Odds & Ends

Here are a variety of items and observations — in no particular order:

:: Huh?  As linked here earlier this week, Clinton campaign aides confirmed Senator Clinton has agreed to help retire former presidential candidate Tom Vilsack’s campaign debt.  Yet Vilsack today told WHO-TV something completely different — that he has taken out a loan and intends to pay off the debt himself. 

:: Governor Chet Culver was waiting in line for a sandwich at the statehouse cafeteria on Tueday when Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal jokingly tried to push two people ahead in line — in front of the governor.  (I asked the other statehouse reporters and we don’t remember seeing Tom Vilsack out standing in line for his own food when he was governor.)

:: Former Governor Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie, looked really tan on Monday when they endorsed Hillary Clinton.  Vilsack mentioned he’d been on his first "real" vacation in nine years.  Sources say the Vilsacks went to spring training — so they got those tans from sitting in the stands?

:: Those big, huge pots of coffee in the lounge located just off the House floor are hard at work on most days during the legislative session. This past Monday, though, it was so hot they made the coffee, but didn’t drain the pots.  That is a first, according to the doormen.  Wonder how much coffee was available?  In that one lounge, there are three pots of regular coffee and one pot of decaf.  EACH pot holds two gallons. (Thanks to Dean Fihr for finding out just how much coffee was made.)

:: How can somebody be a low talker and a loud laugher?  Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal creates havoc for sound editors with his statements to reporters that barely register, but the sound wave goes off the chart when he laughs.

:: Shortly before 10 o’clock central time today, I found Duncan Hunter’s presidential campaign website on-line and called the only telephone number on it — a toll-free number.  After being on hold for about eight minutes, the operator who answered said she worked for a call service who forwarded calls — and she was unable to forward my call to the campaign staff.  She took a message.  No one from Hunter’s staff has called yet. 

:: If the Iowa statehouse press corps has a correspondents dinner, which state official would you want to see get up and dance like Karl Rove did last night in DC?  I’ve been around long enough to remember the reverberations when former Iowa House Speaker Harold Van Maanen agreed to sing "Born to be Wild" in public.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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