A few of the national movers and shakers in the Democratic Party stopped by Iowa Delegate headquarters in Boston this morning, but it’s the comments of First Lady Christie Vilsack that have captured the local media’s attention. Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack endorsed John Kerry just days before the Iowa Caucuses, an action that endeared Mrs. Vilsack with Kerry and the Kerry campaign. She’s scheduled to give a speech tomorrow night at the convention, but this morning, readers in the Boston Herald are seeing some of what the paper calls “inflammatory comments” that Mrs. Vilsack wrote in a newspaper column published 10 years ago. The front of today’s Boston Herald proclaimed that Mrs. Vilsack “ripped blacks, Easterners and Southerners as bad speakers.” In the 1994 column in the Mount Pleasant News, Mrs. Vilsack talked of regional dialects she couldn’t understand and of the “slurred” speech patterns of blacks. The Boston Herald’s bold headline responds “Say What?” Mrs. Vilsack responds to questions from a Chicago Tribune reporter this morning, and said as a teacher she always preached about diversity and tolerance in the classroom. Mrs. Vilsack has promoted literacy programs during her tenure as Iowa’s First Lady and she’s in charge of a book drive here at the convention.
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