Former President Bill Clinton says Iowans can count on Christie Vilsack to bring reason and &ldquo;honorable compromise&rdquo; to Congress.&nbsp; <span style="font-size: xx-small;">Daily Times Herald photos by Douglas Burns</span>
Former President Bill Clinton says Iowans can count on Christie Vilsack to bring reason and “honorable compromise” to Congress.  Daily Times Herald photos by Douglas Burns
Monday, October 15, 2012

SIOUX CITY — Former President Bill Clinton Friday said voters in the 39-county 4th Congressional district have a rare opportunity to elect a results-oriented representative in Christie Vilsack who can bring a real, measurable lift to life in western and central Iowa.

Vilsack, an Ames Democrat, operates outside of the unproductive constant conflict of partisan politics of the day with an approach that seeks cooperation and “honorable compromise.” Clinton said in a speech to about 2,500 people gathered at Sioux City’s Historic Fourth Street district.

“There are so many Republicans supporting Christie Vilsack for Congress,” Clinton said. “She’s a practical problem-solver.”

Clinton said U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, is clearly intent on taking the nation to the right.

“What Christie wants to do is take us forward,” Clinton said. “The last I checked, if you veer right, you couldn’t go forward.”

The Vilsack-King race boils down to a fundamental choice, the former Democratic president said.

“It’s about whether our country works better when we’re all in this together — E pluribus unum, out of many one, or when you’re on your own,” Clinton said. “It’s about whether economics works better when we go for shared prosperity with a strong middle class and an honorable fair chance for poor people to work their way into that middle class or when you have trickle down.”

Vilsack has sought to cast the contest with King as one of job descriptions, where she is lasered on constituent service and King spends his time searching for national media attention, air time for his fiery conservative rhetoric.

“Steve King and I have two very different ways of looking at this job,” Vilsack said. “I see it very locally. I see it about making sure that we can create layers and layers of economic opportunity in small towns and small cities and he sees it through the lens of Washington. He is considered one of the most ineffective members of our delegation in the most ineffective Congress in my lifetime.”

Chuck and Carla Offenburger of Greene County warmed up the Sioux City crowd for Vilsack and Clinton.

Carla Offenburger said Vilsack would be legislator who would “get things done rather than get things said.”

“I want somebody to represent me who isn’t a toxic talker,” Carla Offenburger said.

Chuck Offenburger, the former “Iowa Boy” columnist for The Des Moines Register, said he has known Christie Vilsack for 35 years and that she can work with people of all political persuasions — a trait he said is in stark contrast to King.

Simply put, Chuck Offenburger said, King has marginalized himself in Congress.

“There’s been one outrageous statement after another from Steve King,” Chuck Offenburger said.