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August 6th, 2009

Feeling the Heat

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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senator-grassleyHaving cast his 10,000th vote in the United States Senate earlier this year, Senator Chuck Grassley has undoubtedly agonized over which way to vote on a number of issues during his career in the U.S. Senate. However, as Grassley gears up to run for his sixth term in the United States Senate, he has never felt as much heat from Iowans as he has had to deal with recently. Surprisingly, almost all of the angst towards Grassley is coming from fellow Republicans over the issue of health care reform.

To his credit, Sen. Grassley gives every judicial nominee or piece of legislation a fair hearing before deciding how he is going to vote on an issue. That sort of discipline has served Grassley well in the Senate and has made him one of its most respected and powerful members.

During Judge Sotomayor’s hearing in front of the judiciary committee on which Grassley serves, many Iowa Republicans wanted him to oppose her from the get go. Instead, Grassley allowed her to state her case in front of the committee before making a judgment on her qualifications. Grassley was unsatisfied with Judge Sotomayor’s answers to his questions, and shortly thereafter, he announced that he would be voting against her.

Grassley didn’t just say he was voting against President Obama’s nominee, he released a powerful statement on why he would not vote to confirm Sotomayor. In the statement, Grassley even showed remorse for voting to confirm Judge David Souter. Grassley’s comment on Judge Souter provided a level of insight and perspective that Iowans don’t typically get from their elected officials, let alone Sen. Grassley.

For weeks now, many Iowa Republicans have grown tired of Sen. Grassley’s willingness to listen to those in the Obama Administration about the President’s healthcare proposal. Republicans don’t want to see Sen. Grassley hammer out some sort of compromise with the Democrats; they just want him to get up from the table and walk away. They simply want him to vote against Obama’s healthcare proposal.

The longer Sen. Grassley strings along Iowa Republicans, the more difficult his re-election effort may become. At the beginning of the year, it would have been absurd to suggest that Sen. Grassley could face a legitimate primary challenge. Now, with each and every passing day that Grassley flirts with supporting some version of health care reform, the possibility of a primary challenge grows. In fact, some Republican sources have told TheIowaRepublican.com that if Sen. Grassley votes for President Obama’s healthcare proposal, Grassley will indeed face a serious primary challenge.

For now, the ball is in Sen. Grassley’s court. If Grassley takes a strong, principled stand against Obama’s healthcare proposal similar to the one he took against Judge Sotomayor or his recent statement about former President Bill Clinton’s visit to North Korea, Grassley will be able to put all of this behind him quickly. However, if he ignores the loud and constant pleas from the Republican faithful begging him to just say no to Obama’s health care proposal, he should expect nothing less than a stiff primary challenge.

Sen. Grassley recently launched a new campaign website. The site has a new, fresh look and utilizes all of the modern social networking sites. The site, www.GrassleyforSenate.com, doesn’t yet have any information on the Senator’s position on various issues.


About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




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