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Fix Poll: The Most Overrated Senator?

Last week, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) won our Fix Poll as the most underrated Senators in the chamber. (We might have gone with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham but that's fodder for a different post.)

Today we tackle the other side of the question: Who is the most overrated member of the world's greatest deliberative body?

We've offered six of the most commonly mentioned showhorses of the Senate but are always interested in other suggestions so, if you have them, offer them in the comments section below.

The voting will stay open until noon tomorrow. Have at it!

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 12, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Poll  
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Next: Morning Fix: Can Deeds Come Back?

Comments

mascmen7, on what planet do you live? Where do you get these outrageous, easily discountable tales from? Thank God and easy access to factual information, the country is now less gullible to such nonsense. Your world of entitlement due to race, class, religion etc is going the way of the dinosaurs. Grow up mascmen7!

Posted by: loveforall | October 14, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

mascmen7:

What are you talking about?

Posted by: JakeD | October 14, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that Chris Cillizza believes that Lindsey Graham is an underrated senator. Graham is next to Rabbi Schumer the most irritating senator to me totally oblivious to reality and begging us to ignore Obama's birth in Mombasa, Kenya, findings of thermocyte which causes dynamite to explode in the world trade center ruins. Graham wants us to support Obama whose $1.4 trillion budget deficit is destroying the dollar. He reminds me of the English in 1535 who let a sex crazed King Henry VIII change England from a Catholic nation into a protestant nation. Graham wants Obama to succeed at his effort to change USA into a communist nation.

Posted by: mascmen7 | October 14, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! One simple question (which you refuse to answer) is hardly the same as a THOUSAND posts by you calling me a "troll" and/or "racist swine".

Posted by: JakeD | October 14, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

JakeD sure does a LOT of posts about GoldAndTanzanite.

Hate to be the bearer Jake but while you are the right gender, you're the wrong race and way WAY too young for me. Try craigslist.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 13, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

All the above named senators should be voted OUT of office. TERM LIMITS for ALL!!!

Posted by: SeniorVet | October 13, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite:

Does your employer know you are posting here?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

KinkyHogmire:

I understand that YOU think Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is the most OVER-rated Senator in all of American history. Do you realize that Mr. Cillizza is saying that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) should have won for the most UNDER-rated Senator?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

McCain is overrated but he has some real accomplishments.

==

McCain got my vote not because he's the worst of the bunch, clearly he isn't, but because he is thought of so very highly despite being so very much a mediocrity. He's the perfect choice. The poll is not about which is the lousiest all-around Senator, that would be Cornyn probably, but he's not all that highly rated as McCain.

"Earmarks!"

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 13, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow! This was a tough one. I tried to vote for all of them, but the poll wouldn't let me.

I finally settled on Mitch the Knife, the sleazy hypocrite with the sickly smile. Its not that he's ineffective; he's really quite good at getting nothing done, which he seems to think is progress.

Posted by: jamessyl | October 13, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't mean to seem condescending, JokeD (that means to look down on), but either Little Lindsey's value is highly inflated or else he's the only U. S. Senator so eager to roll out a Sunday morning and appear on any network--or all of them simultaneously--now that Joe Biden has another position.

Posted by: KinkyHogmire | October 13, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Cornyn is my elected Senator, at least for a few more years. As he has failed to represent anything other than those who are funding his re-election bids and filtering large sums of money into his PAC, so that he "appears to be the common guy" he is a huge failure. There is a demonstration in San Antonio tomorrow to protest his stance in healthcare reform. As one who has written him numerous times, he sends out a blurb and never responds to actual questions. He who does not represent does not get re-elected, that will be funny as he is currently the RSCC leader.

Posted by: axf56730 | October 13, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised Barbara Boxer is not among the contenders. Maybe because outside of her home state she is hardly rated at all.

Posted by: stevew28 | October 13, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I consider Birch Bayh one of the great statesmen in the history of the my now former home state of Indiana. A personalized copy of the US Constitution from him is one of my prized posessions. His son Evan however has landed far from the tree. Evan was a mediocre governor, and has been an empty suit as our senator. Birch stood tall in the face of opposition and political peril, even when it would cost him his job. Evan has shown no political courage when it could cost him a single vote. as a proud Democrat, i have voted against Evan Bayh, while voting for Repbulican Dick Lugar. What a dissapointment.

