Former President Clinton Makes Campaign Stop In Council Bluffs

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Hillary Clinton's "not so secret weapon" - former President Bill Clinton - is on the road on his wife's behalf and the road wound through Council Bluffs Saturday morning.

The former president hosted rally at Woodrow Wilson Junior High, the latest in a series of stops around the Hawkeye State aimed at leveraging the Clinton name that bears the title of president.

"There's a reason they attack her at every debate. They're asking that you not make them run again her. I like that. They didn't fall off the truck yesterday. They know what they're doing."

There was a time when Democrats fretted about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign becoming a coronation, but that's no longer the case. In the past two weeks the Democratic race has gone from a relatively civil disagreement over policy to a contentious competition between Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

During campaign swings last week, Bill Clinton appeared at tightly-controlled events and didn't give interviews. Even when he stopped to talk with reporters, campaign aides turned up the music to drown out the conversation. His remarks to voters have been relatively subdued.

Now, with the clock ticking toward the first official report card on the 2016 campaign, the former president came to western Iowa this weekend with an eye toward upping the game.

Bill Clinton
Clinton told the crowd, "America is in danger of sort of breaking up into communities of resentment." He said where people work together, good things are happening, but that's not the case when they don't.

Clinton hit on economic issues, saying that while the American economy is strong, middle class workers are not seeing the benefit. "We see the jobs grow but the incomes don't."

He said while we might have our problems, there is great promise. If given the opportunity to live anywhere, he said, "I'd take America in a heartbeat."

Clinton told the crowd that Hillary has been involved in many of his most notable achievements since his days as governor of Arkansas and later as president. "Every place she's ever gone she's made good things happen. You just have to decide whether you want a change maker or a change talker to be president."

Clinton told the group, "I believe in all my heart that we can be a better country," before wrapping up his address and stepping down from the stage to work the crowd.

"It was awesome." For Jeff Hedgs, it was hard to pick what struck him the most. "Just him sharing all of his history and talking about what they've done together as they've come up. We used to live in Arkansas when he was the governor and we enjoyed him there."

While Clinton is stumping for his wife, the field remains unsettled. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also made a recent stop in Council Bluffs, has been drawing his own crowds. The latest polls show that Iowa could be a dead heat and we're now only two weeks away from the Iowa vote.

It wasn't all about the upcoming race. Some of those attending said they just wanted to see Bill. "It's not every day that you get to see a president of the United States,” said Nick Davis. "We're very proud and honored to be here."

"There's a lot of ways you know you're not president," said Clinton. "When you walk into the room they don't play the song anymore."