Vice President Joe Biden brought the next round of Battleground Iowa to Dubuque on Wednesday. The familiar face in the Hawkeye state, from his years as an U.S. Senator from Delaware, felt right at home.
"Masterpiece of the Mississippi," he said. "That's what you've turned this into."
He pumped up the crowd of 500 at the Grand River Center with a call to create an economy built to last. It's a mission that starts by reinforcing the Middle Class.
"Everyone does fine when the Middle Class is doing well," he said. "Everybody, America does fine."
It's a message that he's taking all across Iowa. It's a state that's crucial for a second term. That's a fact not lost on Democrats in the crowd. Supporters that will be critical in the 132 days leading to the November 6 vote.
"Investing in the Middle Class," said Mike Avenarius, Dubuque. "The Middle Class bringing this country out of the recession is going to be the only way I think we can go forward."
The V.P. contends that the Obama-Biden ticket is better for the Middle Class. He says it represents the economic turnaround in places like Dubuque and all across the state.
"People are coming home from John Deere now and saying,'Honey, it's going to be fine. I've got a good job. I make a product that's not only made here, but the rest of the world wants to buy it.'"
Biden says Republican opponent Mitt Romney is a decent man with a far different value set. It's something that a first-time voter, Mikhayla Schmaltz, takes to heart.
"What's the point of getting an education if you can't get a job," she said. "I really think the two went together."
The Vice President is focusing on the future. And for this longtime politician, a political future that depends on reelection.
"We need to choose a commander-in-chief, not outsourcer-in-chief," he said. "We need someone who creates jobs in Davenport and Dubuque, PIttsburgh and Toledo, not Singapore, South Korea and China."
It's a battleground campaign getting organized, fired up and ready to go until November.