Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack was rumored to be one of the finalists to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate, but she announced this evening via Twitter that her final choice is Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
Vilsack and Clinton have known one another for four decades, one of the reasons cited by many sources who considered Vilsack to be in the running for the V.P. nod. Vilsack’s first connection to Hillary Clinton runs through his wife and late brother-in-law. Tom Bell worked with Clinton on the investigation into the Watergate scandal.
Clinton responded to the call when Tom Vilsack was running for governor in 1998, trailing badly in the polls and short of campaign cash. Clinton, who was the nation’s first lady at the time, hosted a fundraiser for Vilsack in Washington, D.C. Clinton has described the speech Vilsack gave at the event as one of the best she’s ever heard.
Vilsack and his wife have backed both of Clinton’s bid for the White House.
Vilsack served two terms as Iowa’s governor, leaving office in January of 2007, in the midst of his own short-lived presidential campaign. Vilsack has been President Obama’s first and only agriculture secretary.
Vilsack and his wife own a home in central Iowa, near where one of his sons, a daughter-in-law and grandkids live. Vilsack, who is 65 years old, talked last year about life after the Obama Administration. Vilsack said he wants to move back to Iowa full-time — at some point. That leaves the door open to staying in Washington and working in the next administration, if Clinton wins in November.
Vilsack is scheduled to meet with Iowa’s delegation at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next week.