Once again, Iowa is at the center of America’s political universe. Many potential presidential candidates have already started stumping around the state, hoping to charm us and win our vote in 2016.
The majority of our state’s voters were charmed by Sen. Joni Ernst in 2014, so presidential candidates are of course studying her, hoping to emulate Ernst’s winning Iowa formula.
We think the most important thing to emulate about Senator Ernst is her dedication to being a problem solver.
Iowans like common sense when it comes to things like solving problems. In fact, during the 2014 campaign, both Ernst and her opponent, Rep. Bruce Braley, were so sure that Iowans wanted a problem solver representing them in Washington that theyboth accepted Problem Solver Seals of Approval from the national group No Labels, the grassroots movement of citizens and lawmakers from across the country working to promote a new politics of problem solving in our government.
So what does it mean to be a No Labels Problem Solver — to win the No Labels Problem Solver Seal of Approval?
It means a commitment to a common-sense process of first setting policy goals, thensorting out the legislative details.
It means supporting a functional, new framework for decision-making in Washington, D.C.
And it means agreement with four high-level, common sense goals for our nation:
- Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years;
- Balance the federal budget by 2030;
- Secure Social Security and Medicare for the next 75 years;
- Make America energy secure by 2024.
We believe that Iowans have a responsibility to follow up the election of a problem solver senator with the election of a problem solver president in 2016. As current and former officeholders in the state ourselves, we take this mission seriously.
As a Republican and a Democrat, we are both proud of where we come from on the political spectrum, but we believe that our country is stronger when leaders from both parties sit down to agree to common goals, then negotiate the various ways those goals might be achieved.
No politician will get 100 percent of what they want in that process, but they will get the respect of their constituents, especially in a state like Iowa where we want to see our elected officials use common sense, work hard and get things done.
After all, it’s what we do in our everyday lives as Iowans. As a former school teacher and a current firefighter, we know something about hard work and the necessity of getting a job done.
So does Sen. Joni Ernst, and so should the 2016 presidential candidates who come knocking on Iowa’s doors — if they want to earn the votes of people who value fixing, not fighting.
JOY CORNING served as lieutenant governor of Iowa from 1991-1999.
JEFF DANIELSON is a state senator from Waterloo. The authors serve as Iowa co-chairs of No Labels.