Governor Tom Vilsack says he was up ’til one o’clock this morning, working on the last major speech he delivered as governor. Vilsack spent some time thanking people in his last "Condition of the State" message. But Vilsack — the Democratic presidential candidate — dedicated a portion of the speech to Iraq.
Vilsack urged the Democratically-controlled Iowa legislature to pass a resolution denouncing President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq. Vilsack said that would make a bad situation worse.
There was also a sort of "Just Do It" message for legislators on Iowa-level issues, as Vilsack urged lawmakers to ensure every Iowa kid can attend preschool and ensure every Iowan has health insurance benefits. Vilsack also suggested it was time to get rid of teacher compensation that’s tied to longevity and instead pay teachers based on their performance.
An hour before the speech, Vilsack told about two dozen reporters at the statehouse that the last eight years had not been easy, but Vilsack claimed to have moved the state forward against powerful odds.