Montana governor: “Don’t be picking on the moose.”

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer was the keynote speaker at the 31st annual Harkin Steak Fry, held this afternoon on a wind-swept, chilly field on the outskirts of Indianola. 

Schweitzer and Senator Tom Harkin did a little comedy routine as they flipped a few steaks for the cameras.  "I hope I’m not eating caribou," one man standing behind the pair said.  Another bystander added: "Or moose."

"Nothing wrong with moose, let me tell you," Schweitzer said.  "Don’t be picking on the moose."

Later, during Q&A with reporters, Schweitzer refrained from picking on moose burger lover Sarah Palin, merely saying that she would bring western issues to the fore front  Listen to the 12 minute mp3 here. Now, back to the chatter over the steaks on the grill:

"Woodrow Wilson was in his first term when you did your first steak fry, wasn’t he?" Schweitzer asked.

"Wait," Harkin replied.  "No, Teddy Roosevelt." 

Schweitzer noted the cost of a ticket for the first Harkin Steak Fry 31 years ago was $2.  Today, a ticket cost $30. "They’d pay $40 if we throw out the speeches," Schweitzer quipped. 

There was some joshing about Schweitzer’s pet dog, Jag, who came along for the ride to Iowa, too. In case you didn’t know, there’s a book about Jag. "It’s the story how the last pup in the litter grew up to become the first dog of Montana. It could happen to anybody, right?" Schweitzer said.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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