The Republican Party of Iowa held its annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner last Friday (8 November) in the Downtown Marriott Ballroom in Des Moines. The event was attended by about 550 people and the special guest, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), remarked on how crowded the room was; the master of ceremonies, Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, was his usual ebullient self, and Sen. Graham also took notice of how “enthusiastic” he was.
Sen. Chuck Grassley began his remarks by stating that he was proud of his grandson, Pat Grassley, a state representative since 2007 who is now Speaker-select of the Iowa House. He reminded attendees that Democrat governors left the state $1 billion in debt, and stressed how important it was for Republicans to maintain control of each house of the state legislature in 2020. Turning to the national scene, he described Washington as “an island surrounded by reality.” He credited President Trump, more than any other President of his lifetime, for carrying out in office what he said he would do during his campaign.
Sen. Grassley revealed that President Trump had termed his colleague “relentless” on the subject of biofuels. When her turn came, Sen. Joni Ernst told a story about being out rucking one evening in Washington, and finally answering her cell phone, since someone kept calling, and it turned out to be the President, whom she accurately described as “the most accessible President” in our history.
Sen. Graham began by poking a little fun at our senior senator’s reputation for frugality, announcing that Sen. Grassley would be “picking up the tab” for the evening; he also claimed that Sen. Grassley gets searched when leaving the White House, not when he arrives. In that same vein, he claimed that he was able to patch things up with the President, after being at odds with him as a rival in 2016, because he found out that “we have a lot in common—I like him, and he likes him.” Turning to more serious matters, he noted that Trump is the most pro-life President of his lifetime, and described “the other side” in politics as “angry.” Sen. Grassley had referred to his performance in the Kavanaugh hearings by saying that he “took the hide off the Democrats on the committee”; Sen. Graham himself said that the episode revealed that “they want power way too much,” and summed up how differently Republicans and Democrats view judges: “in their world a judge is a politician in a robe.”
Sen. Graham also made a few encouraging predictions: that “impeachment is going to blow up in their face,” and “we’re going to flip the House”; that Medicare-for-All and free health care for illegals “won’t sell” in 2020, that “Donald Trump’s gonna kick their ass!”