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Fix Poll: The Most Underrated Senator?

With so much focus on the Senate these days, the Fix has been ruminating on the members of the world's greatest deliberative body who don't get as much credit as they should. (A list of those that get more credit than they deserve would run on far too long for this space.)

We thought we would bring Fixistas in on the debate and so below there are six Senators who we regularly hear positive things about but who are not as well known nationally as the John Kerrys (D-Mass.) and John McCains (R-Ariz.) of the world.

Don't like any of our options? Feel free to offer your own suggestions -- and why -- in the comments section below. Forget who all is in the Senate? Here's all 100.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 7, 2009; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Fix Poll  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Next: Morning Fix: Calling California Conservatives

Comments

Oh, and it appears when you finally get some much earned recognition- like Senator Kerry has- there is always someone or some jerk- that has it in for you. Are you that person Mr. Cillizza?

Posted by: margievogel | October 12, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Senator Kerry, one of the most overrated? No way, this man hasn't gotten any respect from most of the Democrat establishment his entire senate career. I WOULD SAY SENATOR KERRY IS ONE OF THE LEAST APPRECIATED AND UNDERTATED TALENTS IN THE SENATE TODAY.
And, don't make me laugh, Senator Schumer as underrated or McCasgill- please. Shumer has a nice place for himself among Democrats and because he hails from NY he get special attention- just like anyone baring the Clinton name. And, McCaskill has made quite a name for herself in one incomplete term in the senate. She is always on the tube- just like McCain.
This poll is fixed. And, it seems someone is playing favorites.

Posted by: margievogel | October 12, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Kerry has NEVER been acknowledged, especially by Dems, for the really tough and UNPOPULAR work he did uncovering Iran-Contra and BCCI matters that some powerful Democrats wanted to stay hidden as much as Bush and his cronies.

The media isn't allowed to bring those matters up anymore, either. Can't have the public figuring out that the growth of global terror networks could have been stopped in the 90s had Kerry's work received attention and cooperation instead of widespread stonewalling and coverups from official DC and their puppet press.

Posted by: knowhistory | October 12, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Russ Feingold of Wisconsin should definitely be on the list. He has traveled all over Wisconsin listening to his constituents in over 1,100 listening sessions. He really believes in finding out what the people of Wisconsin want. Remember, he was the lone senator to vote against the original "Patriot Act". I am proud to call him my senator.

Posted by: Marlene3 | October 9, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

The question should be who is the most over rated. they all are. This country needs term limits on all branches of government. Two consecutive terms in office,then one term out of office and no lobbying. Then you are able to run again for an other two terms. The president stays as is. It`s about time that these life long politicians get out for good.

Posted by: cj362810 | October 9, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

At the moment, my vote is for Tom Carper for his work for a public option that's actually optional, forcing state legislatures to 'opt out' if they don't want coverage. For more, see Nate Silver's piece: http://bit.ly/LefvR

Posted by: EBC1 | October 9, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat and had trouble deciding between McCaskill and Whitehouse.

Regarding Chuck Schumer: please remember that he is the politician who is perhaps most to blame for our current financial meltdown.

As detailed by the New York Times on Dec. 14, 2008 - Schumer repeatedly turned back legislation that would have regulated Wall Street, the hedge funds and the rating agencies - and accepted huge campaign contributions as his payoff.

Posted by: abt16 | October 8, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Russ Feingold

Posted by: hlarsen | October 8, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

How about a poll that asks us to identify the most underrated Senator...but then asks us to explain our reasoning.

Next, how about a poll asking us to identify the most OVERRATED Senator. Such a poll would quickly cause this site to crash due to the volume of responses.

