Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
About Chris Cillizza  |  On Twitter: The Fix and The Hyper Fix  |  On Facebook  |  On YouTube  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed

Mr. Vilsack Goes to Washington

Before most Washingtonians drink their first cup of coffee this morning, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) will be meeting and greeting a group of Democratic lobbyists at the Phoenix Park Hotel.

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack was reportedly on Sen. John Kerry's VP short list last year. Will Vilsack make his own run for the White House in '08? (AP File Photo)

The event is being hosted by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin (D) and is designed as a "get-to-know-you session," according to a spokeswoman for the senator. It's certainly a chance for Vilsack to schmooze with some of the party moneymen who could provide funding for his potential presidential candidacy in 2008. The breakfast itself is not a fundraiser, however.

Vilsack is in town to do two events for the Democratic Leadership Council, an organization he chairs. At 11 a.m. he will be at the Washington Court hotel to participate in a forum on budget issues; this evening he will be attending a DLC fundraiser at the International Spy Museum. After the DLC dinner, Vilsack will huddle with a group of high-dollar donors.

Vilsack is also trying to drum up excitement and dollars among donors for his Heartland PAC -- a soft-money committee that he is using to help elect Democratic governors in 2006. The D.C. trip is also aimed at allaying naysayers within the party who don't believe Vilsack will be able to raise the money necessary to compete with fundraising titans like Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y. ) and former senator John Edwards of North Carolina in 2008.

According to documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service, Heartland PAC raised $635,000 from April 29 through June 30; the money came from 15 donors. Several labor organizations, including the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, donated $100,000 each. Newsweb Corp. CEO Fred Eychaner and Iowa real estate developer William Knapp each chipped in $50,000.

The majority of the expenditures from Heartland PAC went to Dewey Square Group, a high-powered Democratic consulting firm that regularly has its hand in several Democratic presidential campaigns.

Vilsack has said nothing definitive about his future political plans, but he is clearly considering a national run as evidenced by a trip he had planned to make to New Hampshire recently but later canceled so he could focus on coordinating Iowa's assistance to Katrina victims. He already has one influential supporter lined up; Harkin told the Associated Press earlier this month that Vilsack would be a very "viable presidential candidate" if he chooses to run.

-- Chris Cillizza

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 25, 2005; 8:22 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ohio Senate: Hackett vs. Brown in Dem. Primary
Next: Bill Frist: The Reviews Are In


I did volunteer work in the Vilsack office his first 4 years. He is a good leader and a good administrator. I will campaign for him, work free in his campaign office and vote for him. bjh

Posted by: B.J.Houck | October 27, 2005 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I did volunteer work in the Vilsack office his first 4 years. He is a good leader and a good administrator. I will campaign for him, work free in his office and vote for him.

Posted by: B.J.Houck | October 26, 2005 11:48 PM | Report abuse


wrong on the money-- vilsack family ties run DEEP to old,OLD Pittsburgh money-not heinz - money net that crosses party lines broad based,dude is buying up organizational talent in the initial primary that REALLY counts--money!

Add in home turf fav in iowa and other midwest- ken- doll (though a solid, great guy) Evan Bayh becomes an also ran

Posted by: RD | October 26, 2005 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Vilsack is gonna get his behind whupped if he runs. There is no way he raises the money, and his message is blah.

Posted by: bow_down | October 25, 2005 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Harkin considered himself to be a "viable presidential candidate" once, too... the voters disagreed.

Posted by: hmm | October 25, 2005 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I personally am 100% behind Tom Vilsack. Though this may be a bit premature, he is exactly the kind of candidate that could win in 2008. He is from a midwestern, quasi-red state, he has a great life story (he was orphaned), he is popular in Iowa, has successful programs for immigration, clean energy, among others, and he is also extremely charismatic. As for his lack of foreign policy experience, we all know that governors are a lot more likely to be elected than senators!

Posted by: Christina | October 25, 2005 2:11 PM | Report abuse

You may well have some good points, Wes, but your anger just turned me right off and I stopped reading. If you wish to be noticed, if you wish your comments be read, try being civil, m'kay?.

Posted by: Tab Khan | October 25, 2005 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Adam, you are an idiot. I suppose you were a Kerry supporter. Wow, you guys really pulled one over on people with that "electability" line. He was the worst candidate in the field. Howard, Dick, John - any of them would have had a better chance than Kerry - at least they would have stood up to Bush, especially Howard, and not hid under a desk like your boy.

No Democrat has the experience to be President, except, Bill Clinton. Tom Vilsack is brilliant and would be a great candidate.

So sit down and shut up.

Posted by: Wes Clark | October 25, 2005 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wes Clark, Russ Feingold, Phil Bredesen,...

Posted by: more names | October 25, 2005 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Is there anyone NOT running for the Democratic nomination? So far the list of names I've seen includes, but is not limited to:

Hillary Clinton
John Kerry
Mark Warner
Tom Vilsack
Tom Daschle
Evan Bayh (Think that is how you spell it.)
Bill Richardson
Dianne Feinstein
John Edwards

and god only knows who else!

Posted by: J. Crozier | October 25, 2005 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Remember when Tom Harkin endorsed Howard Dean only to have John Kerry whoop him like 10 days later?

Posted by: Tom Harkin | October 25, 2005 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Vilsack has no foreign policy experience whatsoever. If Iraq and the War on Terrorism are going to be the two most important issues in 08 then Vilsack lacks the credibility to be the Democrats' man.

More at:

Posted by: Adam | October 25, 2005 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company