Add “professor” to list of Vilsack titles

Drake University officials today announced ex-Governor Tom Vilsack will be a visiting professor in Drake’s Law School.  (Radio Iowa story)

Vilsack at Drake

You can hear the entire news conference where the announcement was made at During the news conference, Vilsack was presented with a Drake coffee mug and a Drake Law sweatshirt. He merely held the sweatshirt and posed for the cameras.  (Former Governor Terry Branstad would have shucked his suit jacket and worn the thing.)

"How did this all come about?  Were you approached for this?" asked Michelle Parker of KCCI TV (referring to the job, not the mug & sweatshirt).

"The Maxwells and Christie and I have had an opportunity from time to time to have dinner together," Vilsack said, referring to Drake University President David Maxwell and his wife.  "Obviously when you leave the governor’s office people ask you what your next plans are and I think it was President Maxwell who asked me what I would like to do and apart from what I’m obviously involved and engaged in now I said teaching would be something that would be very attractive to me but I didn’t know if there would be an opportunity and then Dean Walker and Neil Hamilton and President Maxwell approached me with an idea of this kind of combination symposium/seminar/class and speaking opportunities which I think plays to the strengths that I can bring to the unviersity, so…"

"How will it impact your campaign, spending time?" Parker followed up.

"Well, you know I’ve always been a hard worker, so this won’t be any different," Vilsack replied. "This will be a great opportunity for me to reflect and think about policies so in one sense I think it will strengthen me as a candidate but I think more importantly in this business of politics you have a real risk of being disconnected from real life and this is going to make sure that that doesn’t happen for me which I think is real important."

A couple of hours later, Vilsack appeared at a news conference at the statehouse and revealed his latest "real life" experience:  "I apologize for being a few minutes late.  I had to drive my way here," Vilsack said, as the audience made up primarily of Iowa Business Council folks laughed.  "I"ve gotta get used to that."

Tonight, Vilsack is supposed to appear at campaign events in the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque at 5:30 p.m. and at the Two Brothers Restaurant in Independence at 8 p.m.   If you’re there, let me know if he drove himself — and whether he was on time.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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