Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chuck Grassley is vulnerable in 2010

Here in Iowa, Chuck Grassley's senatorial career owes its life to Independents and Democratics who cross party lines to vote for him.

He was popular for crusading against waste in areas of the federal budget sacrosanct to Eisenhower's Military-Industrial-Congressional complex. He was not so popular for his bankruptcy law hatchet-wielding.

And now, as he sheds his health reform sheepskin and exposes the two-timing mange hiding beneath, he's lost all support from Iowa Democrats and ticked off most of Iowa's Independents.

That makes Chuck Grassley a seeming martyr to his causes, whatever they are, because he shouldn't be re-electable in 2010. In fact, Grassley has millions stashed away for the 2010 campaign. He'll probably weather the storm fairly easily, while welcoming a fullscale DSCC onslaught as a way to bleed Democratic warchests dry.

Which isn't to say a stealth Democrat from Iowa can't bump him off, especially one with Blue Dog credentials. Tom Harkin did it to U.S. Rep. Bill Scherle in 1974. It can happen again. Meanwhile, check out for relatively up-to-date Iowa Democratic news, especially rumors and rumbles about Grassley's likely (or not-so-likely) opponents.


Here's a letter I got from Tom Fiegen, who seems to be emerging from the fog as Iowa's Democratic candidate against Grassley next Fall. There's a primary, of course, but barring the unexpected, I'll probably vote for Fiegen:

My view is that the 2005 bankruptcy bill did nothing good. It was a Christmas tree for the credit card and lease companies. And yes, it did throw consumers and small businesses to the wolves.

On the campaign trail, I talk about the people who walk into my office with financial problems and their stories. It is like a doctor talking about the patients he sees and why he supports universal health care because of those experiences. A lot of my friends in the credit industry tell me that they love me like a brother, but when they see a piece of mail from my firm, they take a deep breath. Financial problems are never fun. But, having counseled people with financial problems for 21 years, I have a unique insight into how budgets, small businesses, farms and the economy work. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "I feel their pain."

Obviously, I think I'm the guy to be Iowa's next U.S. Senator. Ultimately, three million Iowans, or the million plus who vote, will decide.

Tom Fiegen

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