Posted by: ddnfla | October 8, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

My vote for most underrated Senator would go to Carl Levin of Michigan. He just DRIPS intelligence and reason from every pore, and he's almost always right about everything.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | October 8, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

We are in a quagmire of war. No Senator is really stepping forward and demanding an end to this foolishness on a daily basis. A large part of the world with the exception of the U.K. are fed up with the stupidity of the U.S. government during the Bush years. we will be lucky if the dollar is the dominating currency at the end of this decade. This should tell any competent U.S. politician who's side the European Union's on. You would think that 6 years of one party rule would bring substantial gain instead of 4 flat tires and no spare. In this case I would have to vote for a state Representative instead of a campaign trail Senator. And if I had to vote for a senator it would be a Democrat and not a commie republican. My independent liberal vote would go to Rep. Barbara Lee as a write in.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | October 8, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

My home-state senator, Russ Feingold, is the most under-rated.

Posted by: bulldog6 | October 8, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Webb admirer too. Along with Bernie Sanders, they are both heads and shoulders above the rest of them.

Mark Begich is new and never mentioned but being he is my senator and considering the constituency he represents and how he has to kowtow to the NRA and anti-treehugging zealots to survive..he has done remarkably well.

Going off topic a bit, I see Palin mentioned above. A perfect ticket for her followers in 2012 would be Dog Chapman/Sarah Palin.

Posted by: wolfvorkian1 | October 8, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

i voted happily the missouri senator. however, the fact that no senators from the pacific northwest appeared is an insult to our intelligence. patty murray rose from a much maligned "mom in tennis shoes" to become a senior member of the chamber, and i can call her office any time with the confidence that my issue will be addressed personally. if that isn't the definition of a good senator, i don't know what is.

Posted by: davidarosy1 | October 8, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

i voted happily the missouri senator. however, the fact that no senators from the pacific northwest appeared is an insult to our intelligence. patty murray rose from a much maligned "mom in tennis shoes" to become a senior member of the chamber, and i can call her office any time with the confidence that my issue will be addressed personally. if that isn't the definition of a good senator, i don't know what is.

Posted by: davidarosy1 | October 8, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Claire McCaskill then read the comments.

D'oh! Still voting for McCaskill but now she's tied for Jim Webb. You should have listed him!

A man who goes all out for prison reform is a serious, serious leader. And given that he got the second GI Bill passed right out of the box, I'm not betting against him on prison reform.

I also appreciated he did the "Bill Clinton job" in arranging for the release of an American from Burma (Myanmar) but with far less ado. Although to be fair, the degree of publicity is really the media's choice, not Webb's or Clinton's. He's since followed up steadily on the Burma / Myanmar front, advocating better engagement. Talk about a workhorse not a showhorse.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | October 8, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

rockefeller

Posted by: californicationdude | October 8, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Jim Webb. Easily.

That vote remains the single vote of my life that I remain beemingly proud of making. Jim Webb is competent, reasoned, and so so principled, yet he does not lose sight of what is required to actually accomplish a change.

The GI Bill was an incredible achievement for a brand new senator.

Jim Webb--I am proud to have him as my Senator, and even prouder that I worked to help elect him over Harris Miller and George "Felix Macacawitz" Allen.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | October 8, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I'll add Jay Rockefeller(D-WV.) Too many people assume he's just another wealthy politican who "bought" his senate seat. He knows and serves his constituents. Perhaps not in way Senator Byrd doe$ but he's committed to the job. He's the one to watch in the health care debate.

Posted by: Pearlsb4Swine1 | October 8, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

If I had to pick 6 it would be:

1. Lindsey Graham: This guy works hard for his constituents and on issues important to him to get things done in the US Senate.
2. Olympia Snowe: A truly independent Republican who votes objectively regardless of party. This makes her votes pivotal to getting things done for both parties.
3. Chuck Shumer: What an effective senator and clearly a mastermind behind the Democrat's recent rise to power. He's also a great fundraiser and he's beloved by his constituents in NY.
4. John Cornyn: Cornyn is a good senator for Texas. Very conservative and votes the part, while taking care of his constituents back home. Also doing a great job as chairman of the NRSC on raising money and recruitment for 2010.
5. Max Baucus: As chair of the powerful finance committe in the US Senate, Baucus has worked so hard on so many items effecting us all today. He's lead the charge in working for this healthcare bill. He's also worked hard for the people of Montana, as he's brought in alot of money to the table for the state.
6. Diane Feinstein: Feinstein was a very key vote and supporter of the Medicare Prescription Drug plan that passed under the Bush Administration. She's sometimes a swing vote, and that makes her a key to many of the senate's decisions. Also, Californians love her for her work for them.

