A Thompson-Feingold contest could become one of the country’s marquee matchups. Republicans have so far been unable to recruit a top-tier challenger to take on Feingold, who is one of the body’s most liberal senators.

That Thompson is seriously weighing a bid against Feingold illustrates how promising Republicans believe this November could be for the party. Following Scott Brown’s shocking win Tuesday in the Massachusetts special Senate election and victories in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial contests last November, GOP officials believe it will become easier to woo potential candidates.

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PPP Polling: Feingold Would Beat Thompson

I have some issues with the polling — mainly that it took place over a weekend, which is never a good time to get a solid poll sample — but expect this to be the headline all over Wisconsin political websites as Public Policy Polling (PPP) out of North Carolina says that as of this past weekend, Russ Feingold leads former Governor Tommy Thompson in a theoretical Senate match-up.

Democrats are having to work harder than expected to defend a lot of their Senate seats in 2010, but it doesn’t look like Wisconsin will be one of them.

Russ Feingold leads former Governor Tommy Thompson 50-41 in a possible match up.  He takes 88% of the Democratic vote to Thompson’s 82% of the Republican vote and also holds a 47-41 lead with independents.

Thompson no longer has the popularity that propelled him to four terms as Governor.  45% of voters in the state have an unfavorable opinion of him to just 38% who view him positively. Even 25% of Republicans view him negatively and he has little crossover support, with just 17% of Democrats saying they have a favorable opinion of him.

Feingold’s numbers are almost a mirror image with 45% of voters approving of his job performance to 37% who disapprove. Feingold also holds solid leads against a couple of minor Republican candidates- 47-32 over Dave Westlake and 48-34 over Terrence Wall.

Last month, a poll by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute put this match-up as Thompson 43 – Feingold 39; I forget what the numbers in a Feingold-Westlake and Feingold-Wall match-up were.  The inconsistency of the polling only means more polling is probably coming down the road.

At this time, I have a hard time buying the numbers because 1) It’s a Democratic Polling firm, so you have to always put whoever is the partisan-leaning entity into account, and 2) weekend polling traditionally tends to lean-heavily to Democrats.  That’s not to say they aren’t correct, but it’s hard to believe that 25% of Wisconsin Republicans now disapprove of Tommy Thompson.  If anything, that’s likely them venting their frustration with the constant media self-aggrandizing Thompson seems to be doing with his Hamlet act of “Will I run for another office again?”

(For my money, it’s unlikely he’s running for anything.  Tommy just likes the attention.)

I’ve been going over the rest of the PPP results issued today, and while the Thompson news will make headlines; if I were a Democrat, I’d be worried, because these are not the results you want to be seeing twelve months out from the mid-term elections.  I’ll hope to have a post on that later on.


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Tommy Thompson: “DNC Misquoted Me!”

Um, Zach, Corey…time to retract.

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The Hill: Poll Shows Tommy Thompson Leading Feingold in Senate Match-up

He keeps telling anyone who will put a mic in front of him that he has one campaign left in him.  Will this poll — by WPRI and UW-Madison’s Ken Goldstein — be enough to spark that campaign?

Only Tommy Thompson knows that answer.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) won’t be on anybody’s target list unless things get pretty bad for Democrats, but a new poll shows the right candidate could at least have a shot at beating him.

The poll, which was conducted by University of Wisconsin professor Ken Goldstein for the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, shows former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) leading Feingold 43-39 in a head-to-head matchup. Thompson hasn’t shown interest in running against Feingold, though, and his inclusion in the poll represents something of a best-case-scenario for Republicans.

In contrast, Feingold polled double-digit leads over Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and former Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.) in June.

Feingold has never taken more than 55 percent of the vote in three races, but he’s not generally thought of as a top potential target. Now that Republicans have apparently landed Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) to run in that state, perhaps they will try to get candidates in races against Feingold and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.).

And since it’s been brought up in a recent Dan Bice column, yeah I’ll put myself in that  list of conservative bloggers who’ve said things about Tommy Thompson.  Most of them have been about polls like this, which highlight Thompson being a strong candidate for one of Wisconsin’s two Senate seats and then when asked about running, he hems and haws about possibly doing it, mentions other candidates and then does nothing.

Frankly, I’m sick of the political dick tease from the man; and pollsters need to stop giving him the ammo to do this to Wisconsin Republicans every two years unless for once, he’s finally serious about running.

ADDENDUM: That being said, if he does run this time, “Good I say.”  This is one time I’d like to be wrong about Tommy Thompson and would gladly eat crow over.

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