North Carolina Senator John Edwards campaigns in Des Moines today on behalf of his new cause — electing John Kerry president and himself vice president. Governor Tom Vilsack was one of those Kerry considered as a runningmate, but Vilsack says Edwards really worked for the job, and deserves it.Vilsack says Edwards is going to make sure the Kerry/Edwards ticket doesn’t forget the importance of rural America. Al Gore lost much of rural America to George Bush in 2000, and Vilsack says Edwards is a “great choice” as Kerry’s runningmate because he’ll reach out to rural parts of the country.Vilsack says Edwards speaks to the anxieties, hopes, and concerns of people who live in small towns and rural communities. Vilsack says Edwards is passionate, and his message resonated with people in his hometown of Mount Pleasant. Vilsack says Edwards’ work as a trial lawyer also makes him better on the campaign trail because he has a rapport with the kinds of folks he represented in court.Vilsack says Edwards represented “ordinary folks” so he can relate to people who are, for example, losing their health insurance or a job. On Monday, Vilsack revealed he had a private meeting in California with John Kerry, but afterwards got the impression from campaign staff and other party insiders that Edwards had the inside track for the v-p nomination.