Friday, January 09, 2009

Grassley as National GOP Leader

More on Grassley: A National Face For The GOP

Chuck Grassley's up-front position of skepticism on Eric Holder's nomination for Attorney General shows that, increasingly, Grassley will be carrying the ball for the GOP.

Chuck Grassley, as a national face of the GOP, a soundbite guy? He's as plausible as Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, both dull and defensive. Oh, how far the Republicans have fallen since the `90s. I begrudgingly respected Bob Dole, and loathed Newt Gingrich, but both of them were fascinating and attention-grabbing.

But the Republican Party has been so decimated by defeats the last two cycles that, by sheer attrition and seniority, Chuck Grassley is now one of its national leaders by default. Grassley and Arlen Specter are the only remaining survivors of that huge Republican class that swept in with Reagan in 1980 and gave us Dan Quayle and Al D'Amato among too many others. (Ept he may not have been--why is inept a word but ept is not?--but you gotta admit Danny was always fun to quote.)

Grassley's going to have to be careful with re-election just around the corner. Not only is Iowa trending nice and blue, but with that special caucus connection, Barack Obama is uniquely popular here. His aw-shucks persona will take a hit back home if he has to start burdening himself more with the very damaged Republican brand.

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