The governor-elect and his wife are flying to France today. Terry Branstad made it clear during the past year that his wife, Chris, had been skeptical about his decision to leave his job as president of Des Moines University and run, again, for governor. 

Last week, as Branstad celebrated winning a fifth term, he called his wife forward on stage for a hug. “Chris,” Branstad called out, prompting the Branstad family gathered behind and the entire crowd in the hall to cheer and applaud.  Branstad then added: “I have the most understanding wife in the world!”

Branstad communications director Tim Albrecht says Branstad promised his wife a trip to France as a “much-deserved vacation following a very busy campaign.”  The couple will be in France for 10 days, with a river cruise and stops in Paris and Normandy on their travel itinerary.

Branstad’s spokesman says Branstad will be “in touch and reachable” during the trip. The Branstads are scheduled to return to Iowa on November 21.