Amanda Terkel and Ryan Grim of Huffpost with an interesting rumor:
WASHINGTON -- Russ Feingold has been reaching out to supporters in recent weeks to discuss a 2016 Senate bid to retake his old seat from Republican Ron Johnson, sources with knowledge of the calls told The Huffington Post.
The progressive Wisconsin Democrat was wiped out of the Senate in the tea party wave of 2010, but since then, many supporters have been keeping their fingers crossed that he'd run again -- in a presidential election year likely to be more favorable to Democrats.
Multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told HuffPost that in recent months, Feingold has talked to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), among others.
Feingold will step down in March from his position as the State Department's special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the sources indicated, and can't make an announcement before that.
But he toyed with reporters on Tuesday during an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace by referring to his aide, Mary Irvine, as his "once, current and, I hope, future chief of staff."
A source close to Feingold confirmed that the former senator has been having conversations with a number of supporters, but refused to comment further on his plans. "After Russ steps down from the State Department in March," the source said, "there will of course be a transition period before any decision is announced. The enthusiasm expressed for Russ over the past week has been truly incredible."