The McHenry Tea Partyer who has made national headlines for his caustic admonitions to those with whom he disagrees says if re-elected, he may dial it down a few notches and work on more of a bipartisan basis.
Congressman Joe Walsh says his message will continue to be "time to grow up, time for all of us to pay our bills, time for our government to live within its means."
His future approach, however, he describes as "more evolved."
"Certainly, this first term, I did not lead with wanting to compromise," he told the Daily Herald Editorial Board Friday. "Now the hope is, after this election ... no matter how it shakes out, we now have to decide how to figure out how to build a house."
Walsh's opponent, Hoffman Estates Democrat Tammy Duckworth, has long claimed that if elected she would reach across the aisle, describing herself in a recent interview as "different from other Democrats out there" -- a point Walsh has readily disputed on the campaign trail, tying the Iraq War veteran and former Obama administration member to top party leaders.
"This is not a zero-sum game," Duckworth said. "I want to work. I want to reach across the aisle. That's what my district wants. This is not a district that is far left. Middle of the road, working families, trying to get by."
As Duckworth pointed to the recent transportation bill as an example of bipartisan compromise, Walsh, a former history and government teacher, described a more "long range view of things."
He described his first term as "a bit of a revolution" for the nation and said it might be time to move past that.
"There has to be (compromise). All great pieces of transformative legislation in this country have been bipartisan," he said.
The congressional district, roughly centered in Schaumburg, stretches from Addison east to Elgin and contains portions of Kane, Cook and DuPage counties.