He is the seventeenth governor of the state of Utah
, but he isnt just our Governor. He is also a full time husband, father, and grandfather. He is known to Utahns as Governor Gary Herbert
, but to all 14 of his grandchildren he is Grandpa Herbert.
Below is a transcript of Shauna Lake's interview with Governor Gary Herbert:
Does this job ever feel heavy to you? There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of opinions directed towards you. How do you deal with the stress of it and does it ever feel too overwhelming?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: Well, this job is not for the faint of heart, nor the thin of skin. Being governor of this great state, although is a great honor and I’m humbled by the opportunity, it is a tremendous responsibility which I take very seriously. There is no limit to the opinions out there of what we should be doing and how to do it, so I do get a lot of suggestions. I get a lot of letters, most of them signed. But you know we have some of those anonymous naysayers out there that make life a little more difficult. That being said, the responsibility is enormous. There are a lot of good things going on, so I’m very optimistic. I get up every day and pinch myself and say ‘hey, I’m the Governor of the greatest state in America.’
SHAUNA LAKE: You said you pinch yourself sometimes when you realize you’re Governor of this amazing state, and the two governors before you, Governor Leavitt, Governor Huntsman, they went on to a national stage, did things in national politics. Do you have any aspirations to do that?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: I aspire to be the greatest grandpa in the world, and so that will probably be my future opportunity. Who knows what’s around the corner. Who knows what the next door will open. I’m going to concentrate right now on being the best Governor I can and see how that unfolds over the next few years.
SHAUNA LAKE: What do you guys do for fun as a family?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: A lot of things. We laugh a lot I can tell you. We sometimes are referred to as a little loud, but we’re just kind of a typical family. We’re not necessarily unique. We like sports. We like outdoor recreation. We have family reunions. We have Sunday dinner with all the family at five o’clock every week. We’ve been doing that for fifteen years. The good news about that is it brings us together. We see
SHAUNA LAKE: What do you guys do for fun as a family?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: A lot of things. We laugh a lot I can tell you. We sometimes are referred to as a little loud, but we’re just kind of a typical family. We’re not necessarily unique. We like sports. We like outdoor recreation. We have family reunions. We have Sunday dinner with all the family at five o’clock every week. We’ve been doing that for fifteen years. The good news about that is, is that it brings us together. We see each other. We catch up on what’s the latest adventure in your life and share those experiences. In times of challenge and trial we help each other up and laugh on the good times and cry on the bad times.
SHAUNA LAKE: Now I heard from a very reliable source that one thing that kind of raises you in grandfather status is that you love to watch SpongeBob SquarePants with the grandkids. Is this true? Can you confirm or deny?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: Boy your spies have been out.
SHAUNA LAKE: I know. I’ve been doing my research.
GOVERNOR HERBERT: I do watch SpongeBob SquarePants with my grandkids. They like that, and I kind of enjoy it myself. Growing up I watched Popeye and my kids all watched Popeye cartoons with me. So one of those areas we kind of enjoy with our young kids and growing up is some of the wholesome cartoons.
SHAUNA LAKE: You are an amazing athlete. I saw you playing tennis against Andre Agassi in a brief commercial, and I mentioned on the air, ‘I had no idea he was such a great tennis player.’ So later I got a post on my Facebook page from Connie Herbert Ault, your sister, does that sound familiar?
“Hi Shauna. I loved your comments about the Governor’s athletic abilities, and he is a great athlete. I also wanted to say that you should hear him play the piano and sing. He has many other hidden talents and also every Sunday after their big family dinner you will always find him in the kitchen doing dishes”
So I wanted to talk to you a little bit about doing music. Is this a big part of your life?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: My mother made the decision when I was younger that you’re not just going to be a dumb jock. You’re going to have some skill in playing the piano. So I took piano lessons, and I’m not very good but I do know how to play the piano a little bit and can sit down and entertain myself.
GOVERNOR HERBERT CALLS HIMSELF DOUBLY BLESSED BECAUSE HE GREW UP WITH TWO LOVING FATHERS. HIS MOTHER REMARRIED WHEN HE WAS A YOUNG BOY. A DECISION HE HAD A HAND IN CHOOSING. HIS MOM GAVE HIM SEVERAL PICTURES OF POTENTIAL SUITORS FOR HER TO MARRY, AND HIS PICK WAS DWAYNE HERBERT.
SHAUNA LAKE: Why did you pick his picture do you think?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: I don’t know.
SHAUNA LAKE: You felt inspired to?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: Probably. To me he was the best looking guy. I thought my mother’s really pretty and she needs to have a real handsome guy be her husband. I can remember it like it was yesterday. It was when I was about three or four almost five.
SHAUNA LAKE: Why does that emotion come up in you?
GOVERNOR HERBERT: Because I love them.
SHAUNA LAKE: Made a big impact on your life it seems.
GOVERNOR HERBERT: They’re both gone, and they both have died. They lived good lives. They barely lived to see me become governor, but I know that they would have been proud of me and happy, but you miss them, and they’ve made our family successful. They’ve done a lot of great things. I’m a recipient of that love, that dedication. It’s not easy sometimes being a father, not easy being a husband, not easy being a grandfather. So I appreciate their good work.
SHAUNA LAKE: Governor Herbert thank you so much for your time. It has been so nice getting better acquainted to you “Person 2 Person.”
GOVERNOR HERBERT: Well thank you. It’s been great to be with you.
Governor Gary Herbert is the 17th and current governor of Utah. To find out more, visit his website at utah.gov/governorKUTV 2News' Shauna Lake Interviews Utah Governor Gary HerbertCheck Out KUTV's Web Only Extras from the Governor Gary Herbert 'Person 2 Person' Interview with Shauna Lake:Governor Gary Herbert Gives Utah A Report CardWhat Makes Governor Gary Herbert AngryGovernor Gary Herbert Reflects on Perceptions of Utah
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