Friday, February 23, 2007

Money Sacks Vilsack Before Attempting First Pass

Former Iowa governor and Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Vilsack announces he is withdrawing from the race at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 23, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa. Image Credit: Steve Pope -- AP Photo

Money Sacks Vilsack Before Attempting First Pass

Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa Governor who entered the race early to be the Democrat Party nominee for President 2008, exited the race just as early.

This is notable in that (as cited here in a recent post at MAXINE) Tom Vilsack led Senator Hillary Clinton in a poll taken late last year.

In the post entitled "Clinton Gauntlet Has Been Laid Down – Hillary In" we wrote the following:
You see? It has already started ... the manipulation ... a poll that was reported December 21, 2006 out of Iowa (caucus straw poll) had Hillary fourth behind third place (are you ready for this) Tom Vilsack - WHO? - Tom Vilsack! - WHO? - TOM VILSACK! (Political Experience: Governor, State of Iowa, 1998-present / Senator, Iowa State Senate, District 49, 1992-1998 / Mayor, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 1987-1992.)

This from KCCI - DES MOINES, Iowa -

The poll asked Iowa Democrats which candidates they would vote for if the 2008 Democratic caucus were held today,.the top three candidates were Sen. John Edwards at 22 percent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama at 22 percent and Vilsack at 12 percent. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York came in fourth at 10 percent.
So now he sacks himself because he doesn't believe he can raise enough MONEY! Well, that's the effect of the ol' McCain-Finegold election reform bill has ... no way to get money unless you already have it!

Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, right, answers a question from moderator George Stephanopoulos at a candidates forum held by the AFSCME in Carson City, Nev., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007. Image Credit: Rich Pedroncelli -- AP Photo

Excerpts from the Sacramento Bee -

Vilsack drops out of presidential race
By MIKE GLOVER -- Associated Press Writer - Last Updated 1:40 pm PST Friday, February 23, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Democrat Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor who built a centrist image, abandoned his bid for the presidency on Friday after struggling against better-known, better-financed rivals.

"It is money and only money that is the reason we are leaving today," Vilsack told reporters at a news conference, later adding, "We have a debt we're going to have to work our way through."

Vilsack, 56, left office in January and traveled to early voting states, but he attracted neither the attention nor the campaign cash of his top-tier rivals - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards. He even faced obstacles in his home state.

In the most recent financial documents, Vilsack reported raising more than $1.1 million in the last seven weeks of 2006 but only had around $396,000 in the bank. Some campaign finance experts contend candidates will need $20 million by June 2007 to remain viable.

"I came up against something for the first time in my life that hard work and effort couldn't overcome," he said, his wife, Christie, and two grown sons at his side. "I just couldn't work any harder, couldn't give it enough."

Former Iowa governor and Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Vilsack, with his wife and sons by his side, announces he is withdrawing from the race at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 23, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa. Image Credit: Steve Pope -- AP Photo

Other campaigns immediately began to seek out Vilsack's well-respected staff, hoping to pick up talented political operatives with experience in the first nominating state, and his political backers.
Vilsack was the first Democrat to formally enter the 2008 race when he announced his candidacy in November. His February departure underscores the warp speed of the 2008 race. In previous presidential cycles, candidates didn't announce until the fall, just a few months before the first caucuses and primaries, not more than a year before.
As governor of Iowa, Vilsack had carved out a reputation as a centrist balancing his state's budget and refusing to raise taxes, while emphasizing increased spending on such priorities as education, health care and higher wages. Until recently he chaired the Democratic Leadership Council, the party's signature centrist group.
More recently, Vilsack has been among the more aggressive Democratic candidates in his call to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, calling for Congress to cut off funding.
His parents were well-to-do and sent him to a private preparatory school, but his mother was an alcoholic who beat him and his father suffered trying financial reversals.

Vilsack managed to transcend his difficult childhood to build a successful career in law and politics, serving as a mayor, state senator and two terms as Iowa governor.

In a sign that Vilsack might abandon the race, he recently accepted a position lecturing at the Drake University Law School in Des Moines and had become a consultant for MidAmerican Energy Co.

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