Governor Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie, have been in the spotlight at the Democratic National Convention. Governor Vilsack spoke at the convention shortly after it opened late yesterday afternoon. His speech was brief, focusing on the homeland security elements in the party platform. Vilsack’s introduction drew chuckles and sighs from Iowans — he was wrongly introduced as the Governor of Ohio rather than of Iowa.
The other half of Iowa’s First Couple, Christie Vilsack, woke up Monday morning to read about herself in the Boston Herald. The tabloid published a story about a column Mrs. Vilsack wrote in 1994, a column in which she talked about – among other things — how difficult it was to understand some black people when they’re talking to one another.
The Iowa Republican Party has called on Mrs. Vilsack to apologize. Party co-chair Leon Mosley of Waterloo, who is black, called her column “outrageous” and “ignorant.”
Mrs. Vilsack accuses republicans of leaking the story to the newspaper, and she says her comments were taken out of context. Mrs. Vilsack suggests the purpose of the column was not to criticize. Mrs. Vilsack says she was just writing about issues that could unite and divide her hometown of Mount Pleasant, which was undergoing some economic changes. Mrs. Vilsack has written a speech which she’ll deliver in prime time tonight, and she says many of the remarks she made in January while endorsing Kerry will be repeated.
During that speech back in January, Mrs. Vilsack said she decided to back Kerry after seeing him interact with people, and listen to others. “I think Iowans choose not just on policy, but on intangibles,” Mrs. Vilsack said then. Mrs. Vilsack’s speech this evening is to focus on small-town values. Mrs. Vilsack says her remarks will be aimed, in part, at her former students in Mount Pleasant as well as her political mentors, friends and neighbors there. Mrs. Vilsack told her local dentist – while she was sitting in the dentist’s chair last week – that as a former student who had been forced by her to stand up and speak before the class, he could now watch her have to stand up and speak to the entire nation.
A 10-year-old girl from Des Moines was chosen to be in a special children’s chorus that sang last night to open the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Megan Maloney, daughter of Polk County Treasurer Mary Maloney, sang “This Land Is Your Land.” As for her singing experience, Megan Maloney says she sometimes sings in church and around her house. Her mom is proud. Mary Maloney says it’s exciting for a young girl to get such an opportunity.