Posted by: elijah24 | October 13, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

KinkyHogmire:

I believe you are reading the thread wrong -- Mr. Cillizza is saying that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) should have won most UNDER-rated, but that's fodder for a different post -- let me know if you still don't understand.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Reid is so disappointing that even voting for him as most over-rated seems too much praise. If we could only get him to stand in the shadow of the water cooler, he'd probably cease to exist. I took "Big John" Cornyn in the poll, he of the most ludicrous campaign commercial of this millennium, so bad it deserves immortality.

Posted by: optimyst | October 13, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

When I met AG John Cornyn once years ago, he seemed a modest, thoughtful San Antonio moderate. But today I see Senator John Cornyn's stance on policy matters as bringing shame upon San Antonio, Texas, and the Senate. God bless him, he has surely lost his way somewhere along the trail to D.C.

Posted by: mmurphy7 | October 13, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

LINDSEY "Maybe It's Maybelline" GRAHAM, a great thrower of hissy fits and an accomplished fact-finding doofus-at-large, has earned a place on the list.

Posted by: KinkyHogmire | October 13, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

My vote went for McConnell, but I agree with a previous poster that Joe Lieberman is by far the most overrated senator and also the most infuriating. I think he should have been thrown so far out of the Democratic caucus, he would never have stopped bouncing. But of course that would have messed up the Democratic supermajority, which hasn't been worth much anyway, so it wouldn't have been much of a loss.

Posted by: jothomp | October 13, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I chose Max Baucus as the most overrated senator because he is riding the fence, going with moderate public opinion on major issues in order to secure his future in politics. That might make him a successful politician, but I'm holding out on whether that makes him a good senator or public servant.

Posted by: lindaj4 | October 13, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell will win, be a failed governor like Jim Gilmore, and the Dems will win in 2013.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 13, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Overrated .. Orrin Hatch "a legend in is own mind"

Posted by: Beaplum | October 13, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

angriestdogintheworld:

Your post attacking me and Stanford University is still where you put it, on the wrong thread, Most Important Number in Politics. I doubt that our gracious host will delete it.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I had to vote for Cornyn because of his undistinguished representation of me. But how did Menendez escape this list? NJ knew who he was when it reelected him.

Bsimon's point about the SMajL is well taken. IMO, as recently as 2005, McC had the best year of any Senator, and he should not be considered overrated. This vote tally is quite partisan, I think.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 13, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad a few of you saw my post before it was taken down. You will note there were no swear words, no personal attacks... just the sincere wish that we could have someone pivoting us through blog posts that was more centered and not a cheerleader for the hard reicht. I mean why participate in a sham... give us the political news without bending it into some dog whistle for fellow repuglicans. Sheesh.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 13, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

McCain is overrated but he has some real accomplishments. I find McConnell singularly unimpressive as party leaders go, though he does seem able to set the minority agenda----it's just that it's a non-legislative agenda. He seems to prefer tying the Senate in knots to actually trying to solve real-world problems through legislation.

But the Senator who stands out as clearly undeserving of this company and who does not belong in this group which includes some others with actual accomplishments is Cornyn. What the heck has Cornyn ever done? I know of no major piece of legislation for which he is responsible. He is primarily known as the most dependable Senate supporter of the disgraced Bush Administration.

In viewing the Senate Finance Committee's Health Care/Baucus Bill markup sessions, Cornyn came across as a bit of a lightweight and rather unimpressive in terms of his knowledge of the substantive issues. Of course he was not alone among the Republicans on that committee in that respect as Bunning and Ensign were even more lightweight and uninformed as to the substance. While some other Senators like Snowe, Grassley, and Kyl, and many of the Democrats, seemed almost always present at the markup sessions, Cornyn was absent a substantial portion of the time. That alone is sign of a Senator not truly focused on his legislative responsibilities.

For these reasons, I vote Cornyn as not only the most overrated of this group, but as a Senator who does not even belong in this group.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 12, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

But liberals only vote once, conservatives get on email-banks to try to skew the results of any poll.


This clown seems to know so much about what everyone else does. Yet chooses to squander his great gift on these awful totally republican blogs. Perhaps this is simply a generous sacrifice for all us ignorant rogues.

Can you talk to dead aunt Sophie and ask about the jewelry using your gift?

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

ddawd writes
"I was going to list Reid, but the guy isn't very well rated by anyone. I don't want him to lose, per se, but I wouldn't be too upset either."


Nobody likes him, yet he's majority leader. Ergo, Reid is overrated.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 12, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Once again, my time spent looking at this comments section is time wasted. Congrats, commentators.

