Culver’s final “Condition of the State” speech

Governor Chet Culver is soon to deliver his final “condition of the state” speech.  I’ll be live blogging during the event.  The House sergeant at arms just announced Culver’s here. “The governor has arrived in the chamber and he is,” the sergeant at arms began, surprised by the departure from the normal script.  “He is going to bring his family down.”

That is a departure.  The spouses and children of governors usually get escorted into the House by legislators, and then the speech-making governor makes a triumphant, solo entrance.

Senate President Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, is the legislator who gets to introduce Culver.  Kibbie — in another departure from the standard operating proceedure for these events– did more than usual, lauding the “major accomplishments” of Culver’s term, saying Culver’s work had make it “‘easier than many other states” for legislators to tackle the state’s finances in 2011.

“Governor, I want to personally thank you for your service,” Kibbie said.

Culver then took center stage and began his speech, which you can read here.  Culver noted two of Iowa’s three Democratic congressmen are in the audience, I guess not seeing the third (Leonard Boswell) is in the crowd, too.

When Culver got to the part of the speech in which he said he and his supporters “stood tall” for civil rights, about half the crowd applauded.  The other half sat silently.

Culver listed some of the challenges of the past four years, notably a series of natural disasters. “I think it’s fair to say there’s never been a dull moment,” Culver said, to a few chuckles, followed by applause.

Culver finished at about 10:41 a.m.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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