I'd guess that if you ask the US at random who these 6 people are, well over 50% would have no idea. But I think they are all key to senate business.

Posted by: reason5 | October 8, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Definitely Chris Dodd-- He's been involved in every major piece of legislation and nobody seems to know it.

Posted by: jdmaccoby | October 8, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

They REALLY need to do a poll that includes some Non-Progressives...


Stop trying to make it all about Republican or Democrats all the time... The Enemy to the United States is all the "Early 20th Century Progressives" to which ever single one of those people on the list are a rabid member of...

Posted by: indep2 | October 8, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Herb Kohl,WI and Jay Rockefeller,WV.
Both wealthy gentlemen who work hard, no grandstanding and do the people's business.
The Republicans always hate it when very wealthy guys become Democratic senators.

Posted by: jmsbh | October 8, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

So... This is a blog for Democrats then?

Posted by: rau1

No, this is a blog for the most underrated Senator in the United States.

It just so happens there are no good repub Senators, underrated or otherwise.

Posted by: rcubedkc | October 8, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Bernie Sanders, without a doubt.

There are also some very good Democrats including Feingold, Sestak, and Webb.


All the repubs suck.

Posted by: rcubedkc | October 8, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Not Jim Webb. Regardless of any efficacy in policy-making, and I eagerly voted for him, his constituent-services operation is the WORST. Completely nonresponsive and opaque. Anyone who can't marshall a staff that can effectively serve the people who put him in office doesn't deserve to be ranked, or keep that office for that matter. Virginia effectively has one Senator.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | October 8, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Lamar Alexander.

Posted by: george55 | October 8, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Living in Seattle, I'm a bit biased, but Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are quietly effective, not unlike their distant predecessors, Scoop Jackson and Warren Magnuson. Cantwell even earned a badge of honor, pissing off former right-wing nut Ted Stevens so much that he put her on his enemies list. Maria's downside: She insists on wearing suit jackets with enormous padded shoulders that make her look like she's wearing football equipment on her petite frame.

Posted by: maris9 | October 8, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I like anarcho-liberaltarian's shout-out for Joe Sestak. He is getting Specter to be a better Democrat, so he deserves the love.

I'd like to give a shout-out to Senator Franken, who yesterday passed his first amendment with a 68 to 30 vote. There *are* some rights that are just too important to sign-away in an employment contract.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIKo-vy4010

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 8, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

TED KAUFMAN!!

Posted by: Section506 | October 8, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

margaret -- yeah - i have been tremendously disappointed with grassley. I thought he was better than that--but he's just like the rest of them.

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'll use the measure of who does not show up frequently on the Sunday "Sabbath Gasbag" shows. Workhorse vs Showhorse. Whitehouse,Feingold,Bingaman,Dorgan,Lugar.

Dorgan gets special kudos for being one of the 5 votes against repealing Glass-Stegall financial regs in 1999.

Jesse Helms never did the Sunday shows since he hated the media though he would show up occasionally on Evans/Novack's CNN show who were quite friendly to him and get softball questions.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | October 8, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Some list and not much to choose from. Actually, it would make far more sense to ask who is the most over-rated rather than under-rated.

Posted by: Lilycat1 | October 8, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I think Rockefeller works very hard, especially on behalf of the people of West Virginia, and people like them. He works well in the Senate too, and no grandstanding.

