Chuck Grassley is too old


This is Chuck Grassley running.Chris Maddaloni/Getty

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Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was born during the Great Depression.

He was born before Hitler rose to power; he attended college in 1955 (when tuition cost $159); his predecessor upon his first election to US Congress was born in 1899. Grassley won his first election in 1959 and served in the Iowa House of Representatives until 1975. He was succeeded, after leaving for national office, by Raymond A. Lageschulte. That man’s picture on the official website of Iowa is in black and white.

Senator Chuck Grassley is now 88-years-old. He was once again reelected this week. By the end of this term, he will be 95.

That is too old.

Chuck Grassley, 89, who was born before the invention of the chocolate chip cookie, will serve another six (6) years in the Senate.

— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) November 9, 2022

Grassley has done a push this cycle to combat chatter about his maturity by cosplaying as a fitness influencer. In addition to his usual barrage of odd tweets about volleyball scores, he has posted videos of his early morning runs. He has, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, shown his brittle bones moving up and down in push-up form.

Grassley’s apparent commitment to posting his workouts, as Politico noted in a recent look at Congress’ gerontocracy problems, exposes issues beyond fitness. (Despite the scary reporting about Senator Dianne Feinstein.) The heart of the complaint is “an increasingly impenetrable elite with entrenched habits [holding] jobs that get treated like entitlements and coteries of courtiers who disconnect them from the zeitgeist.”

But, for a moment, let me return to the subject of the body.

ppl ask me why i run 6 days a wk at 4AM

— Chuck Grassley (@ChuckGrassley) August 14, 2022

On one level, for sure: To be that old and still running is a feat. But you know how old Chuck Grassley is? He’s been noting his exercise routine since at least 2010.

This is an ad from twelve years ago!

Here’s another from six years ago:

I think it’s important to make this clear: Bragging about being able to physically move is not good. It means you are so old people are afraid you cannot.

Going for a short run is not a thing anyone needs to gloat about unless you are so aged that the founding of the company that introduced the treadmill to the United States happened almost a decade after your first electoral win—which, yes, is the case for Chuck Grassley.


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