Two people who have adopted the state of Iowa as their home had a brief spin in the spotlight of the Democratic National Convention earlier tonight.
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack had a brief speaking role, telling delegates Republicans had articulated a “backwards” strategy for the economy at their convention last week.
“We heard folks at the other convention say they wanted to take our country back, but here’s what I noticed: they didn’t say back to what,” Vilsack said. “Well, we know what backwards looks like. We know what happened to middle class families after two tax cuts for people who didn’t need them, after deregulation of banking and housing sectors and the historic recession that followed.”
Vilsack said President Obama’s “fight” for rural America is “personal” since Obama was raised by a single mom and grandparents from Kansas.
AUDIO of Vilsack’s convention speech.
Vilsack was raised in Pennsylvania, but moved to his wife’s hometown of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, after college to practice law with his father-in-law. Vilsack later became Mount Pleasant’s mayor, then was elected to the state senate before serving two terms as the state’s governor.
Gabby Douglas, the Olympic gymnast who moved to Iowa two years ago to train with the man who coached Olympian Shawn Johnson, stepped on the convention stage, too, to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
The crowd cheered Douglas, who won two gold medals at this summer’s London Olympic, then joined her in repeating the pledge.
Four years ago West Des Moines native and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson made an appearance on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Denver to lead the Pledge of Allegiance for the crowd at Mile High Stadium. It was the night Barack Obama accepted his party’s 2008 nomination for president.