Ensign to be “stuck” in northwest Iowa

As you may know, Senator John Ensign, a Republican from the state of Nevada is due to travel to Sioux City, Iowa next month for a speaking engagement at an event organized by the American Future Fund.  (Pronounciation help for you: Ensign is pronounced EHN'-sihn). Ensign's trip has gotten a bit of D.C. buss about Ensign's prospects as a 2012 G.O,P. presidential candidate

That Washington Post blog item linked above suggests Ensign's decision to schedule side trips out of Sioux City to businesses in Le Mars and Sioux Center is illustrative of his desire to meet and be seen by Iowa Caucus-goers. However, Ensign had a slightly different explanation for those side trips during an interview on ABC News Now's "Top Line" with Rick Klein and David Chalian, ABC News political director.  Watch the video here.  Read the text of Ensign's statement below.

Why is a senator from Nevada appearing at the Wells Blue Bunny ice cream parlor in Le Mars, Iowa?

Ensign: "Well, I was asked by a group to go to Iowa and to give a speech and we don't have the White House any more, so we need a lot of effective speakers to go around talking about the ideas that we have on health care, on energy, on getting more American energy and becoming less dependent on foreign sources of energy. Our ideas on reforming especially our K through 12 education system because it's at least, if not the worst in the industrialized world, maybe the second worst, and that's unacceptable.  We've gotta reform education."

So, again, why visit Le Mars?

Ensign: "Well, you know, first of all, I love ice cream, but I'm also going to basically a veterinary facility.  It has to do with embryo transfer and I'm going to tour that and meet some of the employees because, you know, in my former life as a veterinarian I was very interested in those kind of things and I didn't set up the agenda.  You know, people said, 'Hey, why don't you go here or go there and I said, fine.  I'm there for a couple extra hours because you're stuck.  You know, you can only take… there's only so many flights out of Iowa and so you have to wait around so they just filled up my schedule."

Le Mars is about 26 miles from Sioux City.  It takes just over half an hour to drive from Sioux City to Le Mars.  Sioux Center is even farther away, about 55 miles from Sioux City. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

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


  1. Le Mars, Iowa. The home of Iowa’s version of George Jung, Bush pardonee, and all around first class businessman John Ribando.
    If I was going to be in Le Mars I would make sure to shake his hand.