Posted by: theamazingjex | October 12, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Chris, this "poll" is virtually meaningless. As anyone who reads the comments sections at WaPo knows, the liberals outnumber conservatives by about 10 to 1.

==

But liberals only vote once, conservatives get on email-banks to try to skew the results of any poll.

Factor that in too.

And if the liberals outnumber the conservatives why are almost all the posts by two Republicans?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 12, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris, this "poll" is virtually meaningless. As anyone who reads the comments sections at WaPo knows, the liberals outnumber conservatives by about 10 to 1. The fact that a Republican is "winning" is no big surprise. It would be a big surprise if one didn't.

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | October 12, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

weak-minded nonentity nurturing a fetish for men in uniforms,

Later the pedant corrects herself

One cannot have a fetish for men, for breasts, for genitalia

meet our village idiot.

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

The expert on perversion knows of what she speaks.

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see McCain taking a solid lead here.

Good thing that didn't happen last year.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 12, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Just because you have a fetish for men

==

One cannot have a fetish for men, for breasts, for genitalia.

Fetish refers to the eroticization of a non-sexual (primary or secondary) body part, or an inanimate object.

McCain appears to have a uniform fetish.

You shouldn't use words whose meanings you don't grasp.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 12, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

My mistake, thanks for the correction.

Posted by: JakeD | October 12, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Boys.

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Just because you have a fetish for men, doesn't mean that John McCain does.

Posted by: JakeD | October 12, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

John McCain, hands-down.

A weak-minded nonentity nurturing a fetish for men in uniforms, megalomaniac and self-important, given to impulsive gestures and bursts of temper and quick completely lacking in good judgment.

Why the hell would anyone select him to run for President? Why the hell do pundits call him for opinions on the Vanity Wars?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 12, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse


6.PROMISE SIDELINED. Mr Obama promised to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that prohibits openly gay personnel from serving in the United States armed forces. Despite reiterating the pledge this weekend, Mr Obama shows no signs of taking concrete action on the issue.

7.PROMISE BROKEN. Mr Obama said that in 2009 and 2010 "existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired". Democrats on Capitol Hill opposed this and Mr Obama has quietly abandoned the proposal, omitting it from his list of requirements for draft legislation.

8.PROMISE BROKEN. During the campaign, Mr Obama promised that "as President I will recognise the Armenian genocide" carried out by the Ottoman Empire after 1915. Once in office, he travelled to Turkey and made no mention of genocide. In a statement in April on the memorial day for the genocide he spoke of the "heavy weight" of history and the "terrible events " of the period but failed the use the g-word.

9.PROMISE SIDELINED. As a candidate, Mr Obama highlighted his support for abortion rights, stating he would back this up "by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president". At a press conference marking his first 100 days, Mr Obama said this was "not my highest legislative priority" and that it was important to "focus on those areas that we can agree on".

10. PROMISE SIDELINED. Mr Obama promised to end warrantless wiretaps on the domestic communications of Americans and to "update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability". So far, he has taken no action.

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

the voices in her head don't always agree.

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, now there are "plenty of readers"?! LOL

Keep in mind what she posted on the other thread:

"joe and angrydog -- i see that the number of posts in each thread is dwindling, and that they are almost all Joked and snowflaky. So a boycott is already effectively happening. I have engaged remarks with dozens of people who;ve said they can't be bothered to wade through the Two Trolls anymore and left.

This blog will have exactly 2 readers in a few weeks or months."

Posted by: drindl | October 12, 2009 4:17 PM

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/most-important-number/the-most-important-number-in-p-47.html

Posted by: JakeD | October 12, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

drindl, there is only one logical explanation. There must be hundreds of people watching the slicing and dicing that goes on between the few, the proud, on this post-it site. No way the post would allow this to go on the way it has if it weren't getting hits.

The other think I find (slightly) interesting is how the proportion/percentage in this vote tally has remained so stable, from the first few dozen clicks to now. This must mean there is a fairly stable lurker profile (impossible?!). In other words, the early clickers and the passers by have the same view of these six.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 12, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cilizza has plenty of readers, but if he wanted more and better comments, he would need to drain the swamp.

Posted by: drindl | October 12, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you and your RW media pals PUSH the claim Kerry is a 'showhorse' yet I dare you name ONE lawmaker who exposed more serious corruption of government than John Kerry did when he uncovered Iran-Contra and BCCI which also led to the uncovering CIA drugrunning and S&L matters.

