Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vilsack Raising Money for Campaign

I have no idea if former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack's campaign is gaining momentum or not—or if he has some important staying power. But I'm convinced he is a serious candidate with real potential. History is full of front-runners who stumbled and dark horses who caught fire. The most famous dark horse of all came from the state next to Iowa—he was a lawyer from Illinois who had lost a senate race only two years earlier and was somewhat at the back of the pack behind three powerful front-runners in 1860; his name, of course, was Abraham Lincoln.

Here's an AP article on CBS about Vilsack's campaign fundraising:
Democratic presidential candidate Tom Vilsack raised more than $1.1 million in the last seven weeks of 2006, a total that puts him far behind deep-pocketed rivals for the nomination.

Vilsack, one of the first candidates to enter the race on Nov. 9, boasted that his fundraising amount was double what Sen. John Kerry and Howard Dean raised in the same stretch in the 2003-04 election cycle.

It's the Republicans who are driving the campaign totals for 2008; Republicans discovered a long time ago that money gives them the advantage and the proof is that a mediocre candidate like George W. Bush can be elected—if he has enough money. One can argue about whether Vilsack's glass is half full or half empty; the real test is where he and the other candidates go from here.

Another story on Vilsack this week is that he's now a visiting professor; here's the story from Tom Barton of the Des Moines Register:
Small-town lawyer, mayor, Democratic state lawmaker, two-term governor, presidential aspirant. Now Tom Vilsack can add "professor" to his resume.

"I'm very proud to be a part of Drake University and the law school," Vilsack said Monday at a press conference where it was announced he will help teach a course on legal issues related to rural development and renewable energy.


Vilsack was a lawyer and the mayor in Mount Pleasant, then a state senator from 1992-98 before being elected governor. He has a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1975.

David Walker, dean of the Drake Law School, called Vilsack "a distinguished and outstanding lawyer, leader and public servant.

Having just finished his term as governor, it's good to see Vilsack establish a base of operations for himself as he runs for president. And it's a good sign to see his home town newspaper looking after him.

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