For all the drama among senators running for president and their vote records, there's one guy who puts them all to shame.
As CQ Roll Call's David Hawkings reported Wednesday, on an otherwise-quiet Tuesday evening in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) broke the record for longest streak without missing a vote.
The 82-year-old, six-term senator voted "Yea" for the confirmation of Wilhelmina Marie Wright to be United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota. And with that, Grassley hadn't missed a vote in an astonishing 22 years, six months and six days. That's longer than most senators' careers.
The previous record-holder was the late Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.), who Hawkings writes didn't miss a vote in the 22 years, five months and 28 days between April 20, 1966, and Oct. 18, 1988, before his retirement.
Grassley extended his streak Wednesday with a vote on whether to proceed with a Republican bill to curb Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States. (He voted yes.)
You could argue the record Grassley now holds is an arcane one that only political nerds in Washington tally up. But you could also argue Grassley's vote streak gets to the heart of how Congress works. At the basic level, we send our lawmakers to Washington to do what Grassley has done for 22 years -- cast votes for us on some of the nation's biggest (and smallest) issues.
For fun, we visualized how Grassley's vote record stacks up to the four senators still in the race for president -- Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
All of them, we should grant, have a very big event coming up Feb. 1 that happens to be in Grassley's home state.