But then, I doubt those matters would get YOUR attention, though, as telling the truth doesn't pay as well as targeting truthtellers for your paycheck signers and their powerful pals.

Posted by: knowhistory | October 12, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Given the choices, and the fact that the healthcare bill was uppermost in the public consciousness at this time, I voted for Sen. Max Baucus. Had I been more judicious (and with an open field), however, I'd probably have chosen Sen. Jeff Sessions.

To me, he has replaced the late, not-very-lamented Sen. Jesse Helms as 'Senator No', the ultimate 'say-no-to-change' and be thoroughly obstructionist 24/7!

Sen. Saxby Chambliss was vying for the 'empty suit' award, but he's too much of a nothing, rather than an actively negative force.

And Sen. David Vitter 'woulda binna contendah' (in the immortal words of Terry Malloy) for the most hypocritical senator, now that Sen. 'wide-stance' has, mercifully, retired.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 12, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I was going to list Reid, but the guy isn't very well rated by anyone. I don't want him to lose, per se, but I wouldn't be too upset either.

I'd probably go with John McCain. It's good that he isn't batsh*t crazy like most of his Republican colleagues, but he seems to get very tunnel vision and have this blunt force approach to fixing problems. Remember his suggestion for the Federal Government to stop all spending 100%?

If you think the economy is bad now, think of what would have happened if McCain had been elected and gone through with that ludicrous plan.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 12, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Given 750 votes on the current Fix Poll question (and 5,024 votes on the previous Fix Poll question), I doubt that the number of readers are Mr. Cillizza's biggest concerns. GO CATHOLIC U!!!

Posted by: JakeD | October 12, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"But ultimately I decided on Cornyn, because of his incredible nutjobbery. It's hard to top a senator contemplating sex with box turtles for sheer overratedness (although Oklahoma's double-shot of crazy, Inhofe and Coburn, come awfully close)."

I agree, but so many of the Rs are so nutjobby about s*x it's hard to choose. On the righthand side, I think almost all of them are overrated, because they're just clownish.

Posted by: drindl | October 12, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is the most overrated senator, closely followed by Joe Lieberman who is not (but should be) listed as a choice in the poll.

Posted by: fable104 | October 12, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

All of them are overrated except Kerry, so I vote for a five way tie among the others.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 12, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Next do the reps; the two biggest clowns in DC, Frank and Rangle need to headline the poll. Now there's a pair to draw to!

Posted by: ohboy3 | October 12, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

LibertarianFan

You make a good point.
There should be a write in category on the poll widget.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 12, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I can't vote for any of these options as Chuck Schumer is by far, the most overrated senator.

Posted by: LibertarianFan | October 12, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

andyroo, why do you say that John Cornhole I mean Cornyn is "incredibly important"?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 12, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

He broke from inside the pole position and
no one is going to catch McCain.

Worthless. He needs to become a Fox contributor. You say whatever you want, so long as you come across self-righteous and mean. He is a perfect fit.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 12, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Can I vote for all of the above? Or all of the above except Kerry, who's really stepped up since 2004?

Posted by: thecorinthian | October 12, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Finally, a poll Republicans can win!

Next up, I nominate Inhofe for most *appropriately* underrated Senator.

Posted by: nodebris | October 12, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I presume that answer must NOT be Reid or Kerry as you must have positive ratings to be overrated.

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, finally, a Fix[ed] Poll where all the libs will make sure that a Republican wins ; )

I'm surprised that Mr. Cillizza admitted that he might have gone with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham last time -- my vote as well -- but we'll have to see if we ever get a thread on that.

Posted by: JakeD | October 12, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Besides being recent Presidential nominees, Kerry and McCain aren't particularly notable for a whole lot. The other four are incredibly important.

Posted by: andyroo312 | October 12, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Wanted to go with Reid at first, because I scarcely can contemplate a LESS effective majority leader. But ultimately I decided on Cornyn, because of his incredible nutjobbery. It's hard to top a senator contemplating sex with box turtles for sheer overratedness (although Oklahoma's double-shot of crazy, Inhofe and Coburn, come awfully close).

Posted by: Sinfonian84 | October 12, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama to CF8. just send money.

Saturday night President Obama charmingly delivered a rather bleak message to the gay community on the eve of its latest march on Washington. In a speech to the world's largest gay political group, the Human Rights Campaign, Obama essentially said two things: I'm with you. But I can't do much for you.

but like all non-thinking plebes, that's just dandy.

Posted by: snowbama | October 12, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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