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It's Tough Being Beautiful: Falling Down The Hill

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Six alumni of The Hill's "Most Beautiful" list lost election bids in 2012; nearly 40 percent of officeholders to make the list have been defeated, resigned in scandal, or retired from political office

scottbrown10.jpgThe Hill presented its annual mid-summer 50 Most Beautiful feature on Wednesday and, as usual, it included a handful of members of Congress on the list.

Since 2004, a total of 64 U.S. Representatives and Senators have been profiled on various installments of the list - 33 Republicans and 31 Democrats - including the likes of Barack Obama (2005), John Boehner (2006), and Nancy Pelosi (2007).

Through its first 10 installments, officeholders from 31 states have appeared on the Most Beautiful list, including seven from California and New York, four from Florida and Illinois, and three each from Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Washington.

This year's edition includes first-term Republican U.S. Senators Jeff Flake from Arizona and Tim Scott from South Carolina plus Democratic U.S. Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and Beto O'Rourke (TX-16).

So where does a member of Congress go from here after making the 'Most Beautiful' list?

Unfortunately, for many, it's all downhill...

Smart Politics examined the political fates of the 59 members of Congress who appeared on The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful list from 2004 through 2012 and found 37 percent of them eventually lost reelection, failed in a campaign for higher office, resigned in scandal, or retired from political office.

During the most recent election cycle, six former 'Beautiful' alumni serving in the U.S. House or Senate saw their careers in Congress come to an end:

· California Republican Mary Bono Mack (2004) lost by 5.9 points to Raul Ruiz in her bid for the state's 36th Congressional District.

· Florida Republican Connie Mack (2007) - Bono Mack's husband - lost by 13.0 points in an attempt to oust Democrat Bill Nelson from his U.S. Senate seat.

· Ohio Democrat Betty Sutton (2008) lost by 4.4 points to Jim Renacci in a redistricted incumbent-on-incumbent contest in the state's 16th CD.

· Massachusetts Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown (2010) lost by 7.6 points to Elizabeth Warren in his reelection bid.

· Michigan Democrat Hansen Clarke (2011) lost a nomination battle to Gary Peters after redistricting in an incumbent-on-incumbent battle in the state's 14th CD.

· New York Republican Nan Hayworth (2012) lost by 3.4 points to Sean Maloney in the state's 19th CD.

But that's not all.

Three-term Democratic North Carolina U.S. Representative Heath Shuler called it quits and opted not to run for reelection, and Republicans handily captured his open seat.

And while Jesse Jackson, Jr. won his reelection bid to Illinois' 2nd CD last November, he resigned a few weeks later and was indicted in February 2013 for violating campaign finance laws.

Overall, of the 59 U.S. Senators and Representatives named to The Hill's Most Beautiful list between 2004 and 2012:

· 10 lost reelection bids: Scott Brown, Chris Chocola, Hansen Clarke, Nan Hayworth, Mary Bono Mack, Betsy Markey, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Gordon Smith, Betty Sutton, and Gene Taylor.

· Five were defeated seeking higher political office: Gresham Barrett, John Edwards, Brad Ellsworth, Harold Ford, Jr., and Connie Mack. (This number excludes Paul Ryan's vice-presidential bid as he also won reelection to his House seat).

· Two resigned in scandal: John Ensign and Jesse Jackson, Jr.

(Note: John Edwards and Vito Fossella both endured scandals as well - Edwards some years after his 2004 VP run and Fossella leading up to his decision not to run for reelection in 2008).

· Five retired from public life or did not seek reelection: Evan Bayh, Vito Fossella, Jack Quinn, Heath Shuler, and John Warner.

That means just 37 are still holding prominent political office:

· 28 have continued to be reelected to their seat: Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, Sherrod Brown, Richard Burr, Maria Cantwell, Judy Chu, Yvette Clark, Charles Dent, Anna Eschoo, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Grimm, Jim Himes, Duncan Hunter, Ron Kind, Adam Kinzinger, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Kristi Noem, Nancy Pelosi, Dave Reichert, Cedric Richmond, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Bobby Scott, Jackie Speier, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, John Thune, and Maxine Waters.

· 6 have been elected or appointed to a higher office: Mary Fallin, Chuck Hagel, Martin Heinrich, John McHugh, Barack Obama, and Mark Udall.

· 3 have not yet come up for reelection since being named to the list: Republican U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte, Lisa Murkowski, and Marco Rubio.

Looking ahead to the 2014 cycle, at least one "Most Beautiful" honoree will depart Congress - Minnesota U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann has announced she is not running for reelection to her 6th CD seat.

