Damn. Especially in light of a recent poll that said Russ Feingold would lead Wisconsin Gov. Walker, 52% to 45%.
Here is Russ Feingold's statement, in part. Please read the whole thing here. Bolding is mine:
I am grateful for the friendship and support of so many fellow Wisconsinites who suggested I consider running for statewide office in the coming months. While I may seek elective office again someday, I have decided not to run for public office during 2012.
This was a difficult decision... I am also well aware that I have a very strong standing in the polls should I choose to run again for the U.S. Senate or in a recall election for governor. After twenty-eight continuous years as an elected official, however, I have found the past eight months to be an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. [...]
The one thing many of us did not anticipate at the outset of this year was the extreme assault on the working families of Wisconsin in particular and the nation as a whole. I was happy with some of the results of this year's Wisconsin state senate recall elections, and was glad to be able to play a small role in supporting all of the Democratic candidates.
When I said on election night last year that it "was on to 2012," I meant it. As I said those words I was especially thinking of the need to re-elect President Obama. I will be working to re-elect him and hope to play a significant role in that effort. But since the aggressive tactics of Governor Walker and the legislature ensued, those words now also mean retaking the state government from these corporate-backed operatives is a special priority. The entire political climate is more infected by the domination of very wealthy individual and corporate interests than perhaps at any time in our nation's history. That is why I founded Progressives United, an organization devoted not only to overturning the Citizens United decision but to challenging those involved in the political process who, for short-term political gain, are willing to seek and accept unlimited corporate contributions. This practice should be strongly opposed regardless of party and regardless of whether I otherwise support these candidates. In many ways, this is the overriding political struggle of our time. It is more important than whether or when one person runs for office again. That is why, at this time, I am devoting my primary political energy to this cause and this organization.
Political figures often cite wanting to spend time with their loved ones as a reason for not seeking public office when they haven't a prayer of winning anyway. In my case, I don't need an excuse and will simply say that the time with family, friends, and loved ones in the past few months have been among the best in my life, and I am not eager to give that up....
He's still out there fighting for us, but it sure would have been great to have him as governor once Scott Walker is kicked out.