Rants says farewell

State Representative Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, delivered his “retirement” speech late this afternoon.

“Almost half of my life has been spent in this chamber,” Rants said to start.  “…I’ve been dreading this speech, didn’t want to make this speech, but I’m going to try it.”

  1. Rants offered a list of things he’s learned.  AUDIO: Rants farewell 34 min

1.  Anybody can win.  “I won my primary by 17 votes.   I was not the guy that was supposed to win.”

2.  People can fly.

3.  If you are going to campaign on it, you’d better be prepared to do it.

4.  Keep your temper in check.

5.  Real friendship can withstand any election or vote.

6.  Never ever ever ever ever ever ever give up if you think it’s important to the people of this state.

7.  Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

8.  You can never outmaneuver the minority from finding a way to have their point of view heard.

9.  Decorum matters.

10.  It’s about the zeitgeist.

11.  It’s OK to relax every now and then.

12.  If you don’t care about the election and do what’s right first, everything will turn out OK.

13.  Patience is an invaluable negotiating tactic.

14.  You’d better be prepared when you enter negotiations.

15.  No transgression, no pain, no words of anger in caucus is ever permanent.

16.  No matter how alone you feel, somebody always has your back.

17. Never cross the House clerks (the secretaries).

18. Nothing good ever comes out of a caucus that lasts for three hours.

19.  There’s no deal that can’t be somehow salvaged and put back together again.

20.  No mater what happens in the course of your fight, you need to shake hands after the battle is over.

21.  No one does this alone; the loyalty and friendship of legislative staff are priceless.

22.  Make a point of having dinner with every member of the Iowa House.

23.  Leadership is not a noun.  Leadership is a verb.  It’s an adverb.  Rants quoted Marty Linsky: “Leadership is the ability to disappoint those that place their trust in you at a rate that they can absorb.”

24.  When you get home at night, no matter how late, wake your kids up and give them a hug.

“I leave here with no regrets about a vote or a bill or an amendment,: Rants said. “…What I do regret are the times I’ve been too busy to shake a hand, too quick to judge, too focused on whatever it was that I was trying to get done at the time that I didn’t look around to see what was going on around me…so I would ask for your foregivenss.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

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