Vilsack Endorses Clinton

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who dropped his brief presidential bid last month, endorsed Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy for the White House on Monday.

“This is the person to be the next president of the United States,” Vilsack said at a news conference with Clinton. “She is tried, she is tested and she is ready.”

Vilsack said the endorsement was in part a result of the former first lady’s fund-raising efforts on his behalf during his first campaign for governor in 1998.

“In politics, loyalty is a commodity that is rare,” Vilsack said.

I realize that I’m not an expert on presidential campaign politics (mostly because I find it to be horribly depressing), but doesn’t this seem to be a bit early for Vilsack’s endorsement? You’d think he’d wait until it was closer to crunch time in Iowa and court the top two or three candidates in an attempt to leverage his endorsement into something meaningful, like a Cabinet post or something. As it is now, his endorsement will probably just be forgotten in a week–too obscure even for political trivia games.

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Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Tano says:

    There is advantage to having leverage and using it at a critical moment. There is also advantage to being onboard the team from an early stage. He could become an advisor, or point man for something, like ag.
    I also think he would like her help paying off his campaign debt.

  2. Boyd says:

    I agree with Tano that a relative unknown (outside Iowa, at least) who’s effectively unemployed right now could find working with a leading candidate’s campaign very attractive. And anyway, it’s not like his endorsement is going to sway huge gobs of people.

    And I’m striving mightily to not make a stupid joke about Vilsack’s name. It’s been (over-) done, it’s a cheap shot, and few would even find it funny. But Gawd, it’s tough to hold it back!

  3. Waiting until you know who is going to win also means waiting until your support becomes a nice to have but not critical. Iowa is close for Hillary. If Vilsack gets out and really campaigns for her, especially at the retail level, it could be big for her. And I have no doubt Hillary could make the quid pro quo deal, also knowing that she would renege if she got a better deal later when she didn’t need Vilsack.

  4. Stormy70 says:

    Well, I would endorse her too, if she paid off all my debts. $400,000 buys a lot of good will.

  5. chsw says:

    Loyalty in politics may be a rare commodity, however, it can be bought.