Vilsack Revisited

At this stage of the 1976 and 1992 elections, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were little-known governors of small states with infinitesimal rankings in the Presidential polls.

That’s the slim reed to which Tom Vilsack’s 2008 hopes are lashed as the just-retired governor of Iowa makes his way, in media dimness, toward next year’s primaries.

“I’m not a rock star,” he tells you, ‘but I am rock-solid.”

Since we saw him in December, he has raised over $1.1 from admirers including Warren Buffet, made a solid impression at the Democrats’ meeting last weekend as the only candidate to call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq and will soon unveil an energy plan calling for a 75 percent reduction from emissions levels of 2000.

In a small room with half a dozen suburban reporters last evening, Vilsack continued to talk sense without notes (as he did last weekend to Howard Dean’s astonishment).

“We’re at the American Idol stage of the campaign,” he told them, but is confident that voters will want answers rather than slogans while talking earnestly and persuasively of his conversation with the Prime Minister of India about the link between literacy and world hunger.

Of course, there are differences between 1992 and 2008, but if Tom Vilsack fails to emulate her husband, “the Comeback Kid,” Hillary Clinton could do a lot worse in picking a running mate to balance her own strengths.

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6 Responses to Vilsack Revisited

  1. johng says:

    Mike Gravel and Dennis K. also both called for the troops to leave Iraq Asap. Tom Vilsack is very boring when he speaks and I don’t think he will last very long in this race.

  2. Johng

    I haven’t heard Vilsack speak since the ’04 cycle, but remember many people said the same about JK.

    He was on JK’s short list for VP too.

  3. ginnyinwi says:

    I like Vilsack. I don’t think he has much of a chance–but I like what he has to say.

  4. Hershovitz says:

    What makes you think Hillary Clinton would even have the option of picking Tom Vilsack as a running mate? Why not suggest, say, Barack Obama or John Edwards (in the last paragraph of this post) as the one with the option of picking Vilsack?

    Hillary has infuriated the Democratic base with her war support and DLC pro-corporatist policies, is now basically shilling for war with Iran– and far too many of her supporters arrogantly proclaim her as the inevitable nominee, which anger millions of Democrats who already have doubts about her even more. A wonderful formula for the crashing and burning of the Democratic Party in 2008.

  5. mbk says:

    Hershovitz, I share your reaction.

  6. rohatgi says:

    It is sad that we as a nation elect a president on the basis of advertising budget and finely tuned news bites. Where are life time experience with solid american values. Tom Vilsak may be boring but he has experienced what american middle class goes through. He understands.

    Unfortunatle for our country where news media makes or breaks a candidate is run by coprporation for profit and not national interest.