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Feingold: Clinton, Obama are excellent candidates

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Stacy Vogel
February 10, 2008
— One political issue on everyone’s minds right now is the presidential election, especially with Wisconsin’s primary approaching Feb. 19.

The Janesville Gazette and WISC-TV Madison asked Sen. Russ Feingold about the upcoming election:


Q: Are you planning to endorse a candidate?


A: “Unlikely. At some point I will, but I’m unlikely prior to the Wisconsin primary…


“On the one hand, I really want somebody who has the sort of experience and ready to be president-quality, but I also want somebody who has progressive principles and a record who is likely to try to do some exciting things to achieve change on a couple of key issues. I see both of these people (Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama) as excellent candidates. I considered them to be the only really strong candidates all along.”


Q: What kind of president do you think the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain, would make?


A: I have no problem working with Sen. McCain. I know how to work with Sen. McCain, but I will be supporting the Democratic candidate because I much more strongly agree with the positions they take… But I’m not likely to want to attack somebody that, frankly, I work with very well.”


Q: How does this presidential campaign compare to the one four years ago?


A: “That’s a completely different kind of race, because there we had a president who clearly wasn’t doing a good job, and they had to use an attack on John Kerry in order to tear him apart even though the country was clearly unhappy with what Bush was doing. It was an ugly kind of campaign.


“This could be a much more positive campaign. It may not end up that way, but the fact that we have two people with a pretty fresh slate that will end up running against each other maybe may allow a more positive campaign.”


Q: Do you think the primary system needs to be changed?


A: “I think people are a little frustrated at the way it was so front-loaded. There was a possibility there that after just Iowa and New Hampshire that the whole thing would be over. Of course it didn’t happen that way, which I think is probably a good thing. But I think some people worry that none of the states in the other parts of the country, none of the larger states, would have any input. I think that would cause some real problems.


“So maybe, some people are looking at the possibility of having maybe Iowa and New Hampshire first and then having regional primaries that are sort of regular right after that. That might be something to look at.”



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