Vilsack Enters '08 Race. What Next?
Tom Vilsack, the lovable Iowa Gov., has formally entered the race for the Democratic nomination in 2008, blasting Pres. Bush while at the same time trying to retain the homespun charm that is his one and only asset.
Yes, PB thinks that Vilsack is in over his head, no doubt soon to wither in the face of the Dem big guns of Hillary, Gore, and Obama. While he has good governmental experience running Iowa, that's not enough to help TV to get over his crippling lack of any name recognition, any sort of foreign policy strategy and experience, and the fact that even his Iowan constituents don't think he should run.
Yet some (Okay... Chris Cillizza in The Fix) see potential in Mr. Vilsack, touting him as the "perfect candidate" for the Dems. Cillizza has a case against Vilsack next week, so this TV love-fest is all fun and games, but still. In his "case for Vilsack" post, Cillizza beleives that Vilsack's touching "life story" (orphan, etc...) will help him win support and votes. Yes, Bill Clinton had a struggling childhood story, but he also had charm, charisma, and some actual presidential-sounding ideas. Vilsack, although cuddly, has none of that. And what if he doesn't even win the Iowa caucus? CC needs a better case for Vilsack, but he won't find it. Because there is no reasonable chance that TV will win, let alone make a good showing in the primaries.
Bottom line - Vilsack is just seeing where an early bid can take him; nothing more. He probably doesn't have "illusions of grandeur", as one Iowan put it, but he does have an eye on a Veep slot. Come on; a moderate, white, male, likable Midwesterner paired with Hillary or Obama? That has a chance to be political gold.