'Sack it to 'Em!

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What, you thought all the 2006 candidates would at least wrap up their races before the 2008 campaign began? How quaint.

Tom Vilsack is running for president.

The Iowa governor plans to file papers today establishing a presidential campaign committee, formally launching his bid for the 2008 Democratic nomination.

The two-term governor, who leaves office in January, plans to announce his candidacy in his hometown Mount Pleasant on Nov. 30, before setting off on a campaign swing to early nominating states, aides said Wednesday.

Having seen Vilsack in action (Sacktion!) among other presidential aspirants, I have trouble lifting my eyelids at this news. He's a successful, workmanlike liberal governor with the all the effervescence of week-old Pimp Juice.

NEXT: Banned in Beijing

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  1. Tom who?

    Oh, the Iowa governor. Yeah, heard the Dems held that seat.

    So, anyone hear about Bill Nelson’s kid getting pepper sprayed by police?

  2. What people seem to forget about the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary is that winning them doesn’t automatically cnfer some big advantage in getting the nomination. They’re matters of perception, and that perception can get entirely discounted if everyone understands that someone had such overwhelming homestate (or neighbor) advantage as to make the race irrelevant. Otherwise we’d have had an alternating series of presidential nominees from Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Harkin, Gephardt, and Tsongas all badly forgot this. Now Vilsack too, I guess.

  3. So, anyone hear about Bill Nelson’s kid getting pepper sprayed by police?

    panurge,

    I blame the lack of voter foresight on that one. If people had voted for Katherine Harris’ bosom as I did, then this tragedy would’ve never occurred.

  4. America will never have a president named “Vilsack”. It’s also unlikely that we’ll ever have one who looks so much like a hobbit.

  5. Bill Frist reviewed some videotape of Tom Vilsack’s eyes appearing to follow a balloon and he declared that Gov. Vilsack would come around as long as the feeding tube wasn’t removed.

  6. In all likelyhood, Vilsack is running for vice-president. I will be nearly impossible to stop the Clinton train from going foward.

    However, Senators don’t get elected president in the modern era. Govenors do — such as Gov. Jimmy Carter, Gov. Ronald Reagan, Gov. Bill Clinton, and Gov. George Bush. They only break was incumbent vice-president George Bush the elder.

  7. de stijl,

    If Terri Schiavo had not been allowed to die, would she now be governor of Florida? I could see her winning the nomination and just beating Davis. In this alternative timeline, he would have won, but the criticism about his campaign ads (“Terri Schiavo is brain dead and not qualified to be governor, for the love of God”) was used against him to great effect: “Jim Davis is just plain mean.”

    I’m not mocking the poor woman, either (RIP). I’m mocking the electorate.

  8. Pro Libertate,

    Even though Terri’s visual cortex was the consistency of Cream of Mushroom soup, she really had her eyes set on the US Senate. She was only a boob job away from kicking Kitty “Pink Sugar” Harris to the curb.

    Bill “Payload” Nelson would have disntegrated in the atmosphere of Terri’s indomitable spirit and would have exploded into a stream of incandescent debris over the sunny skies of Florida.

    With Randall Terry as her campaign manager, Terri would be the next US Senator from the great (vegetative) state of Florida.

    Damn you, Michael Schiavo! Damn you straight to Hell!

  9. I would’ve voted for her. She’d have been, in effect, a libertarian. Especially compared to Nelson.

    Are you implying that Harris’ only assets besides her wealth are unnatural?

  10. I don’t think anyone would dispute that Terri Schiavo would have been a better campaigner or a better informed candidate than Katherine Harris.

    If Terri could be defined by one word, that word would be persistant. Very, very persistant.

    And with her platfom of pro-bed pans and anti-bed sores, she would have a natural resonance with the more elderly of Florida’s residents.

    Plus, barring Fred Phelps, Randall Terry may be the best pound-for-pound placard message author in the world! You can’t win without good campaign signs, can you?

  11. A pol whose name rhymes with a slang term for “scrotum” is going to have a long haul.

    Kevin

  12. People already seem to be coronating Hillary, which I think might be a bit premature. Not to say that Vilsack has much of a shot, either.

  13. I think Hillary can probably easily take the Democratic nomination, and then lose 60-40 (popular) in the general election if the Republicans name Giuliani or McCain.

  14. FinFangFoom,

    I’ve always thought she’d go down in massive flames in the primaries. There’s a definite sense that she can’t win the general election within and without the Democratic Party (there’s a good component of the left that doesn’t like her, she’s a woman (not that I have a problem with that), there’s beginning to be a distaste for having the same families in the White House from now until Doomsday, and she’d mobilize and unify the right in dangerous ways).

    Look for someone who is perceived to be more in the “center”. Her efforts to position herself there are nowhere near as transparent as her husband’s, making her look openly opportunistic. Another knock. Frankly, I begin to fear that we’re facing a real threat from McCain. I’ve been pooh-poohing the idea, but I think he’ll do well with all of this impending bipartisanship crap.

  15. I think McCain has the problem that he’s going to die soon. I expect this to be more of an issue once the campaign gets rolling. If he falls off a stage or something similar, he’s SOL.

    As to Hillary, I don’t know of anyone who has her name recognition. What problems does she have in the Democratic party? I think she has the opposite problem of McCain, lots of support in the base, but almost none outside of the party.

  16. The Sleaze’s Political Rules #479 and #480:

    479. Midwestern Democrats are incapable of winning the presidency.

    480. Anybody with “sack” in their name probably shouldn’t run for president immediately after a “Bush”.

  17. FinFangFoom,

    Ask joe about some of the internal discomfort with Senator Clinton–he’s discussed it here before. One point that could haunt her with Democrats nationally is that she hasn’t really opposed the war.

  18. I think McCain has the problem that he’s going to die soon. I expect this to be more of an issue once the campaign gets rolling. If he falls off a stage or something similar, he’s SOL.

    I too think that is what will sink McCain, as much as anything. I saw him on TV Tuesday night for the first time in awhile, and he looked like he was at death’s door. He didn’t seem as “feisty” as I remember, either. Presidential campaigns are grueling affairs, and I doubt that he is up to another one.

  19. Is McCain in that bad of shape? Isn’t he being treated for melanoma? That can wear you out, especially at his age, but it doesn’t mean he’s doomed, either. Or is there more to the story?

  20. Okay, libertarians: Keep in mind that Vilsack was responsible for the massive deregulation of the telephone industry in Iowa.

    And before you dismiss him, keep in mind that he was a successful trial lawyer, is sharper than hell, and can go toe-to-toe with anyone in a debate.

    And how many of you would take over the job as a mayor of a town after a disgruntled citizen had walked in to a City Council meeting, pulled out a handgun, and assassinated the mayor and several city council members?

    He wasn’t supposed to win his first state legislative race, and he did. He wasn’t supposed to win the race for Governor 8 years ago — he had no name ID in Iowa to start with, and was down by 20 percentage points in the summer and won handily against a long-time, popular Congressman who had just two years before lost a very, very close statewide race against Senator Harkin.

    Don’t count him out.

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