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Another Vilsack in Washington?

Via Ben Smith, Radio Iowa reports that Christie Vilsack--wife of the guy currently responsible for grading your meat--might challenge Chuck Grassley in 2010. A couple months ago, Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein argued that Obama screwed up by putting Tom Vilsack in his cabinet when Democrats would have been better served by having the popular former Iowa governor run against Grassley. I think Christie's entry into the race could render those arguments moot, especially when you consider that, in some ways, she might actually have a better shot against Grassley than her husband would have.

In fact, there are some people in Iowa who think Christie is the real political talent in the Vilsack family. Her endorsement of John Kerry shortly before the Iowa Caucuses back in 2004 was viewed by many as the gamechanger that helped Kerry win the state. But while some people think its importance stemmed from the fact that Christie was signaling the support of her husband (who, as governor, had pledged to stay neutral) for Kerry, there are those who insist that it was Christie's endorsement itself that carried weight since, as Iowa's first lady, she was pretty popular. I have no idea if this is true, but if she does run in 2010, she could prove to be a lot more formidable than the typical political spouse.