Politics. March 25, 2009
WASHINGTON—While giving a speech Tuesday on the benefits of raising the ethanol level in gasoline to expand the lucrative biofuel industry, Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack failed to remember what corn was for a harrowing 10 seconds.
"In terms of profitability for our nation's growers, corn is…downright, uh, essential to…mostly all of us…farm-wise?" Vilsack said during his opening remarks to the National Grain and Feed Association. "Corn is, ah, agriculturally speaking, one of the best things Americans can make—or possibly drink—and it's obviously a thing I care a lot about personally, that's for sure."
Witnesses said that, moments later, when Vilsack remembered what corn was, he overcompensated by asking everyone in attendance if they "like eating the North American cereal plant that yields large grains, or kernels, set in rows on a cob as much as [he does]."