Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat running for president lacks the pizzazz of his major rivals; at least thats how it seems to me and the reporter who politely asked him if he was bland.
"There are different types of charisma," Vilsack counseled, not all of the flashy Barack Obama variety. "There is a quiet charisma," he said, "that people look at and say, `this guy is genuine, he is authentic, he is real."
I could walk down Michigan Ave. with Vilsack and I doubt anyone would recognize him. There would be a stampede if I took the same stroll with the two big names mulling a presidential run--Dem senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I asked Vilsack about Obama at a breakfast for reporters on Tuesday morning hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. He said he doesn't get excited about potential rivals.
"I don't fear anybody, if that's your question."
With his wife Christie sitting next to him, Vilsack offered his formula for not languishing at the second tier.
"You have to work longer, and you have to work smarter, and that's what we intend to do," Vilsack said.
Obama's achille heel is his lack of experience. Vilsack said experience is his strong suit and he will compete on the "innovative and creative" end.
Vilsack sees being president at the "CEO of America."
"Who would hire someone who did not have CEO experience."