Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt has hired Governor Tom Vilsack’s campaign manager to handle his Iowa presidential campaign. Gephardt won Iowa’s Democratic Party Caucuses in 1988, but refuses to claim that as an advantage over his rivals. Gephardt says Iowa’s a good test for everybody and no one enters it in any kind of leading position — a swipe at Massachusetts Senator John Kerry who is mentioned by some as a front-runner of sorts. Gephardt says it will be “of some help” that he has spent so much time in Iow already, but he says the winner will have to come up with a story to tell that’s positive and motivational, with stands on the issues that can excite people. He says having been here before will be some help, but he says it will certainly not be decisive. After Democratic losses in the 2002 elections, Gephardt decided not to seek another go-round as leader of House Democrats. He now says that decision was made with a presidential bid in mind. Gephardt says in life, you can only do one challenge at a time. Gephardt, who has been in Congress for over a quarter of a century, says he wants to bring “bold but realistic ideas” to the forefront during the upcoming campaign.
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