Chuck Grassley’s push-up challenge sounds like it's from 'Seinfeld.' But his longevity is no joke. - POLITICO
May 10, 2021 2 mins, 35 secs
Iowa Sen.

Chuck Grassley is under pressure to save his party from defending yet another open seat as it labors to retake the majority.

OSSIAN, Iowa — Chuck Grassley still gets up at 4 a.m.

If Grassley does seek reelection, Republicans and many Democrats concede the seat is essentially safe.

He’s held public office since 1959 and served in the Senate since 1981, including two years in the presidential line of succession.

“Listen, there’s nothing I see that’s going to keep me from serving another six years if I decide to do it,” he says during a swing through northeast Iowa as part of his annual 99 County Tour.

“I just work from day to day.

And after five GOP retirements this cycle, Grassley is under pressure to save his party from defending yet another open seat as it labors to retake the majority.

“He’s getting a lot of encouragement,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune.

Chuck Grassley talks to law enforcement officials at an event in West Union, Iowa, on May 4, 2021.

He’s one of three 87-year-olds in the Senate and the second-eldest overall: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) won reelection in 2018 while Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is retiring next year.

As he mulls reelection, Grassley maintains his rigorous schedule and a lane open to run.

He said that Trump’s presidency started off difficult for him, “but seeing his success later on, I think that I’d have to say that I misjudged.”.

To many, Grassley sounds like he's a candidate-in-waiting.

Retorted Grassley: “I tell Rick Scott the same thing I told you: I’m going to make up my mind September, October, November.”.

The sunny spring day he went for a Bambino's burger was a typical one for Grassley, whose renowned 27-year-long streak of 8,927 votes was derailed only by the coronavirus.

Even after catching the virus he still ran most mornings, in typical Grassley fashion.

"He knows more about Iowa than, I would guarantee, anybody in Iowa," said his junior Hawkeye State GOP senator, Joni Ernst.

Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who's sparred with Grassley for years, deemed him “extraordinary.

After he listened to a constituent talk about limiting paper waste on Medicare forms, Grassley said he’s never thought of it but will “take it back as a Grassley suggestion.”.

And when riled-up cattlemen in Monticello guffawed at his proposal to fine bad-acting meatpacking executives rather than jail them, Grassley absorbed the jeers, then said he might toughen up his own legislation.

During a day of 5 stops and about 300 miles of driving, he was asked just once about his reelection.

Thomas Hansen, who chairs the Winneshiek County GOP and mounted an unsuccessful House bid last year, said Grassley is “held in very high esteem ...

There are rumors that Grassley wants to elevate his grandson, statehouse Speaker Pat Grassley, into the Senate

He said Pat Grassley is not interested in being a senator and encouraged Chuck to run again

He said Iowa Democrats have work to do regardless of Grassley’s future

“He’s the difference between whether this is a competitive race, or whether Chuck Grassley just wins again.”


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