Vilsack is serious on presidential run
With the governor's race too close to call, Democrats were also looking for help in a final campaign in western Iowa.
Governor Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie joined Mari Culver, wife of governor candidate Chet Culver, Lt. Gov. candidate Patty Judge and her husband John, Denise O'Brien for Secretary of Agriculture, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and others at a Get Out The Vote Rally at Embers in Storm Lake Saturday afternoon.
"We would like to thank every one of you for the support that you have given us over the years," the first lady greeted the crowd.
She spoke of emerging change in rural Iowa. "I have been traveling a lot and I was near my home where I'm used to seeing a grain elevator, the skyscraper of the cornfields. But as I got closer I had to ask what it was that I was seeing, and I was told it was a new ethanol plant. The landscape of Iowa is changing we created that. Even coming into town your lakefront is changing and we all are of part of the Vision Iowa projects. There are 250 projects to help make Iowa better."
Denise O'Brien for Secretary of Agriculture acted as the cheerleader of the group getting the supporters in attendance to chant with her to put democrats in office.
Miller also talked about how this is the first time that he as run for the office of Attorney General unopposed.
"One of the downsides is that my son Matt was going to be my campaign manager," Miller said. "We now saying that due to my sharp campaign manager I was able to win."
Chet Culver was not part of the rally, and was campaigning in Sioux City at the same time. His wife spoke on his behalf in Storm Lake.
"Thank you for your support, and yes, I admit it, I'm with the big lug," Culver said with a laugh about the campaign ads she has appeared in, applying that nickname permanently to he husband.
"As many of you know the president was in the state yesterday - and I assume that most of you were not there," she said, adding that she does not support the kind of politics she feels the GOP is playing in the final stages of the campaign.
Culver explained that her husband would continue to follow a vision for Iowa's future.
"Chet is also out meeting people and he says that we will sleep after the election. With Culver in office we all will be able to sleep a lot better," Mari said.
Governor Vilsack showed his support of the Culver/Judge ticket.
"I'll give you three reasons why you should go out and vote for Chet Culver and Patty Judge," the governor said. "One is legacy - you have started a legacy eight years ago and a vote for Culver and Judge will continue that legacy for at least four more years. Two, you will have a chance to make history and shape history. For the first time in 40 years Democrats can control the Governor's office, the House and the Senate, and if Culver wins this will be the longest stretch in Iowa's history that Democrats will be in the office for Governor. And three, a job that Chet might not realize is being the Commander and Chief of National Guard. Nussle has voted against giving our men the tools they need for the job."
Judge said she has come to know Storm Lake so well during the campaign that she might as well check to see if anyone had a spare bedroom for her.
"I know I've been here plenty of times and you all have heard my stories and anecdotes," Judge said. "But I'll have been around a while and I have made some good choices... the one I'm most proud of is the one I made 37 years ago is picking my husband John and I would like to thank him along with everyone else for their support."
Judge said Culver and she have plans in place to start work on energy legislation and health care efforts, along with raising minimum wage.
"Over a quarter of million Iowans will get raise on the first day we raise minimum wage," Judge explained.
She also elaborated on why she feels voters should vote for Culver.
"Chet and I are a complete package, you'll have a teacher, environmentalist, a farmer... plus between us 16 years of executive office experience," Judge said.
She talked briefly about meeting Michael J. Fox, who recently came to Iowa to support Culver.
"He spoke so eloquently and he is passionately about the stem cell research. It is sad to see what Parkinson Disease has done to him and I'll let you know that if Culver and I are elected that we will work on changing the laws on stem cells and we have one of the finest facilities of research in the country to be put to use."
After the rally, Gov. Vilsack spoke to the Pilot-Tribune about his plans after his term is over.
"Some people have asked us to consider a run for the presidency," Vilsack noted. He said that he is serious about a campaign, but has not yet made a final decision. "Right now our focus is on the election, and then after the election we will sit down and give it very serious thought."