Eat The Press

smiley vilsack.JPG

from Comedy Central

Last night Iowa Governor and 2008 Democratic hopeful Tom Vilsack became the first 2008 presidential candidate to appear on "The Daily Show," which by now is widely accepted as a good strategic platform for any candidate (recall that John Edwards officially announced his candidacy on the show back in 2003). It was a smart strategic move for Vilsack, who has been savvy about magnifying his own visibility, making headlines for being the first person to officially declare 2008 candidacy, getting a jump on a slate of far more prominent contenders like Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama. Vilsack is still an unknown quantity (no Newsweek cover for him, and clearly Tim Russert is far too busy), so it was a very smart move indeed to have his coming out party on "The Daily Show," where host Jon Stewart tends to give his guests an easy time, setting them up for easy punchlines and generally making them look good, unless they're Bill Bennett and don't think gay people should be allowed to get married. Vilsack, meanwhile, is already all over this internet thing, with a great MySpace page (he runs marathons! He likes Family Guy! He's a Sag!) and a video done in the jump-intercut style of an older, more sedate Ze Frank. He also, according to his chatty, interactive website, has pages at YouTube, Facebook, Party Builder, LinkedIn, DailyKos, and MyDD. So "The Daily Show" sounds like the perfect launching pad for him. The whole interview is worth a look (check it out via Vilsack's website, which dutifully links to Comedy Central) but here's a clip, which has the added bonus of managing to mock Laura Bush, Tony Snow and Howard Kurtz.



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