Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller today (Tuesday) endorsed Michael Blouin’s bid to be Iowa’s next governor. The two Democrats have been friends since meeting in 1962 when both were freshman at Loras College in Dubuque. “But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I’m here to talk about the governor’s race,” Miller said during a statehouse news conference. “We’ve got a candidate who’s got the best chance to win and he’s the same candidate who would be our best governor, and his name is Michael Blouin.”
Miller says Blouin appeals to “people in the middle” and he says those kind of candidates always fare best on election day. Miller lost his own bid for governor, losing the 1992 Democratic primary partly due to his pro-life stand.
Blouin, too, has been dogged by what critics call his “anti-choice” views. Miller says Blouin is “on his way” to dealing with the issue. Blouin has pledged not to sign legislation that would restrict or expand abortion. “I think that that is reassurance to the people who believe government should not be involved in this,” Miller says.
But Miller concedes the abortion issue will dog Blouin throughout the primary. “It’s not going to go away tomorrow and it’ll be discussed and it should be. It’s a big issue,” Miller says. “But I think ultimately people will judge (Blouin) on his abilities, his experience, his vision.”
Miller has advised Blouin to be himself. Blouin has been a school teacher, a congressman representing northeast Iowa, and he was executive director of the Cedar Rapids and the Greater Des Moines Chambers of Commerce. Miller says that business experience and his ability to work “across party lines” will appeal to Iowa voters. Miller was the highest vote-getter among Iowa Democrats on the ballot in 2002.