Guru, the nation's top political blog focused on U.S. Senate races across the country, makes the following prediction for Wisconsin's 2012 U.S. Senate race (a presidential election year):
My guess is that any Republican of note with Senatorial ambitions will wait for Senator Herb Kohl to retire in 2012, when he will be 77-years-old. In fact, here's the earliest prediction on WI-Sen-'12 that you're going to find anywhere: Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin will beat Republican Rep. Paul Ryan by five to ten points, enjoying the coattails of President Obama's re-election bid.
I have been critical of Herb Kohl in the past, but few can doubt that as a civic-minded American, Herb Kohl will rank as one of the premier individuals who have benefited not just Milwaukee but the entire state during his private and public career here.
As for Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Middleton), up for re-election next year, Guru shows Russ trouncing everyone. [That is why a Mark Neumann run for governor vis a vis senate looks almost certain.] No one touches Russ.
As for succeeding Kohl, Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) would both make inspiring and historical choices as the first woman U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Both are already poised to join the likes of Kastenmeier and La Follette.
As someone who worked hard in the field in 1998 for Baldwin's first election to Congress, I'm leaning to Rep. Moore based solely on the strength of Moore's courageous vote against a resolution effectively absolving Israel its responsibility for its crimes against humanity committed in Gaza.
Moore really had nothing to gain from the vote, except for standing up for a people brutalized in a continuing crime. That's the type of courage that we'll need more of in the years ahead. And we would like to see Baldwin exhibit the same grit as Moore in meeting a defining moral issue of our times.