What election was that?

On November 8, 2006, my friend and reporter colleague Jeneane Beck went to the hair salon and explained to her stylist (my mother would have called the stylist a beautician) that she had been unable to come in earlier because she had been swamped with work because of "The Election." 

"What election was that?"  the stylist asked.

When Governor Chet Culver told the following story Tuesday night, I was reminded of Beck’s story.

"I’m glad Martha took the time to introduce me. I still have some work to do in terms of the voters out there," Culver told the crowd.  "Just about a week ago I took my wife and kids, John and Claire, out to Sonic — the drive-in hamburger place.  We were waiting for the food and this young lady came out with the food and said ‘Culver? Culver? I’ve met you before, haven’t I?’ 

"…I said "Yeah, how did you know the name?’

"And (the young lady) said, ‘Well, I saw the bumper sticker on the back of your truck’ and she said ‘You just ran for something, didn’t you?’

"And I said "yea, I just ran for governor.’

"She said, ‘Well, how did you do?’

"We explained we did pretty well."

Culver laughed.  Culver was giving a short welcoming speech at the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s annual banquet.  It’s an event former Governor Terry Branstad rarely missed.  Former Governor Tom Vilsack never attended, I’m told by the Partnership staff. (UPDATE: A reader of the blog emailed to say he remembers Vilsack being there once, to deliver the speaker’s introduction the year former President  was the keynoter.) Just another signal of how Governor Culver is perhaps going to be more like Branstad than Vilsack.

Here is how Culver addressed the 1500 Des Moines-area business types who had bought tickets for the event: "This is a wonderful sign of great things to come to have a record turn-out here this evening.  I am so convinced that our potential is unlimited…Our best days are ahead of us," Culver said to open his brief speech.  "Not only are great things happening here in Des Moines, but as I’ve traveled the state, most recently in Sioux City and Iowa City, there is an unprecedented level of optimism across our great state and I want to commend all of the business leaders that are making it happen."

Culver’s schedule indicates he’ll be at this afternoon’s opening of the National Pheasants Forever convention in Des Moines.  Vilsack, by the way, is in New Hampshire.  He appeared at the Londonderry Middle School this morning and over the noon hour he’s appearing at the Granite State Independent Living facility in Concord, NH.  HIs wife, Christie, is accompanying him to both stops, but she’s making one more stop today — at a "Dress for Success" event in Concord.  On Saturday, Christie Vilsack will make two public appearances.  Her first stop Saturday is at a retirement community in Hanover, NH and then in the afternoon she’ll attend a tea in a private home in Norwich, Vermont.

Vilsack’s campaign staff has not provided a schedule of any other public events for the former governor this week, but Gordon Fischer printed a Vilsack travel schedule on his blog and it indicates Vilsack was in Washington, DC on Tuesday, in New York on Wednesday and in New York and Boston on Thursday.  The schedule shows Vilsack will be in LA on Saturday.  Again, no word from the campaign as to what Vilsack’s doing or has done in any of those cities.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

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