Former Governor Tom Vilsack announced this past week that he won’t leave his job as U-S Ag Secretary to run for governor in 2014. Dan Glickman served as President Clinton’s Agriculture Secretary from mid-1995 ’til George W. Bush took office and he understand’s Vilsack’s decision to stay at the USDA.
“I’ll be honest with you, if they had asked me to stay on as Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush Administration — different party — I would have done that as well,” Glickman says. “I think the job is that good.”
Even if Vilsack stays until the very end of the Obama Administration, his term as secretary of agriculture would be over on January 20, 2017, when the next president is sworn into office. Joe Shannahan — Vilsack’s former communications director — says Vilsack should consider running for governor in 2018.
“I believe that he may look at it in the future and I would encourage him to do so,” Shannahan says.
Glickman was hired to head the Motion Picture Association of America after his stint as ag secretary and he suggests Vilsack’s job prospects after the Obama Administration aren’t limited to politics.
“Tom Vilsack is a great manager. He’s interested in a lot of things — biotechnology, agriculture research, conservation programs — so if he wants a further career in elected politics, I think that’s great,” Glickman says. “What I’ve found in life are that there are a lot of things to do in life outside of elected politics.”
Glickman, a former Kansas congressman, is now a “senior fellow” at the Bipartisan Policy Center — a Washington, D.C. think tank. Glickman also served as director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Vilsack served eight years as Iowa’s governor, from January of 1999 ’til January of 2007.