This was pretty predictable. I may have even predicted it myself — honestly, I can’t remember. Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa is a respected semi-progressive voice for the agriculture community, especially on renewable energy and that sort of thing. Ezra Klein has expressed his doubts about him as far as his commitment to doing anything far-reaching about the abysmal state of the food industry in the this country.
Of course, the Los Angeles Times is more interested in who Vilsack supported during the primaries:
During the campaign for the Iowa caucuses, Vilsack was the top Clinton official in the state and often appeared with the New York senator. He also frequently questioned Obama’s preparedness for the presidency.
But after Obama won the Democratic nomination, Vilsack campaigned for his general election effort in Iowa and other states.
Vilsack would be the fourth high-level appointment of a former presidential campaign rival to Obama’s team, following Clinton for secretary of State, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden for vice president and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for Commerce secretary.
Which makes Vilsack a double former rival of sorts because unlike Bill Richardson (who dropped out and supported Obama, to the chagrin of the Clintons), Vilsack ran against Obama and then supported the woman still running against him.
Can we please get over who supported whom? This seems a waste of news print, when there are big issues to discuss. How about a nuanced discussion of the role Vilsack will play in the new administration and on which side he falls for each of the major ag issues on the table? Sure, Vilsack was a big Clinton supporter — but the woman herself has been appointed to the Obama’s cabinet. Surely by now we can quit this talk?