In the race for the White House, a Wisconsin Democrat says there's a "pretty good group of candidates" on both sides.
The 2008 presidential campaign is very diverse, including a Mormon, Hispanic, a black man and a woman. US Senator Russ Feingold (D-Middleton) says it's "wonderful."
"I think we may end up with a woman or a black man as the next president."
The Democrat from Middleton says regardless of who ultimately wins the nomination, just having that kind of diversity is "transformational for American politics."
"In either case," Feingold says, "it would be one of the most important things that has ever happened in American politics. Not a reason to vote for somebody or vote against them but if it happens; it will be a big thing."
And maybe someday even a Jewish guy from Wisconsin?
"Ah, you know, maybe someday they're gonna want a 5-foot-9 Jewish guy. But I don't know, maybe someday."
For starters, perhaps Feingold could be number two on the ticket.
"As a strong advocate for withdrawal from Iraq," UW-Madison Political Scientist Charles Franklin says, "Feingold was looking like an interesting potential vice presidential candidate if you think of him balancing a presidential Democrat who's a little less antiwar."
Franklin says another good selling point for a Feingold vice Presidency is that he's one of the smarter senators, taking on a lot of controversial issues while presenting them with well thought-out arguments. To name a few: McCain-Feingold finance reform, his opposition to the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq, and his call for a censure of President Bush.
"And in all of those things he's taken positions that put him ahead of most Democrats in Congress. And he's been willing to be out there alone on those issues. In many cases, other Democrats have caught up to him later."
Franklin says a presidential candidate could choose Feingold as a running mate to help win what had been a battleground state in the past two presidential elections, he says, though, Wisconsin is simply not a big enough for candidates. Franklin adds, there are personal issues with Feingold that could get in the way; He's a twice-divorced single Jewish man from Wisconsin.