Whitaker driving speed limit

Matt Whitaker, the US Attorney for the southern district of Iowa, was in Iowa City today to tout a renewed effort to catch on-line sex predators.  A couple of hours after Whitaker’s news conference, I called the cell phone number of Whitaker’s assistant, Al Overbaugh.  Overbaugh answered, I could tell he was in a car, and I asked if he was driving or in the passenger seat.  He revealed that he was the passenger, Whitaker was the driver and after a very brief consultation it was determined that Whitaker could talk and drive.

Whitaker was handed the phone, and he immediately assured me he was going the speed limit and obeying all traffic laws. (This would be in contrast to the much-talked-about incident involving a Nussle campaign aide who was pulled over for speeding as she was chatting on her cell phone with a Register editor.)  As Whitaker started to answer my first question, I clearly heard Al Overbaugh jokingly say "We’re going to crash."  His prediction did not come true — at least during our brief phone conversation.

I related this story to my Radio Iowa colleagues, and Dar Danielson jokingly worried that Whitaker was used to crashing into things.  Whitaker was a tight end for the Iowa Hawkeyes during Hayden Fry’s heyday.  Whitaker played in the 1991 Rose Bowl.  He was also an academic All-American who got an MBA and a law degree from the U-of-I, too.  In 2002, Whitaker was the Republican candidate against State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.  He may have lost that election because his TV ad featured a clip of him in the Hawkeye uniform, catching a pass for a touchdown — in a game against Iowa State.  Might have swayed some Cyclone votes is all I’m saying.  President Bush named him US Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa in 2004. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Drew Miller says

    He sure gives a crappy speech for $2000 though. Ask the Iowa State student government. Maybe he gives the same speech at Iowa for $500.

  2. Matt Whitaker says

    You are right, Drew. I have given better speeches. But for the ISU GSB beer glass and the ISU GSB t-shirt that was all I did get for that speech, it was a pretty good speech.
    PS–Kay, Al was not joking. He thought we were coming up too fast on one big truck passing another big truck.