Like Iowa’s current governor, former Iowa Governor Robert Ray was once in the running for the V.P. slot on the national ticket. Radio Iowa’s O.Kay Henderson interviewed Ray last night . Former President Gerald Ford considered Ray as a runningmate in 1976, but eventually chose Bob Dole to share the top of the ticket. Ray says back then he acted differently than current Governor Tom Vilsack is acting as his name is bandied about as a potential runningmate for John Kerry. Ray says he “wasn’t quite so eager” and “did nothing to promote” his own candidacy. Ray says he acted that way, in part, because he wanted to fulfill his term as governor, but Ray says had he been offered the slot, he would have taken it. But Ray is philosophical about being passed over. Ray says it boils down to a decision about which person will do the most to help win the election, and Ray says he likes Bob Dole. Ray submitted personal information to Ford’s folks for review, but he says it was nothing like the intense scrutiny politicians endure today.Ray says in 1976, people weren’t trying to find something wrong with a candidate like they do today. Ray says he thought of that when he heard about Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent use of the an obscenity during a conversation Cheney had in the U.S. Senate. Ray says he’s not excusing or condoning expletives, but “you probably heard that language almost anyplace you go” and highlights the difficult environment that exists for candidates today.
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