"The Courage To Create Change"
Emphasizing community, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a moderate Democrat,
announces underdog campaign for President in Mount Pleasant.   ...D1 of 9 >
November 29, 2006--Henry County Democratic Chair Dave Helman offered his thoughts about Gov. Vilsack.  Helman is a retired federal prison warden.
He impresses me in many regards, and I think here in Henry County what's important and in Iowa, we've gotten to know this guy very well through eight years as governor and he's very impressive in so many ways in what he's achieved.  We would like the rest of the country to learn about him the way we do...  We'd like them to see what we think he brings to the candidacy and that's why we're so proud of him.

This is exciting.  A small town like Mount Pleasant, Iowa to have a guy run for president.  How many folks get to say that?  Not many.  It's historic.  And he's a part of the town and everybody knows him as a friend and a neighbor and here he is running for President of the United States....

Question: Do you have any good Vilsack stories?
I ran for county supervisor here locally, just a local office, two years ago and Tom took me aside and told me the good points and the bad points and encoouraged me and kind of I felt took some special interest in me at just a very local county level in terms of what I was getting into.  It was a great conversation.  I remember it very well.  From it I ran for office--came up just a little short...
Question: Anything specific he said?
I remember when he said be prepared for some frustrations and it's hard work.  He said no matter what office it is, it is hard work and he advised me to get out and know people and said knock on doors and say hello to people, particularly in rural areas...
Question: Are there any issues that are particularly important to you or that you feel are not being addressed at the national level?
There's no doubt that the war and international relations is the number one concern and Iowans follow that.  Iowans read and watch the news.  Iowans are very much attuned to not only concern over the Iraqi war, but also our standing in the world and our relations in the international community.

The second one that I hear people talk about, because we've lost a lot of jobs here, we have people concerned about pensions, worried about their future retirement.  I hear people saying that they are indeed worried that their children's level of living will be the first generation less than theirs.  They're worried about their children's future because some of those things that my generation has grown to become secure with, such as retirement security and job security seem to be at much greater risk right now.  There's a real anxiety about the future I think for the economy.  We lost 400 jobs I think from the Blue Bird Bus Company.  Celestica Corporation closed down last year.

Question: Blue Bird...?
They moved lock, stock and barrel to Georgia and we lost every job, about three years ago...  That still resonates here because that was one of the major employers.  Then just this last year the Celestica Corporation, which is an electrical components [missing word]--they closed up completely.  Well in a town which only has 8,000 people in it, when you lose almost a thousand jobs, that--so that has elevated that anxiety a great deal.
The Potluck Supper
More from the Announcement Speech
Supporters Speak
Team Vilsack
Media Coverage
Tom Vilsack for President, Inc.

Henry County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce
Iowa Wesleyan College
Copyright ©  2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action