Specifically, on how TOMMY! won’t be getting into it. I think it’s a bit much to say that the Feingold campaign is “patting itself on the back” after hearing that Thompson won’t be trying for the seat. It’s not like them to get cocky. We know how close some of the past races have come, even though Senator Feingold won decisively enough each time. And who knows, Dave Westlake may make a stronger bid than anticipated. (Though I’ll endlessly question myself if his appearance at Drinking Liberally this week helps him win.)
Who knows; how long does Tommy have to enter the race? Might this be a clever psych-out? Might he suddenly slip in at the last minute? He would have from June 1, 2010 until 5 p.m. on the second Tuesday of July 2010 to do that, according to Wisconsin state elections law. (Link: PDF, 0.6MB.) But gathering signatures is hard to do covertly, especially when you need 2,000 to 4,000 signatures to be on the ballot. That’s not the sort of thing you’d want to keep quiet if you’re a possible juggernaut like TOMMY!
No, he’s probably out for real. We still have yet to see if Dick Leinenkugel is in.