The Des Moines Register reports it has a source confirming the appointment, completing (in basketball terms) the "Team of Rivals" discussed since Obama's selection of Joe Biden for vice president, Hillary Clinton for secretary of state and Bill Richardson for commerce secretary. Vilsasck ran briefly for president, then endorsed Clinton and "campaigned aggressively" for her until Obama sewed up the nomination, the Register's Thomas Beaumont notes. (Iowa Politics photo shows Vilsack dropping out of the race.)
Phillip Rucker and Al Kamen of The Washington Post report that Obama will announce the appointments of Vilsack and Sen. Ken Salazar as interior secretary tomorrow. Beaumont gives the time: 10:45 a.m. Central.
AP has a profile of Vilsack, noting his political career "began as a small-town mayor forced into the job because of a sensational shooting spree," in which the mayor of Mount Pleasant, population 8,700, was killed by an angry constituent. Vilsack, a Pittsburgh native who had joined his father-in-law's legal practice, "was appointed mayor of the largely Republican city." (Encarta map)
National Farmers Union President Tom Buis, whom reformers had pushed for secretary, said in a statement: "I think Gov. Vilsack is a great choice and I look forward to working with him. Being from Iowa, Gov. Vilsack has an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist in rural America." For more from Nebraska Rural Radio, click here.