I used to admire Grassley above all others, because he worked so hard on fraud in the medical-industrial-complex, subpoenas and hearings, calling CEOs in to testify...a very brave man and a hard worker. But now, I'm not so sure about him. He really hurt his reputation in the health care debate - and all so he could prove his Republican Bona fides.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 8, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The whole bunch of them are nothing but self interest, self righteous SOBs in their for their own careers. In fact the US Senate is the worst ever dysfunctional, inefficient, unproductive body of second best to child molesters. They sit of their fat A**** using, abusing, exploiting, misappropriating US taxpayers money. Live high on the hog in all their self importance.

The best indication is that over 70% of the US population has no confidence in the US CONGRESS.

The country would be far better off if these SOBs just meet two months a year. Make no more laws and stay the hell away.

Posted by: winemaster2 | October 8, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Without a doubt it's Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Bernie is always fighting the good fight against predatory corporate practices and does not compromise his beliefs or play the lobbying/special interest games that everyone else on your list does regularly.

Posted by: NMModerate1 | October 8, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Sheldon Whitehouse is one smart Senator.

He is brilliant!

I loved watching him sit on on those H.E.L.P. committee

I loved watching him rip Coburn a new one too!

Posted by: sasha2008 | October 8, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I was disappointed that Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) was not listed. He had the courage to vote against the ill-fated War in Iraq and has been a leader in calling for a re-assessment of our role in Afghanistan. I believe he is viewed as a voice of reason and integrity among the Senators

Posted by: KateBenjamin | October 8, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Interestingly, but maybe not so surprisingly, I find the list of Senators among the comments a much better list to choose from for underrated Senator than the list from The Fix. How the heck is Schumer underrated?

Feingold, Harkin, Wyden, Lugar, Corker, and maybe Coburn. A close call between Feingold and Lugar for me.

Posted by: mnteng | October 8, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Joe Sestak.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | October 8, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Roland Burris is our most underrated Senator. Even though everybody thinks he's a corrupt buffoon, he has actually managed to show up every day and stay out of trouble. He even puts his suits on properly and can communicate in English. That's a huge accomplishment for him given the low standards he set for himself. So my vote is for Burris.

Posted by: simpleton1 | October 8, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Olympia Snow will not be under-reated once Kay Bailey Hutchison steps down. Her future takeover ss the next ranking member of Commerce will be a huge shift in the way that committeee operates.

Posted by: DROSE1 | October 8, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Senator.

Brains and wit, she does not take herself or the stodgy club members so seriously.

She is a champion for the people - mark my words.

Posted by: rowens1 | October 8, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Richard Lugar. He's one of the Senate's wise men. And he has spent an enormous amount of time and made real progress is safeguarding nuclear materials from the former Soviet Union and keeping them out of the hands of terrorists.

Posted by: Holland4 | October 8, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia. I voted for Olympia Snowe who is in a key role.

But Jim Webb clearly ---- he is deliberative, competent, high integrity, and is particularly qualified to speak on defense, security, veterans affairs, and foreign affairs. The Republicans have no one on their side to match him. I saw Senator Webb completely dominate Senator Kyl on Meet the Press.

Posted by: fwh33 | October 8, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I would say Feingold or Bernie Sanders, but Feingold gets it on seniority IMO.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 8, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

I would say Feingold or Bernie Sanders, but Feingold gets it on seniority IMO.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 8, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Bernie Sanders is the only one speaking for the public good on health reform. The liberals are strangely silent.

Posted by: Desertstraw | October 8, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Figures the Post wouldn't include him on the list.

Posted by: geezjan | October 8, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

rau1:

There definitely is a Democratic bent here (but so is my home state of California, and that hasn't stopped me from standing up with truth to power either -- it wouldn't be an enjoyable debate though if everyone agreed with me -- see latest "Morning Fix" thread). When one of the most over-exposed Senators (Schumer) is beating ALL of the under-rated Republicans, you know that something is off. I am actually a registered member of the American INDEPENDENT Party and doubt that many Republicans even bother to post.

Posted by: JakeD | October 8, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

My vote would go the unheralded folks who clean the chamber at the end of the day... for obvious reasons.

Posted by: jpsbr2002 | October 8, 2009 4:45 AM | Report abuse

No this is the official blog site of the Revolutionary Workers Party. Last election I wrote in Leon Trotsky.

