Tom Vilsack

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was one of the preliminary speakers at Wednesday's campaign event featuring Bill Clinton at Simpson College in Indianola. 

The purpose of Clinton's visit is to encourage early voting. After saying it was great to be "home," Vilsack shared a story with the small, but crowded Kent Campus Center Black Box Theater the story of filling out an absentee ballot in his son's home, with his grandchildren watching. He said he explained to the children that, “America's place is as a leader in the world." 

Iowa's former governor also recognized that people hear, during every election, that "this is the most important election of our lifetime." He reiterated, “This really is the most important election of our lifetime.”

Vilsack went on to discuss how important it is for voters in Iowa to elect not only Hillary Clinton, but Democrats up and down the ticket. He criticized Iowa's Republican elected leaders for not disavowing the party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump. He pointed out that Senators from neighboring states have, but neither Chuck Grassley, nor Joni Ernst have joined suit. Nor have Congressmen Steve King, Rod Blum or David Young. 

Vilsack posed the question “When did America stop being great? I think we are a great nation.” He quickly followed it up with another question for Trump, “How is it you make America great again when you make all of your stuff someplace else?”

As his brief remarks came to a close, Vilsack told the crowd that Hillary Clinton helped him become Iowa's governor. He hopes that Iowans lead in a quest to keep Trump out of the White House. 

Steve Woodhouse is the Editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached at

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