As Iowa’s governor ponders a presidential run, the activists in key states like New Hampshire are quickly alligning themselves with other candidates in the mix. “My name’s Diane Swasey. I’m chairwoman of Ward 3 Democratic City Committee here in Manchester and I’ve been a volunteer here for the party for 30 years and I enjoy it so much,” she told Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson this week. “Now that I’m retired I’m involved in three campaigns.” Swasey pronounces her last name just like the actor Patrick Swayze but tells those she meets that she and the movie star are not related. She is one of those sought after activists who do the grunt work of campaigns — filling the envelopes, making the phone calls, putting up the yard signs. While the 2008 presidential election is two-and-a-half years away, Swasey has already committed herself to working for a candidate. Well, actually, two but Tom Vilsack’s not one of them. She’s working for John Edwards and Mark Warner. Governor Vilsack sent Swasey a free ticket to a Wednesday evening banquet in New Hampshire where he served as the keynote speaker, but Swasey wasn’t too impressed with what she’d read about Vilsack earlier that day. Swasey, who is 73 years old, was on-line Wednesday afternoon, reading a Manchester Union-Leader story that suggested Vilsack wasn’t supportive of New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Primary. “So I’m curious about that,” she said. Vilsack was a curiosity to many of the folks Radio Iowa talked with in New Hampshire this past week. “He’s the governor of Iowa. I think he’s a Democrat. Beyond that, I’ve heard his name but I can’t say why I’ve heard it or when I’ve heard it,” one man said. “Haven’t met him yet. Is he a good lookin’ guy, is he?” one woman asked. “He seems to be a very competant, successful governor, so I’m anxious to hear more,” another man said. One woman laughed when asked about Vilsack — as she waited for him to appear at a breakfast. “My first impression is he’ll fit in well in New England since he’s late,” she said.
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