Pull up a chair and let me begin to explain how cool I am. And why you should wish to be as much like me as possible.

</sarcasm>

Democrats probably outnumber Republicans here but that's probably because nobody with any self-respect would want to be identified with the two Republican who do the most posting here.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 8, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

So... This is a blog for Democrats then?

Posted by: rau1 | October 8, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Maria Cantwell gets better and better. And I'm more impressed than ever wtih Jay Rockefeller.

Posted by: taylorb1 | October 8, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Feingold

Posted by: nmetzker | October 8, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Ron Wyden and Jeff Bingaman are very underrated Senators as well. Wyden because he knows so much about the issues and is willing to work across party lines without sacrificing his principles (most of the time). Bingaman because he stands up for what he believes in, is an expert on the environment, and consistently shuns the limelight so others get credit for his work. Both Senators voted against the Iraq War Resolution as well.

Posted by: fable104 | October 8, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Feingold

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 7, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Kirsten Gillebrand would count as underrated, but she has been a very pleasant surprise. I thought she would be all blue dog, but she has been very progressive.

Pat Leahy is a good one too. Not sure if he is underrated, but is very good.

Schumer actually strikes me as a bit overrated. If I had to start a list, I'd nominate McCain and Judd Gregg.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 7, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

he American Soldier doing their job.

==

number disagreement

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 7, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Sheldon Whitehouse, hands down.

***

FEAR FRIDAY MOON BOMBING COULD CAUSE MOON RINGS, DEBRIS FIELD, DIM MOONLIGHT

http://nowpublic.com/world/nasas-friday-moon-bombing-weapons-test-disguise

OR (IF LINK CORRUPTED / DISABLED):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 7, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

How about most over rated?

A. Chucky Schumer
B. John Kerry
C. Stabenow
D. Dodd

They all have their strenghts.

Dodd would be good fpr his ability to get a good sub prime loan, no points, 1.0% interest rate. Can I get one of those?

Stabenow for her ability to 'run off' jobs and employers from her formerly great state.

Kerry, for his love and 'respect' of the American Soldier doing their job.

Schumer, for his consistent ability to be wrong about one issue after another.

There all good. It's hard to pick eh?


Posted by: dmadigan | October 7, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Off Topic:

Anyone see the GOP's new jingle?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtMV44yoXZ0

Tip o' the hat to Steve Benen.

Posted by: nodebris | October 7, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

It is not a do-gooder contest,
it is an underrated contest.

Everyone knows Pat Leahy is
a top quality do gooder.
He is highly respected.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 7, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Chrissy faux was the subject of the first segment on Hannity tonight.

Posted by: snowbama | October 7, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Dunno why anyone would be talking about Palin at all much less in a thread unrelated to her in any way but what the hell as long as she's under discussion it's worth perusing the evidence that she lied about bearing "Trig":

http://breepalin.blogspot.com/2009/10/sarah-palins-special-delivery-or-who.html

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 7, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't know the qualifications for "underrated," but Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is a hero. He and John McCain have worked to stop the crumbling of our political system through campaign finance laws. He has been firm and steady in his support for closing Guantanamo and getting us out of Iraq. President Obama is a great man, but I was honored to have a "Russ Feingold for President" bumper sticker on my car for a couple of years. We nned 99 more like him.

Posted by: mikedow1 | October 7, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Only ONE (1) Senator stood up to Torture and War and even took on the DOJ... and that was Pat Leahy.

==

point

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 7, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Only ONE (1) Senator stood up to Torture and War and even took on the DOJ... and that was Pat Leahy.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 7, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd go with an entire new list for underrated senators:

* Byron Dorgan
* Jeff Bingamin
* Kay Bailey Hutchinson
* Tom Harkin
* Russ Fiengold
* Patty Murray
* Jon Kyle

I think Graham, Schumer, Snowe, and Corker get lots of "love." Whitehouse isn't in the upper eschelon of underrated. (I did vote for McCaskill as the most underrated of the bunch listed.)

