Brian Fraley has asked me to weigh in on his call for presidential favorites for 2008. So far, no Democrats seem to have contributed anything at all to his comments thread, and the Republicans there are vacillating among neo-Icarus Newt Gingrich, neo-Confederate George Allen, and concert pianist Condoleezza Rice--none of whom, of course, appeal to me.
I've made no secret around here that I would like to see Russ Feingold take a run at the presidency. For one, I think he would be refreshing on the campaign trail: His criticisms of the current administration are not partisan but ideological (i.e., Russ believes in the fourth amendment, and the president doesn't); his complaints about Congress are not petty politcs but concern over the fact that that don't do their jobs any more; and every campaign he has run has been a triumph of substance over mudslinging.
For another, I also think that Russ would make a great president. He clearly has a strong moral compass has not been swayed--unlike other senators I could name--by the trappings of Washington. As much as Dem bloggers have been writing lately about the pod people who make up the DC establishment (see, for example, Digby and Greenwald), Russ seems to be avoiding the problem. This is in part, I think, because he does actually take the time to visit every county in the state at least once a year (when was the last time a president visited every state annually?). Personally, I think we've had enough Wisconsin representatives "go Washington" already.
Russ believes in fiscal restraint (see, for example, his near-lone support of PAYGO rules), protecting civil liberties, and fighting terrorists instead of unnecessary wars of choice. He supports most other boilerplate Democratic issues, too (even if he is a "maverick"), such as protecting a woman's right to choose and ensuring that everyone is insured. His agenda would be basically my agenda (especially after I get that call about Chief of Staff, natch), and I can get behind that.
So, there you go--a whole slew of reasons for Russ Feingold in 2008.
Plus, Peter's head will explode.