Vilsack to endorse Clinton

An anonymous source told the Associated Press on Friday that former Iowa governor, and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, Tom Vilsack and his wife plan to endorse Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Monday. When asked about this story the Clinton campaign would only confirm that they have a big announcement scheduled for Des Moines, Iowa on Monday. The Iowa caucus is the first stop in the presidential nominating process on January 14, 2008. Vilsack and his wife provide an important big name endorsement to a Clinton campaign that was a little slow getting off the ground in Iowa.

Vilsack chose Clinton over her main Democratic rival Barrack Obama. When asked about the endorsement of Clinton, Obama brushed it aside. “Obviously he’s got credibility in Iowa and I think highly of him as a former governor. But my sense is this race will ultimately not be won, probably, on endorsements, but it will be more on who gives voice to the real hunger that the American people have for change right now. The Clintons have been on the national scene for a real long time,” he said. “I think the surprise would be if they didn’t garner a lot of endorsements from well-established political figures,” Obama said. Vilsack’s early withdrawal from the race likely helped position him as a contender for the VP slot on the ’08 Democratic ticket.

The one really interesting thing about this story is that the Obama campaign plans on painting their candidate as the Washington outsider who is going up against the insider’s insider, Hillary Clinton. It is obvious that the centrist Democrat Vilsack should want to be the running mate of Hillary Clinton. I know that Visack’s endorsement will help in Iowa, but does he really think that he has a chance at the vice presidential nomination? I don’t.

I see Hillary Clinton, if she does turn out to be the Democratic nominee, choosing someone who is younger and southern to pair with her on the ticket. They may also be looking for the current version of Al Gore, someone who has a clean record and character, that can help offset the ethical questions that seem to follow the Clintons everywhere they go. I think that Hillary will continue to pick up big name endorsements and Obama will try to run as the antiestablishment candidate. This should be a fascinating race to watch.

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse 

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