I don't partiicularly like Jon Kyle much, but I suspect he is one of the more powerful, less visible members of the Group of 100.

Posted by: prairiepopulist | October 7, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

There's not a single HYPOCRITICAL post of mine that you can quote here, and you know it. Talk about "chicken".

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Thanks for answering my prior question on the other thread (although it was, technically, off-topic here). In case you miss my new question over there: What would you think about a Palin-Bloomberg ticket? As long as you keep answering my questions to you, I will answer your questions to me.

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"Jakey thinks Ensign shouldn't resign. Shows you where Jakey's morals are at.

Posted by: JRM2"

This surprises you? We all know the guy is a hypocrite.

Now stop talking about him.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 7, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

JRM2:

You are not going to get me to budge. My "morals" have always been consistent (so it should not be a surprise to you). It is not too much to insist on simple, common courtesy when I had answered all of your previous questions.

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Jakey thinks Ensign shouldn't resign. Shows you where Jakey's morals are at.

Posted by: JRM2 | October 7, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Jakey you are nothing more than a coward for putting up an argument like that then chickening-out when the rubber hits the road, but, that's your game so I'm not surprised.

Buck-ahhh Jakey, buck-ahhhh!

Posted by: JRM2 | October 7, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, gosh, so sorry JRM2, but I hope you do recall that your refusal to answer my hypothetical questions in past threads has led me to not answer your questions now. Too bad.

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Jakey-poo I see you've polluted the blog again with your rants against Letterman who isn't even a politician, so I take it you think Ensign ought to resign then?

Posted by: JRM2 | October 7, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

You PINHEAD, it is withoutadoubt.... Pat Leahy

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 7, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary. McCain is one of the best liberal senators there is.

Posted by: snowbama | October 7, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"Judith Warner, whose devotion to 44 is, well, kinda extreme and scary."

Yes, it is.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 7, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Close call, though. No one is more supportive of BHO than Claire McCaskill. Her support is only exceeded by that of the First Lady and of course...the NYT's Judith Warner, whose devotion to 44 is, well, kinda extreme and scary.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 7, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"Most OVERrated, hands down.

Yet whenever anyone wants to talk about the wars on TV who do they order up? McCain or Lieberman.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite"

Well, they are both on Armed Services...

But given how Obama and McCain agreed on so much in terms of non-Iraq foreign policy, I think McCain is a reasonable voice to listen to. Yeah, for domestic issues, McCain is hopelessly lost, especially on the economy, but McCain is one of the leading experts on armed services stuff. Sure, it would be great to get Bush or Obama for these shows every time, but that's not realistic.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 7, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Sheldon Whitehouse. His statement in support of the wise Latina at the Sotomayor hearing showed great leadership and judgment.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 7, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

[Wyden] probably had one of the better health care proposals out there.
_______________

Had? Don't make me sad.
This is not over, this is just the beginning.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 7, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"Unless "underrated" includes crooked and/or terminally stupid, rather than smart skilled legislators who work in the background.

Then we could open the door to some who are universally despised except by the governor who appointed them, and thus have ratings so low they surely exceed them, in practice."

Mark,
Has anyone ever told you you think like a lawyer? Not trying to be a smarta*s, it is a good thing.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 7, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is on TV almost as much as 'Law & Order.'

==

Most OVERrated, hands down.

Yet whenever anyone wants to talk about the wars on TV who do they order up? McCain or Lieberman.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 7, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I also might have expected Russ Feingold to be included here, though I suppose he gets substantial press. He is one of the leading voices on a wide range of Constitutional issues.

