Hard-pressed "to name another journalist who wrote nastier things about Tommy Thompson than I did throughout the mid-1980s," Milwaukee pundit Charles J. Sykes traces his conversion in a cover feature titled "Confessions of a Tommy-Basher." Noting that he once called Thompson "stiff, grim, strident," a "redoubtable Dr. No" whose election as governor would inaugurate an "Age of Average" in Wisconsin, Sykes now writes: "Come November, I will vote for Tommy Thompson" in his bid for reelection. He cites Thompson's first-term economic-development efforts, topnotch aides, wit and confidence in debating Democratic challenger Tom Loftus, school choice plan and other "bold and creative policy initiatives." Thompson is reelected, continuing as governor until his 2001 appointment as George W. Bush's secretary of Health and Human Services. He later launches a failed presidential campaign and passes on runs for governor and the U.S. Senate.