Mahaska County Democratic Party chairwoman Betty Dilley will finally get an official presidential autograph from Barack Obama Tuesday.
Dilley met Obama at a Harkin Steak Fry event before he had declared his candidacy in the last election cycle. She got to speak to the then-Illinois senator, got a donkey autographed and a picture taken.
Now, when Obama visits Oskaloosa Tuesday and speaks at Nelson Pioneer Farm, Dilley says she will get an official presidential autograph.
“I’ll meet him face to face,” she said.
Dilley said she knew of the president’s visit about a week ago.
“I’m thrilled to death,” she said of the president’s campaign stop.
Once the news broke about the president’s visit, Dilley said her phone rang off the hook. People were calling about things such as the time and location, and tickets.
Dilley said that wherever she goes, people are talking about the president’s visit.
“This is a president who is in office,” she said.
Dilley works as a volunteer at the Iowa State Fair every day, so that helps cut down on the amount of phone calls she has to deal with. However, she has a lot of responsibilities working at the state fair.
She works at the Blue Ribbon Foundation booth, the Volunteer Information booth and the Iowa Public Television booth at the state fair. Once the news broke in Des Moines about the president’s Oskaloosa visit, the people Dilley works with gave her the day off.
Dilley feels honored to have the president visit.
“It’s wonderful for the people of Oskaloosa to see a president in office,” Dilley said.
Although this is the first visit of a sitting president to Oskaloosa since Theodore Roosevelt, Oskaloosa has drawn many big-time presidential candidates.
Dilley said Hillary Clinton also campaigned at Nelson Pioneer Farm in 2008. Joe Biden also appear here too. In 2004, Democrats John Kerry, John Edwards and Dick Gephardt also stumped in Oskaloosa.
“We’re very fortunate to have them here,” she said.