Excessive Heat Warnings

Governor Pardons Turkeys, Also Says He’d Honor Wife’s Request over Trump’s

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Governor Terry Branstad only added to speculation Monday that he would consider a position with President-Elect Donald Trump's administration. That's in contrast to statements Branstad made the day after the election.

Branstad today on the possibility of serving as U.S. Ambassador to China:

"I'm a team player. And I love the country. And if the President of the United States were to ask me to consider something before I even know what it is, I'm not going to rule it out."

Why China:

Branstad has a decades-long relationship with the president of China, he just returned from another trade mission to China and he was a prominent backer of Trump's presidential campaign, even as some Republicans distanced themselves from the controversial candidate.

Branstad on November 9th (the day after the election) on serving as Ambassador:

"I'm not interested in living overseas. I have 7 grandchildren here in Iowa. I love this job at the state of Iowa and I want to continue to serve the people of Iowa."

What's Changed since then:

Talk has grown louder that Branstad could be a real possibility in the Trump administration. His son Eric seems destined for a position, as well.

Possible complication:

Branstad's wife, Chris, isn't enamored with the public life of a politician's family and wants to be close to family in Iowa. If her husband served as Ambassador, he would have to live in China. Even if he served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, he would still have to work in Washington, D.C. and travel extensively internationally, much like another current Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack--also another former Iowa governor,--has.

Branstad today on whose request carries more weight with him: Trump's or the governor's wife:

"My wife. This would be something...that's the thing...I don't really want to speculate..I'll just say that I love my wife. We've been married for 44 years and I want to stay married."

Also today: Branstad pardoned two turkeys in the traditional ceremony at Terrace Hill. Rizzo and Bryant, the turkeys named after World Series Champion Chicago Cubs stars Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, will now get to live out their remaining years in comfort at Living History Farms in Urbandale, instead of someone's Thanksgiving dinner table.