Vilsack is out. 3 months ago I wondered here what the hell he was thinking by getting in. I know he's a Guvna and all but the man's got nothing to say and the most boring possible way to not say it. I'm hoping Kucinich and Dodd will be next. If you know me you can tell that, obviously, I've got nothing against masturbation. But I don't see why these guys have to do it so publicly and bring so many other people into it. The fact that they would run at all tells me all I need to know about their respective abilities in judgment to rule them out. Contrast with Feingold. Now, there's a guy who, having decided not to run, I could really get behind. Oh, wait, a flaw in my system...
On the other hand, Mickey Kaus has some fun but fuzzy-headed speculation about why Vilsack may be getting out:
The fundraising troubles that are allegedly the "only" reason he quit a) don't seem that bad and b) were all quite foreseeable when he declared his candidacy in November. ... Baseless speculation (but why not): Did someone (e.g. Hillary) realize she desperately needed Vilsack's Iowa supporters and make him an offer he couldn't refuse? ...But this forgets the nature of the Iowa caucus system, in which voters move from one candidate to another after theirs is eliminated in the precinct. Remember when Edwards and Kucinich struck a deal in '04 and each asked their supporters to move their votes to the other if they lost? Vilsack and Hillary could have easily done the same thing, and Hillary would have Vilsack's votes anyway. Plus, any caucus-goer who wanted to go support Vilsack but wouldn't have participated otherwise would be a bonus Hillary vote.
What really sucks about the whole system is this: Hillary could win Iowa with less than 40% of the vote - If Obama and Edwards essentially split the anti-Hillary faction. Then we'd have a consensus front-runner going to NH and all those big early states now, despite her having been opposed by the majority of Iowans.