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Is Being Named to The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People List a Blessing or a Curse?

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Nearly one-third of the members of Congress who made the list prior to the last election cycle eventually lost their seat, lost a race for higher office, retired, or resigned in scandal

KellyAyotte10.jpgOn Wednesday, The Hill released their ninth annual 50 Most Beautiful People list and five members of the U.S. House and Senate made the cut: Republican New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican U.S. Representatives Michele Bachmann (MN-06) and Nan Hayworth (NY-19), and Democratic U.S. Representatives Jim Himes (CT-04) and Bobby Scott (VA-03).

Since its first release in 2004, a total of 60 members of the two chambers have made the list which now boasts 450 alumni from Paul Ryan to Nancy Pelosi to scores of staffers.

However, things have not always worked out as planned for these men and women after being designated as one of The Hill's most beautiful.

A Smart Politics analysis of The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People List finds nearly one-third of the members of Congress listed from 2004 through 2010 are no longer in political office (15 of 48, or 31.3 percent).

(Members listed after 2010 have not yet gone up for reelection).

To be sure, there have been many success stories of those who have received this playful honor from The Hill.

A total of 28 members of Congress have held their seat since being named to the list - not counting the 12 individuals named since the Election of 2010.

Another five individuals have successfully run or been appointed to a higher political office, with Barack Obama the most distinguished alumnus of the group (making the list as a U.S. Senator in the Class of 2005).

Other members of Congress who went on to a higher office are:

· Colorado Democrat Mark Udall (Class of 2004): Won reelection to the House in 2004 and 2006 and then won Colorado's U.S. Senate race in 2008.

· New York Republican John McHugh (Class of 2006): Won reelection to the House in 2006 and 2008 and was appointed Secretary of the Army in 2009.

· Puerto Rico Republican Luis Fortuño (Class of 2006): Won the Puerto Rico gubernatorial election of 2008.

· Oklahoma Republican Mary Fallin (Class of 2007): Won reelection to the House in 2008 and Oklahoma's gubernatorial contest in 2010.

Additionally, several rumored Republican names on Mitt Romney's vice-presidential list are veterans of The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People list: John Thune (Class of 2005), Paul Ryan (2008), Marco Rubio (2011), and Kelly Ayotte (2012).

But it has not all turned up roses for The Hill's beauties.

Five "Most Beautiful" alumni eventually lost reelection to their congressional seat:

· Indiana Republican Chris Chocola (Class of 2004) lost his House seat in 2006.

· South Dakota Democrat Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (Class of 2004) lost her House seat in 2010 (to Kristi Noem, an alumnus from 2011).

· Mississippi Democrat Gene Taylor (Class of 2004) lost his House seat in 2010.

· Oregon Republican Gordon Smith (Class of 2005) lost his U.S. Senate seat in 2008.

· Colorado Democrat Betsy Markey (Class of 2010) lost her House seat in 2010.

Another four members of Congress got a bit greedy and lost their bids for higher political office:

· North Carolina Democrat John Edwards (Class of 2004) lost his Vice-Presidential bid in 2004 (as well as two presidential nomination runs).

· Tennessee Democrat Harold Ford, Jr. (Class of 2004) lost his U.S. Senate race in 2006.

· Indiana Democrat Brad Ellsworth (Class of 2007) lost his U.S. Senate race in 2010.

· South Carolina Republican Gresham Barrett (Class of 2008) lost his party's gubernatorial nomination in 2010 to Nikki Haley.

Another six members of Congress resigned or retired, some in good standing...

· New York Republican Jack Quinn (Class of 2004) did not seek reelection to his House seat in 2004.

· Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel (Class of 2004) did not seek reelection to his U.S. Senate seat in 2008.

· Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh (Class of 2004) did not seek reelection to his U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

· Virginia Republican John Warner (Class of 2008) did not seek reelection to his U.S. Senate seat in 2008.

...and some under the cloud of scandal:

· Nevada Republican John Ensign (Class of 2006) resigned from his U.S. Senate seat in 2011 after a drawn-out scandal involving an extramarital affair that led to investigations by the FBI, FEC, and Senate Ethics Committee.

· New York Republican Vito Fossella (Class of 2008) did not seek reelection to his House seat after a DUI arrest and the revelation he had had an extramarital affair that resulted in a child.

And what will be the fate of the remaining 40 members of The Hill's list after the 2012 election?

· Three of the nine remaining U.S. Senators from the various annual installments are up for reelection this November: Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell (Class of 2004), Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown (2007), and Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown (2010).

