Miller chooses Illinois' Obama over ex-boss Vilsack
DES MOINES -- Iowa's long-time Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller clearly doesn't owe his former boss too many electoral favors.
Miller yesterday publicly snubbed former Iowa Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack by officially backing Illinois Senator Barack Obama's run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008.
Miller was recently elected to his seventh term as Iowa attorney general, served two terms under Vilsack as governor, beginning in 1998. Vilsack left office at the end of last year to launch his presidential bid.
The attorney general announced Sunday at a rally in Ames that he and Iowa state Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald were endorsing Obama for president. Describing Obama as a "once-in-a-generation talent," Miller said Obama had "all the qualities to lead the nation."
Both Miller and Fitzgerald also called Obama the only "major candidate" in the Democratic race, suggesting that Vilsack falls into the "minor" category. Vilsack spokesman Jeff Link later told Radio Iowa he "wouldn't read too much into parsing every word of theirs."
"Attorney General Miller is a terrific attorney general and a great politician," Link added. "I'm sure he has his reasons for supporting Senator Obama."
Receiving endorsements from popular local politicians is often considered a boost for out-of-state presidential candidates in Iowa's all-important caucuses.