Monday, February 26, 2007

Vilsack Bows Out of Presidential Race

Nearly everyone knows by now that Iowa's own Tom Vilsack has bowed out of the pursuit of the presidency, mostly because he couldn't raise the kind of serious jack required to mount an effective campaign.

What people don't know is what we here in Iowa do know, and that is, he may very well have been the pick of the litter. However, in the era of rock star politics and election by popular acclaim, competence may well be irrelevant to the process of getting elected.

We here know our former governor quite well. I've met him a couple times (once in the back room of Winston's, a bar on Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines) and he has had a great reputation as a solid leader, administrator, lawyer, and conciliator. He came into office after 16 years of Governor For Life Terry Branstad, and did a fine job managing the state's finances and its factious interest groups.

Perhaps it was too much to hope for, that midwestern sensibility and restraint and consensus building could have a role in the next election. It was not, however, to be-not this time.

Well, one thing's for sure. Tom will always be one of us, and when we need a friend, he'll be there for us.

Which is a lot more than the folks allegedly represented by carpetbagging social climbers can say.


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