Governor Tom Vilsack discussed painful childhood memories during a speech this morning. Vilsack met with political allies this week to talk about his image. The group told him he needed to show a warmer, caring side because he’s too serious. During a speech in Des Moines at the Status of African Americans conference, Vilsack tried to show empathy for some of the problems black youth face by highlighting his own experiences. The Governor has talked about his troubled childhood before, but never in such detail. Vilsack was orphaned at birth, then adopted. His new mom was addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol. Vilsack’s parents briefly split while his mom went through rehab. Vilsack says that experience left a lasting impression, and he moved to his wife’s hometown of Mount Pleasant to raise his own kids in a “safe, comforting” place. Vilsack says childhood is extremely important to him, because it’s something he didn’t have.
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