Tom Vilsack, Iowaman

Hillary In Person

Leila Noor was going to make up for the fortune it cost me to attend the Hillary event, and that by a free pass to a Vilsack event. My business ideas can come across as so out of the whack, I can come across as a member of the Starving Artists' Association (SAA). You show up at some fancy Manhattan party dressed up like a dot com millionaire, and people actually avoid you, otherwise my instinct is to work the room. Especially if you also have long, uncombed hair, unless combing with fingers counts. But today I had my haircut from the day of the Hillary event. And I dressed up, or as far as possible. Spickspan shining shoes, man in black trousers, shirt and jacket. But inside the buttoned jacket - one button, double breasted - was an untucked shirt. And there was no way I was going to put on a tie. It might as well be against my religion.

But then my "new French friend" Alvaro from the Hillary event emailed today, and so I put him on Leila's mailing list for the expensive fundraisers I can not make it to: he got the money alright.

So I was going through the flyer for the event. And there she was the Somalian cum American Queen Noor sitting on the committee, again: political animal, Obama heritage - a combo I find fascinating like stars to astronomers, Obama trait. I am telling you, these lawyers have more fun politicking than lawyering. I just need a few hundred of these nationwide to take off: Video Blogging For A Living!

So today I was actually dressed up, but this time the blackness hit me, the way bright colored Indian clothes might hit American eyes. (blac) I did fine the first round. I made small talk. Then there was the event. Vilsack talked, I recorded it all on video. And I remember thinking, isn't video blogging less travel? Then he was done, and I was about to leave, and Noor was at the other end of the room, nearer the gate, away from the stage, where I first saw her. She was perhaps jaded from the more private audience organizers like her had with the Governor right before the event.

That was the beginning of part two of the evening. It culminated in me meeting with an actor who actually has made an apperance in the mega movie Any Given Sunday (Any Given Sunday (1999)): DJ Funny. The guy has met Al Pacino, the American Amitabh Bachchan.

"What is he like in person?"

"He bites nails."

DJ used to work a Wall Street job. He quit that to follow his sartorial dreams.

Robert Smith hosted the event. Towards the end he presented Vilsack with all sorts of "black" books and magazines. It might have been an awkward moment. He also announced the organization endorsing several candidates for the same office, and got one wrong, he got it mixed up between Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor.

I am so glad I stayed on. I got more and more comfortable. I was one of the last to leave. I was getting into the groove. Once I warm up, there is no stopping me. I talk like I blog, impulsive, unstoppable.

Vilsack has an impressive record. He has been both DLC Chair and Chair of the Democratic Governors' Association. Bill Clinton was one, Howard Dean another, I think. I overheard him having spent an hour with the Time magazine columnist Joe Klein. I guess you come to pay your respects. Should not journalists be doing field work instead? Some media types come without term limits!

I got to quiz his staffer. She was taking care of the logistics for his tour. Political work is much physical stamina.

During the first half of the evening before the speech, I bumped into one group, two were for not sparing the rod, one was for no touch, in terms of raising children. I joined the second school of thought, and the vote became 2-2.

I arrived way too early. That gave me time to get a slice of pizza in the neighborhood, read a few stories in the New York Post that I had picked up in the train, the most reading of the Post I have ever done. Then two glasses of coke in the outside bar. Then a glass of pineapple juice downstairs before the Vilsack hubbub began.

On The Web

Office of Governor Tom Vilsack and Lt. Governor Sally Pederson
Tom Vilsack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Office of the Governor
Tom Vilsack on the Issues
The Fix - Chris Cillizza's Politics Blog - (
Vilsack for Veep?
Heartland PAC
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Democrat

In The News

Insider Interview: Tom Vilsack's Democratic Optimism Washington Post, United States
Vilsack quietly focuses on '08 presidential campaign, IA
Candidates address penitentiary issue Keokuk Gate City Daily, IA
Leader Sees Video Lottery Restrictions As Inevitable, IA
Vilsack: Lawmakers could miss ethanol opportunity Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, IA
Vilsack to lead trade mission to India Cedar Rapids Gazette, United States


22 February21:06University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States
23 February10:29Bulgaria (
23 February15:15University of Colorado, Boulder, United States
23 February22:25Orange County Dep. Education, United States


Anonymous said…
From: "Robert Smith"
Subject: Thanks for 2/23 and Feedback!
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 15:23:27 -0500


Thank you for making the Vilsack event a success; we saw approximately 200 people! The Governor is grateful for your attendance. In an effort to continue our dialogue with him, please send your 3+ pluses and 3 minuses for him and for the event/series. In addition, if there is anything that you would like to transmit back to the Governor, including a brief pitch, helpful ideas, or a booking request for speeches/fundraising, please let us know. In addition, please feel free to transmit this to any of your guests. We will send the links to pictures as soon as they become available.