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Fix Poll: The Best Job in Politics

Somewhere in the 50th or 60th hour of watching the confirmation hearings of judge Sonia Sotomayor, we lapsed into something of a political daydream about the best job in politics.

Is it Supreme Court justice? The pros: lifetime appointment, immense power over the laws of the country, cool black robes. Cons: Confirmation hearings, lots of reading.

How about President? On the one hand, you are the most powerful person in the country but, on the other, you have, at best, eight years at the top.

Being a Senator or a governor also entered our minds. A Senator has the benefit of being up for re-election only every six years and a big staff at his/her disposal to pursue their interests. Governors get to make decisions and see them implemented.

There is, of course, the possibility that we have the best job in politics. After all, we have a blog at our disposal. On the other hand, we have a blog at our disposal.

Cast your vote for the best job in politics below. And, if you are so inclined offer your reasoning in the comments section.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 15, 2009; 5:12 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Next: Morning Fix: Winners and Losers, Sotomayor Day Three

Comments

I think the best job in government is being a United States Senator. A person has the opportunity to work with distinguished legislators (as well as those who are undistinguished LOL), make speeches on important topics, deal with important issues in foreign and domestic policy, serve his state's needs, and also gain a lot of attention and publicity via the media and C Span. If I were a Senator (a dream since childhood :) ), I would want to serve on the Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Committee, and have the opportunity to promote my views that now I can only do on my personal political blog, which for those who are interested, is http://Ron44Polithist.spaces.live.com/ I welcome anyone who wants to comment on or contribute to my blog. :)

Posted by: POLITHIST | July 16, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

The best job in politics is MEP: Member of European Parliament. You do nothing, the voters don't care that you do nothing, the pay is good and there is a big fat expense account for traveling pretty much wherever you want.

Posted by: caribis | July 16, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

My apologies to all. Coburn did say it yesterday (heard about it via email and didn't check the time info). That much said, Coburn is questioning her right now and is quite effective.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

No ambassadorships? Perhaps that's not really a political job.

I go with President. It's tough, but rewarding.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

As of the time of writing this comment, the two favoured responses in the poll are SCOTUS and the Senate. It seems to me that what these have in common is a lack of real accountability. You can be removed from the Senate, but only every six years, and it is not very clear what you are expected to accountable for - unlike an executive job. If you are confused by an issue, just vote 'present' or follow the party line.

Being on the Supreme Court is for life and you don't have to deliver on anyone's expectations. The opinions may be long, but you don't have to author any. Just go along with other people or get your clerk to write them.

Posted by: qlangley | July 16, 2009 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Definately not SCOTUS, those opinions are usually 60 pages long, have fun writing those.

Posted by: KRDuffy | July 15, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Definately not SCOTUS, those opinions are usually 60 pages long, have fun writing those.

Posted by: KRDuffy | July 15, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't consider Supreme Court Justice to actually be a political job. Yes, politics is a concern, and certainly involved in the nomination process, but once appointed the immunity from politics is unique -- whether a justice chooses to avail himself of that immunity (Souter) or not (Thomas, et al.). a

Posted by: nodebris | July 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza,

One figures you'd say the best job is politics is either Mark Sanford's man servant or Dana Milbank's constant cadaver. Skull & Bones, Christine, Skull & Bones.

Posted by: MarkinJC | July 15, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

It can't be being the Fix. Poor fella's got to write about people like Mitch Daniels, DeMint, Jindal, Lindsey Graham and Tim Pawlenty etc. *every week* and try to make them sound like 'comers' bristling with energy and fresh ideas.

And he's going to have to write that stuff for 2 1/2 more years just so when a candidate is finally picked he can say "as I reported back in 2009..." That kind of work can crush a man's soul.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 15, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree that being a Supreme is a job in politics. Yes, there's a political confirmation process, but you don't stand for election every two, four or six years.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | July 15, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Got to be author of THE FIX. The ability to be honest outweighs the benefits of all the others by a mile. Despite having to interrupt vacations and other such things. I am sure having a family wears a little on them when you are always working but having to constantly campaign is no family's best interest either. The justices don't have to campaign but weighing the decision's of the highest court can't be a light load on one's personal life. Journalism is highly under-respected profession by too many, but you got my vote.

