Opinions are expressed as to whether Fred Hubbell’s birth into a wealthy family should disqualify him from serving as Iowa’s governor.
The discussions are remindful of one of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s favorite stories that went back to when he was 30 years old, in 1962, in the course of his first run for that office. Kennedy was in a debate with his primary election opponent, Eddie McCormack, who questioned Kennedy’s qualifications.
Pointing his finger at Kennedy, McCormack accused, “You never worked a day in your life.”
Early the next morning, Kennedy went to campaign at a bakery factory on Boston’s North Shore, shaking hands with the workers.
One of them looked up at him and said, “Kennedy, I heard what they said about you last night — you never worked a day in your life.”
There was a pause.
“Well, you didn’t miss a thing,” the factory worker told him.
The story became legendary — passed around from one campaign event to the next, from one union hall to another, humorously repeated by Kennedy for the rest of his political career.
Most Iowans don’t care excessively about a political candidate’s family’s wealth.
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They do care whether a candidate for high office genuinely and humbly demonstrates a sense of purpose and a commitment to worthy causes.
If Iowans perceive purpose and commitment in Hubbell, aimed to improve Iowa’s future, his good fortune to have been born into a prosperous Iowa family will not bar him from serving as governor.