Political Fate of U.S. Senators and Representatives Named to The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful List

Year
State
Name
Party
Chamber*
Fate
2004
CA
Mary Bono (Mack)
GOP
House
Lost 2012 election
2004
CO
Mark Udall
DEM
House
Won 2008 US Senate race
2004
IN
Chris Chocola
GOP
House
Lost 2006 election
2004
IN
Evan Bayh
DEM
Senate
Did not run in 2010
2004
MS
Gene Taylor
DEM
House
Lost 2010 election
2004
NC
John Edwards
DEM
Senate
Lost 2004 VP race, federal indictment
2004
NE
Chuck Hagel
GOP
Senate
Secretary of Defense
2004
NY
Jack Quinn
GOP
House
Did not run in 2004
2004
SD
Stephanie Herseth (Sandlin)
DEM
House
Lost 2010 election
2004
TN
Harold Ford, Jr.
DEM
House
Lost 2006 US Senate race
2004
WA
Maria Cantwell
DEM
Senate
Won 2006, 2012 elections
2004
WI
Ron Kind
DEM
House
Won 2004-2012 elections
2005
IL
Barack Obama
DEM
Senate
Won presidency in 2008, 2012
2005
OR
Gordon Smith
GOP
Senate
Lost 2008 election
2005
PA
Charles Dent
GOP
House
Won 2006-2012 elections
2005
SD
John Thune
GOP
Senate
Won 2010 election
2005
TN
Marsha Blackburn
GOP
House
Won 2006-2012 elections
2005
WA
Cathy McMorris (Rodgers)
GOP
House
Won 2006-2012 elections
2006
FL
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
DEM
House
Won 2006-2012 elections
2006
NV
John Ensign
GOP
Senate
Resigned in 2011
2006
NY
John McHugh
GOP
House
Secretary of the Army
2006
OH
John Boehner
GOP
House
Won 2006-2012 elections
2007
CA
Nancy Pelosi
DEM
House
Won 2008-2012 elections
2007
FL
Connie Mack
GOP
House
Lost 2012 US Senate race
2007
IN
Brad Ellsworth
DEM
House
Lost 2010 US Senate race
2007
NC
Heath Shuler
DEM
House
Did not run in 2012
2007
NY
Yvette Clark
DEM
House
Won 2008-2012 elections
2007
OH
Sherrod Brown
DEM
Senate
Won 2012 election
2007
OK
Mary Fallin
GOP
House
Won 2010 gubernatorial race
2008
NY
Vito Fossella
GOP
House
Did not run in 2008
2008
OH
Betty Sutton
DEM
House
Lost 2012 election
2008
SC
Gresham Barrett
GOP
House
Lost 2010 gubernatorial nomination
2008
VA
John Warner
GOP
Senate
Did not run in 2008
2008
WI
Paul Ryan
GOP
House
Won 2008-2012 elections
2009
CA
Jackie Speier
DEM
House
Won 2010-2012 elections
2009
CA
Maxine Waters
DEM
House
Won 2010-2012 elections
2009
CO
Betsy Markey
DEM
House
Lost in 2010
2009
IL
Aaron Schock
GOP
House
Won 2010-2012 elections
2009
NC
Richard Burr
GOP
Senate
Reelected in 2010
2009
NM
Martin Heinrich
DEM
House
Won 2012 US Senate race
2009
WA
Dave Reichert
GOP
House
Won 2010-2012 elections
2010
CA
Anna Eshoo
DEM
House
Won 2010-2012 elections
2010
CA
Duncan Hunter
GOP
House
Won 2010-2012 elections
2010
CA
Judy Chu
DEM
House
Won 2010-2012 elections
2010
IL
Jesse Jackson, Jr.
DEM
House
Resigned in 2012
2010
MA
Scott Brown
GOP
Senate
Lost 2012 US Senate race
2010
NY
Kirsten Gillibrand
DEM
Senate
Elected in 2010, 2012
2011
AK
Lisa Murkowski
GOP
Senate
TBD
2011
FL
Marco Rubio
GOP
Senate
TBD
2011
IL
Adam Kinzinger
GOP
House
Won 2012 election
2011
LA
Cedric Richmond
DEM
House
Won 2012 election
2011
MI
Hansen Clarke
DEM
House
Lost 2012 nomination
2011
NY
Michael Grimm
GOP
House
Won 2012 election
2011
SD
Kristi Noem
GOP
House
Won 2012 election
2012
CT
Jim Himes
DEM
House
Won 2012 election
2012
MN
Michele Bachmann
GOP
House
Won 2012 election
2012
NH
Kelly Ayotte
GOP
Senate
TBD
2012
NY
Nan Hayworth
GOP
House
Lost 2012 election
2012
VA
Bobby Scott
DEM
House
Won 2012 election
2013
AZ
Jeff Flake
GOP
Senate
TBD
2013
FL
Frederica Wilson
DEM
House
TBD
2013
HI
Tulsi Gabbard
DEM
House
TBD
2013
SC
Tim Scott
GOP
Senate
TBD
2013
TX
Beto O'Rourke
DEM
House
TBD
* Chamber in which the honoree served at the time of being named to the The Hill's list. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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1 Comment


  • Nan Hayworth was (a) about as pretty as a wrinkled bag of manure, and (b) a tea-partying piece of excrement. The only top-50 she belongs in is for dumbassery.

  • Leave a comment


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