Man, that was quick. Less than two weeks ago, former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack told me she was thinking about running against Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. This morning, she had someone send out a statement that said she won’t run. That was a quick decision process. The statement doesn’t say when Vilsack made her decision. But is it any coincidence that announcement has come out when it did? Des Moines Attorney Roxanne Conlin finally broke her silence last Friday and said she was interested in running. I’m told Conlin also showed up at the Polk County Democrats Fall Dinner Saturday night and got introduced to the crowd (was that crowd a bit less because the dinner went head-to-head with that amazing Hawkeye game Saturday night?) Party insiders told me there was no way the Democrats wanted a Conlin-Vilsack primary battle to see who had the chance to become Iowa’s first-ever female member of Congress. Insiders said someone would step aside. Now we see who made the first public move and who moved out of the way.
Here’s Vilsack’s statement:
“My life in public service has taught me many things but one of the most important is an understanding that there are many ways to serve at different points in life. As a career educator, activist and advocate, I have a deep appreciation for the role elected officials play in our communities. My varied experiences – teaching Iowa’s children, advancing literacy across the state during Tom’s term as Governor and now working to support preventative health care – continue to inspire my passion for public service.
Committing to a campaign for the US Senate next year requires more than the confidence that I have the right experience, the necessary support and the resources to be successful. It must come with an understanding that it is the best way for me serve our State and my fellow Iowans in the most effective way possible at this time. I have decided not to run for the United States Senate in 2010. I will continue my work with the Iowa Initiative to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy and will be active in our Party and across the state in issues that affect the quality of life for all Iowans.
I am flattered and humbled by the requests from Democrats, Independents and even some Republicans to consider running. My careful consideration of the opportunity to represent Iowa in the Senate was done with great respect for those who came to me and the office itself.
While I will not be a candidate for office in 2010, never doubt I am committed to a life of service and to Iowa.”
O.K., so I get the Vilsack decision. Here’s one I don’t get. My St. Louis Cardinals announced that they are bringing in Mark McGwire to be their hitting coach. Yes, THAT McGwire who told Congress he wasn’t here “to talk about the past”. As a life-long fan…P-L-E-A-S-E tell me he will address his past when he takes this job. He has to apologize for taking performance enhancing drugs, doesn’t he? For the kids? For the fans? Surely, Big Mac, you have to, right? We’ll be listening.