I'm going to rip on Tommy Thompson for the venue he chose to announce he won't be seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Russ Feingold. This was an incredibly, incredibly, selfish act. According to his family, Thompson wanted to run, badly, but they pleaded with him not to. That's fair enough; campaigns are brutal on families and they know that.
But Thompson co-opted the energy of the Tea Party to have one more big large crowd before he walked away from another opportunity to campaign statewide; something he loves. Knowing he wouldn't get that, this feels as though Thompson wanted to take advantage of crowd that isn't really his crowd, to get one last buzz, before being one giant buzz kill. The April 15th tea parties are an effort to energize and sustain and movement that began last Tax Day. Thompson chose to steal that energy to give himself one last send-off. All the headlines today are about Tommy, not the Tea Party movement in Wisconsin. Some will write this off as bitterness that Tommy isn't running. Consider this; why didn't he announce this last week and then speak today?