Posted by: zenmastersmartass | July 15, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Chris, I voted for Supreme Court Justice over your job because they actually get vacations that are not interrupted by resignations or political scandals.

Posted by: jameshauser | July 15, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"To ceflynline, I was asking your opinion on whether a Republican or Democratic Senator is the best job in politics. Was your last post addressed to me? Posted by: Lisa421"

It was, miss typed and mis copied. The inference, with the eight Dems listed and the one Rep, was that those nine, all well known, had quite enjoyable times in the halls of power. But more Dems had more fun, and even when caught flagrante something were less likely to suffer for it.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 15, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

To ceflynline, I was asking your opinion on whether a Republican or Democratic Senator is the best job in politics. Was your last post addressed to me?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Byrd, Mansfield, Fulbright, Johnson, Truman, Metzenbaum, Glenn, T Kennedy, .

Dirksen,

Eight to one or so the Dems have it better.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 15, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

To ceflynline, Republican or Democratic Senator?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"United States District Judge for the District of the Virgin Islands, sitting in rotation in St. Croix and St. Thomas. Trust me. Even U. S. Magistrate for DVI would be OK. Posted by: mark_in_austin"

Ideal JOB? MAYBE! Schedule your trips to the mainland for professional development during hurricaine season, and Ah! the blissfullness

BUT N O T POLITICS!

And if you need POLITICS to validate your existance, and not merely the respect, admiration, and demeanor one gains as a judge, it would be like living on nutrasystems and living in a convent while on unlimited expense account in Roppongi.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 15, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Job IN politics, obviously Senator. Remember part of politics is actually running for office and winning. Senators who stay connected to their voters can apparently stay in the Senate forever. Wasn't Byrd one of the Senators who voted against Brutus and Cassius on term limits?

President is a great power trip, and to get there you have to play politics for some time, but get there once and you get one more four year long campaign. Win and in four years you are an elder statesman and get to do one fabulous final walk into the sunset.

Governors get many chances, but most state governors are nearly incognito whenever they leave their states capitol, and some aren't all that well known IN their capitol when the budget goes crunch, ("Governor WHO? Why can't what's his name come up with a budget that cuts taxes, funds libraries, prisons, etc, and has a surplus? Why can't HE show some leadership?). SOME state governors are there mostly for the entertainment, like Jesse Ventura, and some for the perks, like Gibbons of Nevada. (OOPS, forgot, that is Oscar Goodman, mayor of las vegas. He's the one who goes around with four show girls.)

Supreme Court is only politics until you get there, and then it is back room politics, daggers, dirks, poison, and other Borgian tools of the legal trade.

Author of the fix isn't politics, its gourmandery. You don't cook, you just get fat evaluating other's cooking.

But Senate, Ah! there is the Valhalla of public power and service. Machine gun your entire anatomy trying to slow the inevitable appointment of a SS, and you only pump up your base. Babble like an idiot trying to make a political point that the mesdame shot down two days ago, your base is willing to think it the wisdom of the ages. (Be thankful that Al is sitting there beside you, because if he was back to working for a living you would be the butt of derision on SNL for months to come.

Senator, sir, gets my vote.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 15, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

How about Orly Taitz, the attorney who (allegedly) spends her life travelling the country filing idiotic frivolous lawsuits claiming BHO is not a citizen.

Her last client?--a reservist who refused his deployment because he claimed he needed more proof from 44 that he was born in Hawaii. Outcome of case: the Pentagon cancelled his employment, then cancelled his contractor job. Case closed.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 15, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

President of the "Young Republicans," a job now held by Audra Shay.

