WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. John McCain edged closer to a 2008 White House run and Democrat Russ Feingold took himself out as would-be candidates began positioning for a wide-open race to succeed President Bush.
The end of the congressional midterm election traditionally marks the start of the presidential campaign season, and several prospective nominees wasted no time signaling their inclinations.
McCain, R-Ariz., said yesterday he was taking the initial steps for a White House bid, setting up a committee that allows a potential candidate to raise money and travel the country to gauge support.
Democratic Sen. Joe Biden reaffirmed his intention to seek his party's nomination, though an announcement about establishing an exploratory committee probably will not come until early next year.
And the campaign lost one possible participant when Feingold, a Democratic senator from Wisconsin, decided against a long-shot run.