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Exclusive Interview: Tom _Vilsack!_

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Tom VilsackIf you know Tom Vilsack's name at all, you're either a farm-state politics junkie, or a fan of the Daily Show, which has seared the appellation of the two-term Iowa governor into the minds of America's youth by tweaking the Aflac duck call into...Vilsack!

Though his name may be the butt of jokes, don't you dare question his qualifications, or worse yet, suggest he's another Kucinich candidate. He doesn't like that. And though he has nothing but praise for Hillary Clinton, he'll also bristle if you wonder aloud whether he's running to help take Iowa off the table for his friend on the Democratic Leadership Council.

"I'm a governor of eight years and a senior Democratic governor in this country," Vilsack says. "I deserve to be on this stage and I deserve to be in this race."

Vilsack is a serious man, who seriously believes he can capture the Democratic nomination. As a governor, he can claim an impressive record, having brought nearly universal health coverage to the kids of his state. And Vilsack insists he has the judgment to solve our Iraq quagmire. His solution? Pull our troops out of Baghdad and the rest of southern and western Iraq and re-deploy to Kurdistan.

National Affairs Daily spoke to Vilsack last week. He impressed with his polish and his intensity and his concern for America's underdogs. An orphan raised in an alcoholic family, he has a life story somewhat reminiscent of Bill Clinton's. His warmth and charisma? You be the judge.

Rolling Stone: Dennis Kucinich is announcing his candidacy today. It's understood that he's just running to raise the profile of his position on Iraq. Are you another Kucinich candidate, or are you in this to win?

Read the rest at National Affairs Daily