I am not sure Schumer is the most underrated of those listed because he makes more Sunday show appearances than any of the others, gets substantial NY/Washington press since he is from New York and is third in the Majority Senate Leadership, but he is clearly the most important Senator of those listed. Schumer is clearly involved in Majority strategic decisions and sits on two important Committees (Finance and Judiciary) so he will be front and center in nearly every domestic policy debate. He is also a liberal who emphasizes working with moderates to legislate on behalf the often-forgotten "common man" or working people or the Middle Class or however you wish to refer to ordinary American citizens.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 7, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm giving Wyden a shoutout as well. He probably had one of the better health care proposals out there.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 7, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

You can also see the liberal bias when SCHUMER gets more votes here than any other Republican

Schumer is a Democrat, not a Republican.

If he gets more votes as "most underrated" than any Republican, it's probably because nobody thinks those Republicans are worth a snot. After all, they're still affiliated with a worthless political party.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 7, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with an earlier poster....
Jeff Bingaman

Posted by: mega3 | October 7, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Sheldon Whitehouse but I would have voted for Russ Feingold or Byron Dorgan if they were options.

Posted by: fable104 | October 7, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

ryanmsears:

You can also see the liberal bias when SCHUMER gets more votes here than any other Republican?!

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Schumer is underrated? I'm a huge fan of Schumer, but it's hard to imagine him as underrated.

I'll go for Jeff Bingaman.

Posted by: ryanmsears | October 7, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Gov. Palin was onto something when she noted:

"Laughter incited by sexually-perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands - that acceptance of inappropriate sexual comments about an underage girl, who could be anyone's daughter, contributes to the atrociously high rate of sexual exploitation of minors by older men who use and abuse others."

What do you think of this, shrink2:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/addiction-in-society/200910/so-david-letterman-thinks-sarah-palin-is-white-trash

In other news, N.O.W. came out against David Letterman for the "toxic" work environment and urged CBS "to take action immediately to rectify this situation. With just two women on CBS' board of directors, we're not holding our breath."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/07/letterman.now/index.html

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

John McCain is on TV almost as much as 'Law & Order.'

Posted by: pedjr336 | October 7, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Another vote for Feingold as underrated.

To the overrated: McCain and Lieberman, two people who get way more attention than they deserve. Also Reid, critically lacking in spine to be the ML.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 7, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Reed [D-RI], Feingold[D-WI]; Wyden[D-OR]; Corker [R-TN]; Thune [R-SD].

If I had to go with one, I'd lean toward Wyden.

Unless "underrated" includes crooked and/or terminally stupid, rather than smart skilled legislators who work in the background.

Then we could open the door to some who are universally despised except by the governor who appointed them, and thus have ratings so low they surely exceed them, in practice.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 7, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree, it should be Russ Feingold. All Senators should have his integrity.

How about worst US Senator: John Cornyn should be right up there.

Posted by: leichtman | October 7, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, nodebris:

"A list of those that get more credit than they deserve would run on far too long for this space" starting with John McCain and John Kerry.

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of Senators with considerably more power and influence than is generally recognized.

I'd actually say McCain is *over* recognized, getting far more attention than he merits.

Posted by: nodebris | October 7, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

russ feingold!

Posted by: formerlylove1 | October 7, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

mfhirsch:

Shouldn't a "Most Underrated Senator" actually stand a chance of being re-elected next year?!

Posted by: JakeD | October 7, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Corker, hands down. He helped bring the light a different side to the auto bailouts & cap and tax

Posted by: TexasProud1 | October 7, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Fine, call me a homer,
Ron Wyden is the most underrated.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 7, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I would disagree with picking Webb, mainly because he isn't underrated. Starting off with a stinging response to the state of the union speech and a brush-off of Bush, he set out a marker.

From this list, I'd pick out Sheldon Whitehouse, mainly because he merits a who? from me.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 7, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

For a state with a long history of despicable politics, Rhode Island has elected many outstanding senators, such as the incumbents Whitehouse and Jack Reed.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 7, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Chris Dodd -- the leading Senate force on nearly every piece of major legislation, from health care reform to credit card reform, to bank overdraft fees and financial regulatory reform (just for starters).

Posted by: mfhirsch | October 7, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Whitehouse, but what about Jim Webb? He would be my first choice.

Posted by: Neal2009 | October 7, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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