Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack says he’ll be meeting privately with the Democrats who’re running for president over the next few weeks and will likely endorse one of them.
"I want to make sure that the individual that I support has the…ability to govern and the ability to lead and has sort of the characteristics that will appeal to a broad array of Americans," Vilsack says. "I really haven’t thought a great deal about the criteria. I’ve been trying to focus on my criteria and obviously what I had wasn’t enough."
Vilsack dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination last Friday. Vilsack today told reporters he’s had four full-time job offers in the past five days, but isn’t yet ready to decide what’s next.
Vilsack says a return to politics, perhaps a run for the United States Senate, isn’t in his immediate future. "Not today. Not today," Vilsack says. "I spent time in the legislature. I spent time as an executive and I realized I’m more of an executive kind of a guy."
But Vilsack’s not ready to say he’s done with politics. "You never want to say never in this business because you really can’t anticipate what the future might hold," Vilsack says. "…I don’t want to say never but I don’t see it today but, you know, something could come up."
Vilsack, who is an attorney, is teaching in the Drake University Law School on a part-time basis and MidAmerican Energy hired him as a consultant. Vilsack dropped out of the presidential race on February 23, citing an inability to raise money.
Now that he’s out of the money-raising game, Vilsack suggests it’s time to consider public taxpayer financing of elections, or new limits on campaign contributions. "If you had a public financing system that said if your opponent raises $100,000, the federal government will match that or if you had a system that said, you know, (there would be) certain limitations and that’s all that you could raise you would be able to have a healthier debate and a discussion about ideas," Vilsack says. "That would be my hope."
Vilsack made his comments during taping of an Iowa Public Television program.