I haven’t been overly thrilled with the GOP presidential candidates so far, but it looks like the other side has it worse.
Interestingly, the Democratic field looks to be shaping up as Hillary Clinton versus a bunch of folks who have run before an failed: Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Biden, and now Clark. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Indeed, several recent presidents have gotten elected after having previously failed in primary (Bush the Elder and Reagan) or general election (Nixon) bids. Indeed, it will be even more difficult than usual for someone without name recognition to break through against that field.
This may be bad news for the Democrats, though, as none of these candidates are governors and only Gore is a former vice president. It has been a long time, indeed, since someone who was not from one of those groups got elected president. And Wes Clark is no Dwight Eisenhower.
Word’s out this morning that one Democratic governor has jumped in: Iowa’s Tom Vilsack:
Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack chose the small town where his political career began to open his long-shot presidential campaign, pledging to make the U.S. ”a beacon of hope” for all the world.
”I am running for president to replace the America of today with the hope of tomorrow and guarantee every American their birthright — opportunity,” Vilsack said in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday.
Thirteen months before the first votes in the nomination process, the wide-open race for the White House already has drawn the interest of nearly two dozen potential candidates. Aides to Vilsack said he needed to move quickly to begin building name identification; the two-term governor is little known outside Iowa.
After his announcement, Vilsack planned a five-state tour of several early voting states, including New Hampshire and South Carolina.
”America needs a president who builds and creates, who makes our country more secure,” according to the planned speech. ”Our country needs bold leadership if we are to be more secure here at home and throughout the world.”
Bold leadership? Patrick Hynes of ABP caught Vilsack on tape in New Hampshire so you can behold his boldness in living color:
More at ABP. After watching a bit of the video, one ABP commenter described Vilsack this way:
“Al Gore without the sweating and fury.”
Reader Howard e-mails:
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I live in Iowa, so I’m acquainted with Gov. Vilsack. For the last year or so he has been an absentee governor because he’s been trying to put together a presidential bid. In addition, his administration has had more than it’s share of problems. He pushed the “Vision Iowa” fund which was supposed to bring business into the state, but except for more casinos, not much has been
accomplished. There are other issues involving employment training. I’m
embarrassed every time he travels somewhere and opens his mouth.
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