Russ Feingold agrees that the Democrats need a common touch and a Contract with America:
Talking at length about his political plans and the future of his party, Sen. Russ Feingold said he would consider running for president in 2008 if there is enough encouragement and interest from Democrats and if he thinks he has a real shot at winning the nomination..."If at some point people say, 'Hey, we think you ought to run for president' (and) it's a serious thing, I'm going to listen. I would only run if I honestly believed that I was the guy that really could win, that I was the person who was the best candidate to run," said Feingold...Feingold is in the process of setting up what is known as a leadership PAC, or political action committee, a common vehicle for potential national candidates to make campaign donations and fund travel...Feingold said his double-digit victory in a swing state, despite Republican fire over his opposition to key Bush policies such as the Iraq war, the USA Patriot Act and the No Child Left Behind education law, "gives me a little bit of a forum to say, 'Look, Democrats ought to be proud of their views, and stand tall to defend them.' "That makes me think more about what we could do nationally if we had more of that kind of approach" ...he suggested that the Democratic Party's prospects for victory in 2008 would have less to do with tacking to the left or to the center, what region its nominee comes from or whether the candidate is from inside or outside Washington than with choosing somebody who can "connect" with voters. He mentioned President Bush, former President Bill Clinton and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as three politicians with different backgrounds and politics who shared that ability. He also acknowledged that the Democrats' past two nominees, Kerry and Al Gore, were perceived as lacking that touch. "It's the person people can relate to, the person that makes them feel comfortable, seems to be sincere, maybe has some of the straight-type qualities of McCain," Feingold said. "That's the kind of person I want to be our nominee. Whether or not I would ever fit that bill I think is a very open question," said the senator, although he said, "I hope that's my strength." Saying Democrats have a tendency to "talk about wonky lists of issues instead of the real pain that families are feeling," Feingold cited the 1994 Republican Contract with America as an example of effective communication. "I didn't agree with them, but they had this nice direct way of talking about how the average person really feels about their government. And about common-sense solutions . . . It was a way of talking about things that made you feel that they had actually listened to people first."
Hey, we think you ought to run for President.


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