by Stephen Buel
If John Edwards sent out the first ad of the 2008 presidential campaign (he must really want it badly, since a second one arrived today), here we have the first bona fide candidate of that race. After the jump, the announcement. But shouldn't there be a candidate-free grace period of at least a few weeks?
Democratic Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack threw his hat in the ring today for the 2008 presidential campaign. Here's the announcement:
Like all of you, my wife Christie and I have spent so much of the past few months traveling and raising money in support of Democrats up and down the ticket.
And on Tuesday, millions of everyday Americans stood up in record numbers to affirm something that transcends political party and one-dimensional notions of "red" and "blue".
We voted for change, new ideas, and a new direction for our country.
The dozens of men and women for whom I campaigned this year share one thing -- a firm belief that the best solutions to the problems we face are waiting to be discovered, not just in Washington, but in the schools and on the streets of our own communities.
Today, in that spirit, I filed papers with the Federal Elections Commission to begin my campaign for President of the United States.
We're starting early because as a governor and non-federal office holder, I haven't had the ability to raise federal campaign funds until taking this step
You can understand why I need your help today.
I've run for office 9 times in my career and I've been an underdog in every single one of them. Knowing the great challenges that are ahead, my early campaign staff and I are dedicated to this new campaign and I hope we can count on you.
You are a vital part of our mission. Will you become one of my earliest campaign contributors today?
Over the past year we've worked together to define what sound Democratic leadership is in today's world. We've held policy discussions, attended conferences, and even held a contest to describe our party in "ten words or less."
In other words, we've managed to rise above the partisan gridlock in Washington D.C. and explore real solutions to real problems.
And underdog or not, that's what our campaign will be about. But it can't go far without your help today.
Each and every one of you played a vital role in Tuesday's victories, and now our work continues. Please join me today.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
PS. I've launched an initial campaign website at www.tomvilsack08.com that includes a video blog. I urge you to signup, ask a question and help spread the word about our new campaign.