The Washington Post

Feingold headed to State Department?

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., making his 2010 concession speech after losing his Senate seat. (Joe Koshollek/AP)

No, we’re not talking Michigan, Superior and Erie. These Great Lakes are in a conflict-plagued part of Central Africa that includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Burundi. The seemingly endless strife in the region since the 1990s has led to millions of deaths and refugees.

During his three terms in the Senate, Feingold, who would replace Ambassador R. Barrie Walkley, a career Foreign Service Officer, had for several years run the Senate Foreign Relations subcomittee on Africa.

Feingold told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Daniel Bice, who first reported the State Department-Feingold discussions, that he “would of course welcome the opportunity to work with Secretary [John] Kerry,” a pal from Senate days. (Sounds like he’d say yes, if asked.)

Human Rights groups, who have been pushing for a high-level envoy to the region, would be heartened by Feingold’s appointment, though we hear they’d probably prefer he report directly to the White House, not the State Department.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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