Full Grassley

On December 23, 2011 · 4 Comments

I realize it’s only Day 1 of my off-season hiatus so I’ll poke my head up only briefly before hibernating again. I want to make sure 12MC readers are aware of a recent comment posted by John Deeth of Iowa. Comments tend to get lost in the shuffle because they don’t appear in newsreaders and doubly so at this time of year. This one is simply too great to have it fall through the cracks, though. Inquiring minds will definitely want to know.

Iowa Counties Visited
Iowa counties I’ve visited are shaded — Definitely not a Full Grassley.

John Deeth says:

Greetings from the land of the caucuses. Regular readers may enjoy:

It’s a point of bragging rights in Iowa politics, state or presidential, to visit all 99 counties. Rick Santorum has done it; Michele Bachmann is on a tour to complete what politicos call “the full Grassley” (after the Senator who visits all 99 each year).

So when Register reporter Jennifer Jacobs asked: “How exactly can presidential candidates get through all 99 counties in Iowa in the quickest amount of time on the shortest path?” I thought immediately of 12MC. Here’s the answer:


(disclaimer: I’m a VERY part time Register contributor, which should not lessen your enjoyment)

The article references a post in the New York Times with even more information about how the route was generated. It’s a mathematical conundrum known as the traveling salesman problem.

The map provided at the link is pure convoluted goodness. I’m not sure I would have appreciated the Full Grassley until I understood the term better (it sounds suspiciously like the Full Monty). However, once explained, I’m ready for an Iowa road trip for the Full Grassley treatment.

Thank you John Deeth!

On December 23, 2011 · 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Full Grassley”

  1. Mr Burns says:

    Right up front, you need to know that I’m not advocating any candidate in the upcoming Presidential election.
    That said, however, a friend of mine saw the bus tour of John Davis for President in town a couple of weeks ago, and I took a moment to look him up. The thing of interest for 12MC readers would be the map of his bus tour. It almost looks as if he’s trying to visit every county in (at least) the 48 states. Here’s a link to a page with the (very small) map included:

    Again, I don’t want anyone to think I’m pro or con on his views, his positions, or his candidacy. But it’s an interesting map, and quite an undertaking!

  2. John Deeth says:

    Thanks for the attention. Grassley’s opponent last year, Roxanne Conlin, launched her campaign with a 99 county tour, although she only won one (my own Johnson County) in the election. Governor Branstad recently announced he’s completed all 99 in his first year (back) in office as well.

    My guess is in the political context the “full Grassley” is not a Full Monty reference but is derived from “the Full Ginsberg”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Ginsburg

    “An appearance by one person on all five American major Sunday-morning interview shows on the same day: This Week on ABC, Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation on CBS, Meet the Press on NBC, and Late Edition on CNN. (State of the Union replaced Late Edition on CNN in January 2009.)

    The term is named for William H. Ginsburg, the lawyer for Monica Lewinsky during the sexual conduct scandal involving President Bill Clinton. Ginsburg was the first person to accomplish this feat, on February 1, 1998.”

  3. Peter says:

    It’s a good thing for presidential candidates that Texas is not an important primary state. Can you imagine what it would be like having to visit every one of that huge state’s innumerable counties?

  4. John Deeth says:

    Register again January 5:

    “Just when Iowans thought they had had their fill of 99-county political tours, another one is starting.

    U. S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who popularized the 99-county trek and had it copied by presidential candidates campaigning in the Iowa Caucuses, announced today that he is doing it again. It started at 7 a.m. with Grassley giving a speech to the Riceville Kiwanis Club at the Windy Tree Cafe

    Grassley has held at least one meeting in each of Iowa’s 99 counties every year since he was first elected to the Senate in 1980. …”


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