Tom Vilsack may be on Hillary Clinton’s short list for a running mate, but the prospect that she might pick the long-serving Agriculture Secretary has infuriated many progressives — especially, Bernie Sanders supporters.
Only weeks ago, Vilsack helped broker a bill that Sanders had crusaded against. The bill requiring the labeling of genetically engineered food — which is expected to be signed into law by Barack Obama — was designed to pre-empt Vermont’s much stricter, first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law and replace it with what Sanders called a “toothless” and confusing national standard.
To progressives, Vilsack’s role in the GMO labeling law is emblematic of why they distrust him: They see him as a middle of-the-roader who helped negotiate a compromise that puts the interests of agribusiness over those of consumers and small farmers. Although the law requires companies to adhere to a national labeling standard for the first time, critics view it as a sellout because it allows companies to use computer codes rather than words on their labels and has no enforcement mechanism.
“Americans need staunch champions for a healthy food system, not a vice president who will allow Big Agriculture to wreak havoc on our environmental health,” Friends of the Earth Action said in a statement Thursday.
“No to MrMonsanto as Vice President!” Citizens4GMOLabeling tweeted Thursday.
illary Clinton’s veepstakes is ending the way it began: with the humble-but-sturdy Tim Kaine sitting at the top of her list.
After an extensive, months-long process during which the campaign considered a host of different options – even vetting a serious candidate from outside the political arena – the squeaky-clean Virginia senator, whose biggest liability to emerge was that he was boring, is emerging as Clinton’s top choice. Kaine has been urged along by two men familiar with the demands of the job: President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton, those close to the process say.
And after Donald Trump’s somewhat more polished performance Thursday night, even Democrats who had been pushing for a flashier choice like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker were sobered by the challenging four months ahead. “After last night, she needs to make the safest choice possible,” said a former senior White House aide.