How lucky to be 38 years "young" and leading the nation in taking back America from the "[rac]coons."
Didn't know they were a big problem on the Eastern Seaboard, Audra, so thanks for the heads up. I'll on the lookout for badgers, skunks, and other critters, too.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 15, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

To benbuchwalter, party-control and seniority is what really matters in Congress. Would it be better to be a long-serving Senator from a small state then? Four states (Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska and North Dakota) currently have total populations smaller than the average for a single Congressional district.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 15, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

House Rep. You represent a clear, defined group of people and therefore don't have to pander (too much) to a statewide or nation-wide constituency.

Posted by: benbuchwalter | July 15, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Dan Froomkin's new job with the Huffington Post, I'm sure.

Got to hand it to the WaPo -- can't believe you guys were dumb enough to let one of the best in the business go. I never read much Huffington Post before the past couple of weeks, but I've been reading more HuffPo and less WaPo since I heard you dumped Froomkin.

Enjoy the Fix, but my visits have tapered off of late due to Froomkin's firing.

Posted by: punkybrewster1 | July 15, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Guess which I chose? Indeed, The Fix as well as all less worthy yet sincere--i.e., non-partisan--bloggers and journalists.

Pros: no having to swallow hypocrisy, say things one KNOWS are not true, spend most evenings in constant fundraising with inedible food (might reconsider if they served the Palmetto Pig's fried chicken!!!).

As for SCOTUS--yes, it's a lifetime appointment, but it's NOT an enviable job; if you haven't read Jeff Toobin's 'The Nine', give it a read and you'll see what I mean.

Cons: Less than seven-figure salaries (unless one does a Joe Klein/Richard Wollfe), long (but flexible) hours, the suspicion and derision of the subjects of one's interviews, the having to bite one's tongue when an interview subject is lying through their capped teeth and one knows it, and the (largely) detestable food when one is on the road.

No, journalism/blogging is best (although it does make one a cynic) because it frees one to give a realistic interpretation of events without having to 'spin' the story in one direction or another!

It sounds like a lot, but on balance, it's still the greatest job. Don't you love it?

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 15, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

The best job by far has to be the Wash Post "Fact Checker". During the election, the Post "Fact Checker" jumped to call McCain and/or Palin liars every other day when they would claim Obama was going to raise taxes, not lower them.

Now that Obama is proving McCain & Palin right, and The Post's "Fact Checker" wrong, the Fact Checker is nowhere to be found and doesn't have to admit their error.

==

My taxes have gone down. So have yours.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Of course, having said that the Fix is the best gig in town, there are obviously challenges to the model of journalism. See for example: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/07/13/clay-shirky/not-an-upgrade-an-upheaval/

Posted by: rishibhalerao | July 15, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Has to be Author of the Fix because you can actually make a career of it and the longer you build a track record the more trust you have with your readers. On the contrary, the longer do any of the other jobs, the more you get slammed by the press, your constituents, and key opinion leaders (like the op ed pages).

Posted by: rishibhalerao | July 15, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The best job by far has to be the Wash Post "Fact Checker". During the election, the Post "Fact Checker" jumped to call McCain and/or Palin liars every other day when they would claim Obama was going to raise taxes, not lower them.

Now that Obama is proving McCain & Palin right, and The Post's "Fact Checker" wrong, the Fact Checker is nowhere to be found and doesn't have to admit their error.

That's a sweet gig....

Posted by: dbw1 | July 15, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

United States District Judge for the District of the Virgin Islands, sitting in rotation in St. Croix and St. Thomas.

Trust me.

Even U. S. Magistrate for DVI would be OK.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 15, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 15, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

author of the fix! i would love to get paid to write about something i love politics!

Posted by: dee150586 | July 15, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Racist, Republican and Stupid is no way to go through life, Senator Sessions.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 15, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it was a tough call between governor of a state and author of the fix. But I gave it to governor by a nose. As amazing as it must be to be gifted with the Fix's amazing wit and wisdom, a governor has a great opportunity to shape their home state. The smaller scale of state politics means that governor's can be less focused on the spin that is national politics and more concerned with what's important to the resident's of their home neck of the woods. The burdens of governors are great (see: California) but a governor's work can do a lot of good right in their own backyard.

Posted by: theamazingjex | July 15, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

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