Vilsack Says He's Not in the Running for Ag. Sec. Spot
By Philip Rucker
Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack said yesterday he is not a candidate for agriculture secretary, telling the Des Moines Register that he had never been contacted by aides to President-elect Barack Obama about any administration position.
Vilsack, a Democrat who abandoned his own bid for the presidency in 2007 and endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primaries, later campaigned for Obama in Midwestern battleground states. He has deep contacts in the farming community and published editorials this fall about agriculture and renewable energy policies, leading many to believe he was a top contender to run the Department of Agriculture.
But Vilsack wrote in an e-mail Sunday to the Register that he is not a candidate for the position.
"I would have to speculate that I was in fact in the running and further speculate as to why I was no longer," Vilsack wrote, according to the newspaper. "I do not think it prudent or appropriate to speculate about either."
Vilsack added that Obama "has many interests he has to consider, and we have an abundance of talent in both parties from which to satisfy those interests."
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