In March 2005, during my brief stint as a local Congressional staffer, I attended a breakfast gathering of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The chapter's speaker that morning was Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa, a native of Pittsburgh who grew up in Squirrel Hill. In his remarks, Governor Vilsack came off as friendly and very knowledgeable about sustainable economic development and smart growth.
Today, Governor Vilsack announced he will be a candidate in 2008 for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
Not that I expect many Democrats to take this Republican's advice on who should be their nominee for President -- but I think they would do well to give consideration to this native son of Western Pennsylvania.