Iowa’s Governor has refused to discuss his prospects for becoming John Kerry’s running mate with Iowa reporters, but he answered a New York Times reporter’s questions on the subject and the story appeared in the national newspaper this weekend. Vilsack told the New York Times one of his greatest assets was his address, which is 402 Main Street, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, as it shows he knows about small town America. Vilsack also talked more about the abuse he suffered at the hands of the alcoholic mother who adopted him as a baby — telling the paper’s reporter his mother used the buckle end of a belt to beat him until he bled as a boy. In May, Vilsack’s staff said the governor was too busy to do an interview with Radio Iowa about his past or his prospects for becoming the democrats’ vice presidential candidate, and a request to talk to his wife, Christie, was also rebuffed. During an appearance this weekend on Iowa Public Television, Vilsack was still largely unwilling to talk with Iowa reporters about the issue. Vilsack told Iowa reporters he’s on Kerry’s short-list of potential runningmates because of “the Iowa story and what Iowans are doing.” Radio Iowa news director O.Kay Henderson said “he’s not picking a state to run with. He’s picking a guy. You’re a smart guy. Tell us. Do you think it’s because of your personal story, or do you think it’s because of your political record or do you think it’s because you have some rapport with the fellow?” Vilsack said “you’ll have to ask John Kerry all those questions.” Vilsack said he was only interested in talking with Iowa reporters “about what is happening in my state right now.” Despite eight questions on the subject, Vilsack never opened up, which prompted Des Moines Register political columnist David Yepsen to make this comment. Yepsen said “Governor, we’re not having real good luck here today asking about the vice presidency,” which prompted Vilsack and others around the table to laugh. North Carolina Senator John Edwards, another of the men Kerry is considering as a runningmate, was in Iowa over the weekend, and Edwards put it like this when reporters pressed him about becoming vice president.Edwards said talking about the process is “like stepping into quicksand” and he agrees with Kerry that it all should be confidential and dignified. Edwards said Kerry “ought to be left to make (the decision) himself, without commentary by me or others.”