Hi-yo, Silver, away! Vilsack’s wearing boots!

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor, held a forum at the Iowa State Fair today and he was sporting a pair of cowboy boots that were a gift from his wife, Christie.  Vilsack was quizzed about his attire.

Joyce Russell of Iowa Public Radio: "Did you buy the boots?"

Vilsack: "No."

Russell: "Tell me about how long you've had those boots."

Vilsack: "These were a Christmas present from my wife."

Russell: "What year?"

Vilsack: "Well, last year they were a Christmas present."

Russell: "Were you anticipating being named ag secretary when you got cowboy boots for Christmas?"

Vilsack: "I don't know when Christie (his wife) ordered them, but these are the most comfortable — I'll tell you, do you know why I'm wearing.these?  I was on a trip to Africa with Bill Clinton and I noticed Bill Clinton was wearing cowboy boots and he said, 'You know, these are the most comfortable things you'll put on your feet.' I said, 'Really?' — skeptically — and he said, 'No, seriously. These are really comfortable.'"

Lynn Campbell of IowaPolitics.com: "What are they?"

O.Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa: "Cowboy boots."

Vilsack: "They're from Texas and they're made for my particular foot so they are, indeed, the most comfortable things I have had on my feet."

Russell: "Are these your first cowboy boots?"

(A USDA staffer, at this point, tries to guide Vilsack away for another engagement on the fairgrounds, but Vilsack answers Russell's question.)

Vilsack: "No. No.  I've had cowboy boots when I was, going back, when I was five years old.  I was the Lone Ranger."

The Lone Ranger started as a radio series in 1933 and ended in 1954. The Lone Ranger TV series ran from 1949 to 1957.  Tom Vilsack was born in 1950, so he would have been inspired by Clayton Moore, the actor who portrayed the Lone Ranger on TV. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

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