Hey, sports fans. Tom Vilsack is at the Red Sox game, in the seats this time. Earlier this month, Vilsack shared that on a trip to Boston with his family, “the General” (his name for wife Christie in this instance) “marched” the family around Boston on the Freedom Trail. In an effort to show his young son a person can get into any event for the right price, Vilsack and his son (the General didn’t come along) went to Fenway to see some really crucial game (its significance fades in my memory the same way a good tan fades – it fades but the damage that leads to skin cancer or in this case mental overload, never goes away). Vilsack found someone just outside the park selling tickets for some outrageous price; he wanted in, so said yes, then after he’d given his word he’d buy them (this “giving his word” thing was very important in the story, as Vilsack said he didn’t’ want to say he’d do something this big in front of his son and then back out on the deal) discovered he could buy two tickets, EACH at that outrageous price of something like $75 (my mind fails me at the exact price). Anyway, they got inside. Vilsack asked an usher where the seats were, and the usher said “Those aren’t seats. You’re in Standing Room Only. ” So, Vilsack and his elementary-school-aged son were in the second row of SRO, and his son couldn’t see this game because he was a kid standing behind adults.

Well, this time Vilsack is apparently with what one of my reporter friends calls “the heavy hitters.” He’s actually sitting in a seat at Fenway as I sit in my seat here at the Marriott Long Wharf at 9:30 p.m. after having had a crappy day. After running around trying to catch people to talk to, I spent about four straight hours writing and editing stories that’ll air tomorrow morning on Radio Iowa. And in the middle of the day I stood in a line for two hours along with hundreds of other radio and t.v. people to get my credentials for this convention shindig. The kicker is the credentials we “locals” are issued aren’t good for much anyway, since we can’t be on the floor during the convention. There’s no room. I can stand in the hallway outside, or get a 20 minute pass from a kiosk, then sprint for 10 minutes to get inside to the front of the convention hall where the Iowans are sitting, do a 10 second interview, then turn around and sprint back to turn in my temporary floor pass or risk some wicked punishment, like having my basically useless credential yanked and being sent home without dinner. Which I haven’t had tonight anyway. I’m going to count the 4:30 p.m. room service lunch as supper and call it a day.

If Vilsack tells me a story tomorrow about how good his hot dog was at the ballpark, I may not be responsible for my reaction.