Report: Vilsack communications director to head Clinton’s campaign in Iowa
March 5, 2015
Matt Paul, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's communications director, has resigned to head former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for president in Iowa, The Washington Post reported today.
Paul did not return an email seeking comment on the Post story, which said that he told USDA staff Wednesday that he plans to leave by the end of March. The Hagstrom Report observed Paul participating in USDA meetings within Vilsack's outer office today.
Paul's move is likely to lead to increased speculation that Vilsack would like to be Clinton's vice presidential candidate if she becomes the Democratic candidate for president.
The Post noted that "The Clintons and the Vilsacks have long and deep ties, their relationship having been described almost as family. Hillary Clinton worked with Christie Vilsack's brother on the staff of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate impeachment investigation."
According to his official USDA biography:
Paul "began his career as a reporter in television and radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa."
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"In 1994, he joined the staff of Mayor Larry Serbousek, serving as the city's primary spokesperson. He was asked to continue in that role after the election of Mayor Lee R. Clancey in 1996. Paul dramatically increased the exposure and understanding of city government by producing the first citizen's annual report, negotiated a new telecommunications franchise and spearheaded what would become the city's first website.
"In 1998, Paul was asked to serve on the transition team of Governor-elect Tom Vilsack. After inaugural activities he joined the staff and served in several positions over the next eight years including press secretary, communications director, and senior adviser.
"Paul authored and implemented the strategic communications plan of Iowa Values Fund, which resulted in passage of the largest and most successful economic development program in the states' history. He also led partnership efforts with career public information officers to integrate the administration's legislative and operating priorities within the state government.
"Paul also has experience in state and national politics. He served as assistant to Gov. Tom Vilsack in his successful 2002 reelection campaign, directing site and press advance across the state. In 2004, Paul was tapped to serve as deputy state director for Gov. Howard Dean's groundbreaking presidential campaign.
"Paul served as campaign manager for Mike Blouin's gubernatorial campaign in 2006, raising nearly $2 million dollars and securing a majority of the labor and newspaper endorsements. He later served as US Senator Tom Harkin's campaign manager in 2008.
Paul joined Link Strategies in 2007. He oversaw the firm's new business focus and managed public affairs activities on behalf of business, nonprofit and coalition group clients. These include the Pew Charitable Trust, IBM, AARP, Alliant Energy, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. In 2010, Paul developed, researched and created a new branch of Links Strategies, LPCA Public Strategies."
–The Hagstrom Report