When a politician makes a promise, it's not uncommon for voters to respond with skepticism.
When U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley says he will do something, however, it's a good idea to pay close attention - the Iowa Republican has a history of following through on his pledges.
Many years ago, Grassley told his constituents that he would stay in close touch with them by visiting every Iowa county at least one time per year. Since his initial election to the Senate in 1980, Iowa's senior senator has been faithful to that promise.
Some members of U.S. Senate and House of Representatives use the all-too-frequent congressional recesses to take junkets to far-flung foreign destinations. While a few of these excursions have a legitimate fact-finding purpose, many are little more than expensive social outings paid for by American taxpayers.
Participating in that sort of thing is not Grassley's style. It is far more typical for him to use some of the time when Congress is not in session to come back to the Hawkeye State to communicate with his constituents.
Grassley takes opportunities to meet with his fellow Iowans very seriously.
He keeps faith with our Founding Fathers' belief in representative government by spending congressional recesses listening carefully to what Iowans tell him.
Opinion polls routinely show that many Americans worry about the quality of the representation they have in Congress. Many believe that most of the men and women who serve in the House and Senate have lost touch with the folks back home.
Grassley's frequent trips back to Iowa help counter that disillusionment. He shows up where we live and listens to what we say. That's an important reason why even Iowans who disagree with Grassley's political views respect his service as their senator.