July 21, 2016

Vilsack for VP?

 |  By: Alison Rice

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is reportedly being considered as a potential vice presidential candidate on presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s ticket.

“A subject of increasing speculation within Clinton’s political orbit over the past two weeks, the former Iowa governor was also the talk of Democrats at the National Governors Association meeting in Des Moines over the weekend, said people familiar with the proceedings — especially after Donald Trump introduced another Midwestern state executive, Indiana’s Mike Pence, as his own running mate,” according to Politico.

Vilsack, who has served as the secretary of agriculture since 2009 and is a highly visible presence at ag industry events, could be an appealing addition to the ticket in farm states.

“People close to Clinton see Vilsack as a potentially useful tool as they court both the voters who eluded her during the primary and those of Iowa, a crucial swing state,” Politico said.

Vilsack also has a compelling personal story. Orphaned as an infant, he was adopted from a Pittsburgh orphanage in 1951 and went on to become a lawyer, mayor and governor of Iowa.

What Vilsack might lack, though, is foreign policy and national security experience, despite his work to grow trade and expand U.S. exports.

Facing a fall contest against a Republican opponent focused on law and order, Hillary Clinton has narrowed her search for a vice-presidential candidate, telling several potential running mates that she needs a No. 2 who would bring national security experience to the Democratic ticket,” according to a New York Times article.

Other Democratic vice presidential candidates reportedly include Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, former NATO  commander James G. Stavridis, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. 

Clinton may announce her choice as soon as Saturday.