Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, a champion of marriage equality, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel over the weekend that he wouldn't be running for President in 2008. Feingold has been considering a run since 2005, but said that doing so would "dismantle" his professional and personal life.
Said Feingold: "I never got to that point where I'd rather be running around the country, running for president, than being a senator from Wisconsin...It would have required the craziest combination of things in the history of American politics to make it work."
Feingold has been vocal in both his opposition to a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as well as full marriage equality for gays and lesbians.
Added Feingold, who did not rule out a run in the future: "I began with the feeling I didn't really want to do this but was open to the possibility that getting around the country would make me want to do it. That never happened. People have always portrayed me as ambitious. I'm not ashamed of that. But I have never had a craving to be president of the United States. I used to say it when I was 5 or 7 years old. But I haven't really been saying it as an adult."
Feingold said his first choice for a presidential candidate would be someone he sees eye-to-eye with on Iraq, but stopped short of endorsing anyone: "The first choice would be somebody who voted against this unfortunate Iraq war. That may not be available. Second choice is somebody who at least said it was a bad idea. . . . I would be happy if Obama or (Al) Gore ran."
Feingold rules out 2008 run for president [milwaukee journal sentinel]