CommunityPam's House Blend

Hmmm. I don’t know enough about Vilsack other than his name keeps popping up he’s jockeying with Howard Dean for DNC leadership.: “Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told Democratic leaders on Friday he may seek the party’s top job as the jockeying to replace chairman Terry McAuliffe intensified.

Vilsack, an ally of failed presidential nominee John Kerry, telephoned several Democratic National Committee members as he traveled in Europe, seeking their advice and asking them to withhold their endorsement of any candidate until he decides whether to seek the job.

Vilsack said that decision will come after his return from Europe next week, according to three officials familiar with the conversations. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Vilsack’s candidacy appeared likely despite several complicating factors.

One is a long list of other Democrats interested in the job, including former Kerry rival Howard Dean who began calling DNC members this week seeking support. The 400-plus DNC membership meets in February to select a replacement for McAuliffe, who is not seeking another term.”

…Vilsack’s term as Iowa governor expires in 2006, a point that might trouble Democrats who want a full-time party chairman. Vilsack could serve as chairman while a Democratic strategist runs the party’s day-to-day operations, but that might not satisfy some DNC members. In his calls, Vilsack did not indicate how he would structure the job if he sought it.

Serving as chairman could also complicate – or end – Vilsack’s presidential hopes should DNC members seek a commitment from him that he not leave the party post for a White House bid. Vilsack, a finalist on Kerry’s list of potential vice presidential candidates, has made no secret of his presidential ambitions.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding