Presidential Moves: Tom Vilsack, Wes Clark

One Democrat makes it official tonight and another provides strong hints as the Democratic presidential nomination sweepstakes kicks off this week.

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack’s presidential run officially starts tonight with a “community pot luck” in his adopted hometown of Mount Pleasant. Yesterday, he picked up some impressive support. According to the Des Moines Register, Gary Hirshberg, an influential activist and donor in the key state of New Hampshire, has thrown his support to Vilsack. Meanwhile, Chicago investment banker Lou Susman, the top fundraiser for John Kerry’s 2004 campaign, is helping the Iowa Democrat with fundraising and will weigh a more formal commitment to Vilsack’s campaign.

Vilsack, chairman of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, may be banking on America’s new wave of centrist politics. The last time a chairman of the DLC ran for president, it was Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

Vilsack isn’t the only potential Democratic presidential candidate with ties to Clinton. Retired General and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark, also from Arkansas, is also expected to throw his hat into the ring soon. Clark, sometimes referred to as “Clinton’s General,” commanded the successful Kosovo mission in the late 90s.

Clark said yesterday he doesn’t have a timeline to decide whether to run for president again, but wants to avoid waiting too late — a mistake he says he made in his failed 2004 bid.

Other Democrats considering a run are U.S. Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama, and former Sen. John Edwards.

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