One politician's name that may be unfamiliar to most Americans has emerged as the latest potential consideration to be Hillary Clinton's vice presidential candidate, according to a new report. Tom Vilsack, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reportedly has just as good a chance to be tapped by Clinton as her running mate as other names that have been in the running, including Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Washington Post reported.
Vilsack and Kaine are the "leading candidates," according to the Post. Vilsack, who has led the USDA since 2009, formerly served as the governor of Iowa. He previously declared his candidacy in 2006 for president of the United States for the 2008 race before suspending his campaign in early 2007. The 65-year-old was nominated for his current post by President Barack Obama in 2008 before he was ultimately confirmed by the Senate in January 2009.
The Pittsburgh native has been a champion of the country's legal marijuana industry. Vilsack noted last year how he and former President Bill Clinton agreed about legalizing cannabis, especially for commercialization reasons.
"[Clinton] said, 'you know, an acre of this sells for a million dollars,'" Vilsack recounted. "With the exception of the state of Colorado and a few other states that have legalized another product, there are not very many commodities that you can plant, Mr. President, and then grow up to get a million bucks."
According to his bio on the official USDA website, Vilsack graduated Hamilton College and Albany Law School in New York, before practicing law. He and his wife, Christie, have two adult sons, Doug and Jess, who have given them four grandchildren.
The details of Hillary Clinton's relationship with Vilsack are immediately unclear, but his apparent low-key nature may be just what the high-profile, celebrity status of Clinton needs for a running mate. Vilsack called himself "a workhorse, not a show horse" in an interview with Politico.
"Not a rock star; I’m rock solid. I’m all about doing, and getting things done," Vilsack said while deflecting questions over whether Clinton's campaign had begun vetting him for a potential vice presidential candidacy. "It’s not in my nature to market myself. My nature is to market what we’re doing in my department, and in my state. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but we work hard down here, and we get things done."