Like many others, I am sick of Tommy's ego dance. This hurts fundraising and such for the other two candidates that have their lives on hold as they run for office.
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?’”
Despite Thompson’s steps, political insiders in both parties in Washington and Wisconsin remain skeptical of Thompson’s commitment to challenging Feingold, a three-term incumbent.