Just like his fewllow septuagenarian GOP colleague Arlen Specter, Charles Grassley has announced he will seek re-election in 2010. http://cycloneconservatives.blogspot.com/2007/04/grassley-will-seek-6th-term-in-2010.html
As I was driving to Sheldon from Ames last evening, I received some very heartening and exciting news: Senator Charles Grassley will be seeking a 6th term in the United States Senate when he is up for re-election again in 2010. What a great way to end the work week.
Iowa's senior Senator is 73 and will be further into his mid-70's by the time 2010 rolls around; however, he's still sharp, he's still energetic, and he's still Iowa's most beloved and respected leader. Not to mention, the man is a Republican icon.
I'm not surprised that he made this decision. Infact, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you'll know that I predicted this a few weeks ago. When Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter announced that he would be seeking a 6th term, I predicted that Grassley would step forward soon too.
Grassley made his intentions known during a taping of Iowa Public Television's Iowa Press and has cited his seniority and powerful policy influence as being a great resource to Iowans. He's right. While the day will inevitably come where Grassley will no longer be in the United States Senate, his presence there is a major boon for Iowans.
Here's where the decision to run so early is interesting. Tom Harkin, Iowa's lefty Senator, is up for re-election in 2008. Right now, we've got two little known candidates in Bob McDowell and Steven Rathje, who are vying for the position as giant killer. Notably, Iowa Republicans are missing that top tier challenger. There's no Greg Ganske or Bill Salier or Jim Ross Lightfoot stepping up to the plate as of yet. There are swirling rumors that 5th District Congressman Steve King is or has looked at the race, but some quietly suggest he may like his cozy Congressional office and will pass at a crack at Harkin.
I'm wondering if Grassley made this decision now so as to tell the political world that his seat would not be an open one in 2010. Grassley's decision is big because if any of the possible top tier Republican challengers to Harkin were thinking of sitting around for an extra 2 years to run in an open race, they now know that it isn't going to be a possibility. Grassley is essentially telling his Republican friends in the state that if you want to a United States Senator and serve as my junior colleague from Iowa, you better show your cards and challenge Harkin or be prepared to wait for many more years.
Grassley also is sending an early message to any possible Democrat looking at the race. If Grassley is planning re-election and starts raising money, you know quite well that a big Grassley bank account will scare off any real Democrat challenger such as a Tom Vilsack or a Sally Pedersen or even a Bruce Braley type.
If you witnessed first hand, as I did in 2006, what Grassley can still do in terms of campaigning, then you know both Chuck and Barbara are in great shape, great health, and in a fighting spirit. Seeing Chuck go door to door in Ames for some of the local candidates was so motivating.
I'm so pleased to hear that Senator Grassley will be making another bid. Who knows, not only might Chuck seeks a 6th term, but maybe he's got a 7th and an 8th term in him yet. Robert Byrd and Strom Thurmond anyone?
Posted by Don