Do former governors make for better senators?
"The former governors have formed an informal caucus of their own within the Senate," writes David Broder, "inviting former mayors and state attorneys general to join them. What they have in common is the discipline of coming from jobs where they are judged by their results rather than their words. And most of them have learned to work comfortably and cooperatively with colleagues from other parties, as state or local officials regularly do when dealing with the federal bureaucracy."
You hear this sort of thing occasionally, but I'm curious: Is there any evidence at all that former governors make for more effective, or even bipartisan, senators? Evan Bayh, the former governor of Indiana and the focus of Broder's column, doesn't have much in the way of large legislation to his name. Of the senators who come to mind when I think of bipartisan dealmaking -- Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Olympia Snowe, Orrin Hatch, Kent Conrad, Max Baucus, Joe Lieberman -- none of them are former governors. Which sort of makes sense: former governors probably get more annoyed with the Senate than do former legislators. But if there's evidence saying otherwise, I'm open to hearing it.
Photo credit: By Chip Somodevilla/Associated Press
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