Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Harkin the Senior Junior Senator

Harkin the Senior Junior Senator

I can't add anything eloquent to the eulogies of Ted Kennedy. So I'll fall back on trivia.

After 23 years John Kerry is the senior senator from Massachusetts. That makes Iowa's Tom Harkin, sworn in one day after Kerry, the junior senator with the highest seniority. Or the senior junior senator.

At least until Grassley has to run next year.

Technically, it's a tie, as Jay Rockefeller was sworn in the same day as Harkin. But Harkin's ex-House status outranks Rockefeller's ex-governor status. (Correction: Rockefeller got sworn in two weeks late in 1985, choosing to complete his term as governor. Either way Harkin's ahead.)

So Iowa ranks near the top in collective seniority, but still far behind West Virginia with Rockefeller and all-time Senate longevity champ Robert Byrd.

It's a far cry from Iowa's revolving door senator days of the 1970s, when retirements (Hickenlooper, Hughes) and defeats (Miller, Clark, Culver, Jepsen) saw no Iowa senator re-elected from 1966 to 1986.

1 comment:

Joe said...

It's time for Chuck to come home, back where he won't be scaring Grandma and screwing Veterans anymore.