The first fly has dropped
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has abandoned his run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008.
DES MOINES, Iowa - Democrat Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor who built a centrist image, abandoned his bid for the presidency after struggling against better-known, better-financed rivals.While not surprised at candidates dropping out before even primary or caucus was held, I never thought it would come this soon. Vilsack was hoping Iowa could give him a big enough boost, but other than Iowans few knew or know who the former Governor is.
"It is money and only money that is the reason we are leaving today," Vilsack told reporters at a news conference, later adding, "We have a debt we're going to have to work our way through."
Vilsack, 55, left office in January and traveled to early voting states, but he attracted neither the attention nor the campaign cash of his top-tier rivals — Sen.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards.
In the most recent financial documents, Vilsack reported raising more than $1.1 million in the last seven weeks of 2006 but only had around $396,000 in the bank. Some campaign finance experts contend candidates will need $20 million by June 2007 to remain viable.
Vilsack's withdrawal still leaves a crowded field of eight Democrats. He will remain an important figure in the presidential race as former rivals undoubtedly seek his endorsement and help to win Iowa.
Vilsack, who likely will be considered as a vice presidential nominee, repeatedly declined to endorse another candidate at his news conference.
Other campaigns immediately began to seek out Vilsack's well-respected staff, hoping to pick up talented political operatives with experience in the first nominating state.
Vilsack was the first Democrat to formally enter the 2008 race when he announced his candidacy in November. He conceded at the time that he faced a difficult run.
Will it really come down to Obama vs Hilary? At this point, TFM is barely following either political race. With the exception of Hilary, I haven't ruled out any of the major democratic candidates a possibility for my 2008 primary vote. That's if the Florida primary means anything.
Also blogging on Vilsack's withdrawal- A Blog for All, Below the Beltway, Jim at Wizbang Politics,
Linked to- Right Wing Nation, Shadowscape, The World According to Carl,