· One House member is retiring: North Carolina Democrat Heath Shuler (Class of 2007).

· Two House members are seeking U.S. Senate seats: Florida Republican Connie Mack (Class of 2007) and North Carolina Democrat Martin Heinrich (2009).

· Twenty-eight other House members are seeking reelection to their seat, with some designated as potentially vulnerable in 2012 by D.C.'s leading prognosticators including Nan Hayworth (NY-18), Michael Grimm (NY-11), Mary Bono Mack (CA-36), and Michele Bachmann (MN-06).

All told, 32 Republicans and 28 Democrats from the U.S. House and Senate have made The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People list over the last nine years.

Thirty-eight of these have been men (of which there is a much larger number in the two chambers) compared to 22 women.

Members of Congress Named to The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People List, 2004-2012

Year
Name
State
Party
Chamber
2012
Michele Bachmann
Minnesota
Republican
House
2012
Kelly Ayotte
New Hampshire
Republican
Senate
2012
Jim Himes
Connecticut
Democrat
House
2012
Nan Hayworth
New York
Republican
House
2012
Bobby Scott
Virginia
Democrat
House
2011
Adam Kinzinger
Illinois
Republican
House
2011
Kristi Noem
South Dakota
Republican
House
2011
Cedric Richmond
Louisiana
Democrat
House
2011
Michael Grimm
New York
Republican
House
2011
Marco Rubio
Florida
Republican
Senate
2011
Lisa Murkowski
Alaska
Republican
Senate
2011
Hansen Clarke
Michigan
Democrat
House
2010
Kirsten Gillibrand
New York
Democrat
Senate
2010
Judy Chu
California
Democrat
House
2010
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Illinois
Democrat
House
2010
Duncan Hunter
California
Republican
House
2010
Scott Brown
Massachusetts
Republican
Senate
2010
Anna Eshoo
California
Democrat
House
2009
Martin Heinrich
New Mexico
Democrat
House
2009
Maxine Waters
California
Democrat
House
2009
Dave Reichert
Washington
Republican
House
2009
Betsy Markey
Colorado
Democrat
House
2009
Jackie Speier
California
Democrat
House
2009
Aaron Schock
Illinois
Republican
House
2009
Richard Burr
North Carolina
Republican
Senate
2008
Gresham Barrett
South Carolina
Republican
House
2008
Paul Ryan
Wisconsin
Republican
House
2008
Betty Sutton
Ohio
Democrat
House
2008
John Warner
Virginia
Republican
Senate
2008
Vito Fossella
New York
Republican
House
2007
Brad Ellsworth
Indiana
Democrat
House
2007
Nancy Pelosi
California
Democrat
House
2007
Connie Mack
Florida
Republican
House
2007
Sherrod Brown
Ohio
Democrat
Senate
2007
Yvette Clark
New York
Democrat
House
2007
Mary Fallin
Oklahoma
Republican
House
2007
Heath Shuler
North Carolina
Democrat
House
2006
Luis Fortuno
Puerto Rico
Republican
House
2006
John Ensign
Nevada
Republican
Senate
2006
John Boehner
Ohio
Republican
House
2006
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
Florida
Democrat
House
2006
John McHugh
New York
Republican
House
2005
Cathy McMorris (Rodgers)
Washington
Republican
House
2005
Barack Obama
Illinois
Democrat
Senate
2005
John Thune
South Dakota
Republican
Senate
2005
Marsha Blackburn
Tennessee
Republican
House
2005
Charles Dent
Pennsylvania
Republican
House
2005
Gordon Smith
Oregon
Republican
Senate
2004
Gene Taylor
Mississippi
Democrat
House
2004
John Edwards
North Carolina
Democrat
Senate
2004
Mary Bono (Mack)
California
Republican
House
2004
Harold Ford, Jr.
Tennessee
Democrat
House
2004
Stephanie Herseth (Sandlin)
South Dakota
Democrat
House
2004
Chris Chocola
Indiana
Republican
House
2004
Mark Udall
Colorado
Democrat
House
2004
Maria Cantwell
Washington
Democrat
Senate
2004
Chuck Hagel
Nebraska
Republican
Senate
2004
Evan Bayh
Indiana
Democrat
Senate
2004
Jack Quinn
New York
Republican
House
2004
Ron Kind
Wisconsin
Democrat
House
Table compiled by Smart Politics from reports by The Hill.

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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