Culver speaks to Democrats at party’s national convention

On Sunday, Governor Chet Culver told us he had two new ties from which to choose for tonight. It looks like he chose the red one, coupled it with a blue shirt that matches the color of his eyes — and matches the color of the backdrop on the convention stage. 

He began with an homage to the January 3, 2008 Iowa Caucuses, followed up with a referece to the floods and tornadoes, then launched into talking points about Obama/McCain match-up.  Now, he’s talking about renewable energy.  The Iowans were encouraged to get to the convention hall early so they could be there to cheer, and they just cheered the "energy capitol" rhetoric from Culver, who apparently was coached (appropriately!) to talk over the applause. 

For those of us who’ve been keeping a running tally of the times Culver uses the phrase "lock arms" — we were not disappointed.  Culver closed with this:  "My fellow Democrats, let’s lock arms and work together.  Let’s ensure that the journey that began in Iowa will continue on from Denver to Washington, D.C. Let’s put Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the White House and put our country on a path towards energy independence. Thank yiou and God bless America."

Culver was given a five-minute speaking slot and he did not use all five minutes!  The speech lasted about four and a half minutes. Full text below:

"The long journey to this historic convention began on a cold winter’s night in the great state of Iowa," Culver said to begin and the crowd of Iowans (and perhaps others, as the swell of voices was strong) cheered,  "so I’m honored to join you more than seven months and seven hundred miles from the site of that first contest as we unite to make Barack Obama the next president of the United States.

"This summer in Iowa we saw the motivating power of hope and determination when our state was hit by one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.  Despite three tornadoes and 500-year flood levels, countless Americans rallied to help us. On behalf of every Iowan, I want to say thank you for assisting us in our time of need.  We will get through this difficult challenge.  We know the Iowa values of faith, hard work and common sense will guide us and strengthen us as we rebuild an even better, safer and stronger state.

"Today I stand proudly with Barack Obama and Joe Biden — no strangers to Iowa who share our heartland values.  When they are in the White House our country will once again rise to meet the great challenges of our time and on the top list of that challenges is securing our energy future.  For the last eight years, the big oil companies and their Washington lobbyists have literally written our national policies.  They have made billions while the rest of us have been left paying the bill.

"Now, the oil companies are placing their bets on John McCain, bankrolling his campaign and gambling with our future.  McCain has voted against tax credits for renewable energy 11 times and his only idea to solve our energy crisis is to keep doing what we are doing as we watch prices go up and up and up.  Barack Obama understands our need for change.  Only Barack Obama has a detailed plan to give us the change we need:  lower energy prices and more green-collar jobs.

"If anyone still doubts whether renewable energy can lower prices and create jobs, look no further than Iowa.  We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy.  We’ve created more than 100,000 good-paying jobs and provided clean alternatives to overpriced foreign oil.  Iowa is fast becoming the renewable energy capitol of the United States and other states, like Colorado, are doing the same.  All over the country, entrepreneurs and innovators are joining state and local governments on exciting, cutting-edge projects..Just think how we’ll do when we have a president who shares our vision.

"Barack Obama’s clean energy plan will create five million new jobs. He will crack down on the special interests who intentionally bid up energy prices for their own profit and he will set a national goal of producing 25 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

"In just more than two months, Americans will decide the most important election in a generation. Our choice is to stick with the status quo or move our country forward.  On energy, the stakes couldn’t be higher. So, my fellow Democrats, let’s lock arms and work together.  Lets ensure that the journey that began in Iowa will continue on from Denver to Washington, D.C. Let’s put Barack Obama and Joe Biden in the White House and put our country on a path towards energy independence!

"Thank you and God Bless America!"

UPDATE:  And God bless Mark Halperin, Time magazine/the world’s political guru.  He interviewed Culver on the street today. Watch the video here. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. Old Trooper says

    The Iowa Caucuses disenfranchise Iowa voters.
    They are nothing to be proud of. On numerous overseas deployments the caususes came and went and I voted Absentee for the leftovers.
    Over 100 years ago State Legislators selected Senators for representation in DC. That went away, thank God. The caucuses are clearly remnants of a despicable good old boy system. Iowa needs Primary elections now!