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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tom Vilsack: Run another term? The Iowa Gov race in 2006

ABC News: The Note: What Do Mindy and Katie Think About Iran's Nuclear Capability?: "
There's a movement afoot in Iowa to convince Gov. Tom Vilsack to please, please, run again, and while it cites David Yepsen for inspiration, it is not a special access program masterminded by the influential political journalist. Some of Vilsack's prominent supporters have created a website, LINK , that urges the governor to keep his mind firmly in Des Moines, forget about 2008, and seek a third term.
By announcing the Web site, Vilsack drafters hope the governor will use it as a way to open the door to another run. He is not term limited, but long ago announced his intention to not seek another four years.
But the door to re-election is shut for now. An adviser to Vilsack says he doubts the governor will change his mind soon; asked on Monday, Vilsack said he wasn't inclined to run and said there are many good candidates preparing to run.
Now then: Vilsack could take Yepsen's advice and at least drop hints that he might be willing to do it, and then he'd have some oomph to put behind his efforts to deal with Medicaid costs and property taxes this term.
The Web site names Jerry Crawford, Gordon Fischer, and Rev. Carlos C. Jayne as alleged supporters of its effort.
Iowa SoS Chet Culver (D) has coveted the seat for years; development czar Mike Blouin is another potential Democratic candidate and is reportedly a favorite of the governor. State Assembly Minority Leader Mike Gronstal is also thinking about a run.
Some Vilsack supporters are worried that Culver will win the nomination but lose the general election.
Republicans angling for the state house include Rep. Jim Nussle, Bob Vander Platts, and Doug Gross. Nussle and Gross will tussle for GOP establishment support. "


Although I'm uncommitted to the idea, I am interested in this. Tom Vilsack has done something, like most politicians, to make everyone mad at him at some point or another. This includes myself. But overall, I must say that he's been a great governor. He's had very little to work with in terms of cooperation from the legislature, and I like him because he's a sincere advocate for children. This is not surprising, considering his background and his childhood. Vilsack has said repeatedly, NO! We'll see if he's sincere.

I've heard talk of Tom Harkin stepping in the race. A Tom Harkin versus Jim Nussle race would be the most insane, dirty, and intense campaign I could think of. My money would be on Harkin in that knife fight. But I think Harkin probably enjoys his 6 year terms and the work he does in the US Senate.

All of this talk is because the Democratic field is looking pretty thin for winners. The leading favorite is Chet Culver, son of former Senator John Culver, and the current Secretary of State. Chet seems pretty thin on details, and it's hard to have much of a broad range record as Secretary of State. He's taken lots of heat from the press and the GOP about how he handled the 2004 election, specifically sending out voter information packets, which the GOP of course claimed was a waste of money. Being known as a waster of government resources won't get you elected governor of Iowa.

I personally really like Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal. He's a good and able man, but I'm not sure how he'd play across the state. He's really a wild card.

State Rep. Ed Fallon is the most progressive Iowan alive perhaps, but I can't see him winning. Plus, when he endorsed Nader in 2000, that really upset many Democrats, just as Nader himself still does to this day. It is worth noting that Rep. Fallon was also the only legislator to endorse Dennis Kucinich in 2004.

Mike Blouin is also interesting. He's a former Congressman, and also head of Dept. of Economic Development. I'm not totally sure, but I believe he is pro-life, which could turn off the Democratic base.

For the GOP, Rep. Nussle is one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill. He's chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In other words, Chairman Nussle is in charge of the committee that writes the budget. And we all know what great budgets congress has put out in the past few years. I personally don't see Nussle winning, but I've been wrong about plenty of things.

Bob Vander Platts is a Sioux City businessman. Think of a stereotypical conservative midwestern Republican businessman. That's this guy.

Des Moines Lawyer Doug Gross lost to Vilsack in 2002. He's got a permanent scowl on his face. He really didn't look like a compassionate conservative one bit. Gross is very smart and able, but I can't see him winning an election for anything, ever.

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Anonymous Eli said...

Hmm,

I thought it was Tom Vilsack
for President or Vice President, not Governor?

http://www.tomvilsack.com

Best,

Eli

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