This Week: It's been a busy week and I haven't been on here as much as I should. So here are some things I've seen and heard this week:
Monday, I covered the "yes, yes, yes" and "no, no, no" dueling rallies at the Iowa Statehouse over the issue of whether to retain 3 Iowa Supreme Court justices following last year's unanimous ruling that allowed same-sex marriages. At each rally, I heard a speaker say, "Thanks for coming out". The phrase, "coming out", just struck me as a bit funny in this context:)
We followed Democratic Governor Chet Culver on his "Main Street vs. Wall Street Tour" on a stop in downtown Winterset. The gov spoke before about 20 people who had gathered at a realtor's office. The gov skipped stops at the next two businesses, a cafe and a coffee shop, when there weren't people there. These events do sometimes offer the unpredictable. A man asked the gov, a former college football player at Virginia Tech, if he would have called timeout as time was running out on the Iowa Hawkeyes last weekend or if he would have had the quarterback spike the ball to stop the clock and save the timeout. Hawkeye's Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz, you will recall, opted to call his final timeout, which drew the ire of some football fans. Culver replied to the man's question with an emphatic, "Spike it. No question".
(We also stopped at the Winterset Hardee's. The place had Coke Zero! I used to work at Hardee's in southern Illinois as a high school and college student, so I like to eat there every once in a while. But what's happened to the burgers? Why is everything so crazy huge? What happened to the Big Twin?)
We also followed Republican challenger Terry Branstad on his "Road to Victory Tour" in downtown Newton as the Jasper County Republican Headquarters. Mississippi Gov Haley Barbour and Lousiana Gov Bobby Jindal joined Branstad. Virginia Gov Bob McDonnell was scheduled to appear, too. But Branstad's campaign told me the wind was too strong and McD's plane couldn't land. The place was packed with at least 60 people. No doubt the visit drew attention. But do visits like this focus too much attention on whether the two out-of-state govs are thinking about running for prez instead of why Branstad would be a better gov than Culver? Or is any attention good attention at this point of the campaign?
Thanks for Breakfast: Thanks to the Forum Breakfast Club in Des Moines for the invite to speak to the guys. This is one of those groups where each member comes from a different profession. I think the idea is if you need a dentist, you pick the dentist from the group, or a plumber from the group, etc. The members had great questions and they obviously pay attention to what's going on in the community. I wish everyone would do that.