Friday, November 10, 2006


You can look for a host of candidates for president in 2008 from both parties as the office will be open due to the current occupant of the White House being term limited. Some have already been stumping for months in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, others have been touring the country on behalf of their party's candidates for state and federal offices during the midterm election campaign.

Wednesday, the day after this week's elections, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D) became the first from either major party to take the next formal step, filing papers to establish his presidential campaign committee.

Vilsack is the Chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, and did not run for reelection as governor in order to keep a promise of serving only two terms. His press release announced that the campaign will officially kick off November 30 in his hometown of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and will be followed by events in New Hampshire, Pittsburgh, Nevada, and South Carolina. The first major fundraiser for the new campaign has been scheduled for December 2 in Des Moines.

The Vilsack '08 campaign will be managed by Craig Varoga, CEO of the Houston-based firm Varoga & Rice. He has worked with a number of major campaigns, including as national director of state research for the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign, national field director for retired general Wesley Clark's presidential effort in 2003-2004, and was communications director for U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D - NV) who will become majority leader in January.

Now that the first official candidate is in the picture, how long will it take for the Barack Obamas and Hillary Rodham Clintons and the John McCains to step forward? One of the roundtable pundits on last Sunday's edition of This Week With George Stephanopoulos predicted that Obama, the junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, will make a decision on running before the end of November.


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