December 4, 2004: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: Election2006 - Doyle: Capital Times: Tommy Thompson may run against Jim Doyle in 2006 for Wisconsin Governor

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tunisia: Special Report: RPCV Jim Doyle, Governor of Wisconsin: Special Report: Governor and Tunisa RPCV Jim Doyle: December 4, 2004: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: Election2006 - Doyle: Capital Times: Tommy Thompson may run against Jim Doyle in 2006 for Wisconsin Governor

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Tommy Thompson may run against Jim Doyle in 2006 for Wisconsin Governor

Tommy Thompson may run against Jim Doyle in 2006 for Wisconsin Governor

Tommy Thompson may run against Jim Doyle in 2006 for Wisconsin Governor

Tommy says he's 'drained'

By David Callender
December 4, 2004

"I'm pretty much emotionally drained," Thompson said in a phone interview after announcing his decision to step down. "Resigning was tough on me, but it's the right thing to do."

Thompson said his departure nearly four years ago as Wisconsin's longest-serving governor was even more wrenching.

"I just think it's tougher to resign from something you were elected to than from something appointed," he said. "I felt so attached to being governor. And everybody knows how I feel about Wisconsin."

After spending his entire adult life in public service - 20 years as a state lawmaker, 14 years as governor, and the last four years in Washington - Thompson said he's eager to try his hand in the private sector.

Federal rules bar top officials from actively seeking jobs while they are in office, so Thompson said he has retained longtime confidants Jim Klauser - once known as the "deputy governor" - and Madison attorney Steve Hurley to sift through job offers.

He said he's also planning to hire a Washington-based attorney to handle similar offers there, "because that's where the opportunities seem to lie."

Thompson, the nation's top health official, said he remains interested in working in the medical field.

"That's where my strengths are, and I'm passionate about it," he said.

While Thompson suggested that he likely would at the very least maintain an office in Washington, he insisted that he doesn't have "Potomac fever," the fictional ailment that prevents many officeholders from ever leaving the nation's capital.

"Madison will always be my residence," he said, noting that he and his wife, Sue Ann, have a home here and his children still live in the state.

Though his job prospects remain unclear for the moment, one idea that Thompson said he wants to explore in his new life is the use of "medical diplomacy" to improve America's image in the developing world.

Thompson has devoted many of his efforts to the global battles against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. In fact, his resignation was delayed in part because he was in Africa last month to attend the Global Forum on those diseases.

He said he envisions a project on the order of the Marshall Plan, which helped rebuild Europe after World War II.

"We spend so much money on armaments and I understand the need for that," he said. "But just recently they canceled an airplane at a cost of, I think it was $8 billion. I remember thinking, if I had that $8 billion to provide clean water and hospitals and clinics for some of these (developing) countries, what a tremendous way it would be to turn attitudes away from being anti-American to being pro-American."

Thompson said he hasn't broached the subject with President Bush.

"This is my own idea. I've come to this conclusion on my trips to Africa."

On his most recent trip, Thompson was set to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with two longtime friends. But he developed a severe case of food poisoning "and I got so deathly sick, I couldn't even raise my head."

Instead of a three-day climb to the summit at 14,000 feet, he made it only one day to an elevation of 9,000 feet.

Thompson, who urged Americans to exercise more and improve their diets to combat obesity and who himself lost weight while in office, said that at age 63, he's in "damn good physical shape."

"I'm strong as hell. I do 100 push-ups every morning and climb six flights of stairs," he said.

He wouldn't say, however, whether he's already in training for another possible run for elective office in Wisconsin - either for governor or for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl. Both Kohl and Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle will be up for re-election in 2006.

"I'm very interested in politics, and people are always asking me what that means," he said.

So would he consider a run for either office?

"I'm not going to say yes or no. I'm going to be involved in politics, either as a candidate or a supporter. A lot of that depends on what kind of job I'm going to take."


When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.

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Story Source: Capital Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Tunisia; Politics; Election2006 - Doyle



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