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Washington insiders rate Ellison, Franken, Bachmann

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington insiders admire Rep. Keith Ellison, think Sen. Al Franken has a bright future and wish Rep. Michele Bachmann would press the mute button more often.

Those were among the results of a National Journal poll of congressional and political insiders released today. The poll is an annual tradition on Capitol Hill, essentially a political beauty pageant that has become the Washington equivalent of Miss America.

Bachmann was tied for second on the question of “Which voice in your party would you most like to mute” as voted by GOP congressional insiders.

“If there’s a wrong way to say something, she somehow manages to find it every time,” National Journal quoted one voter as saying.

Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok dismissed the survey in an e-mail to MinnPost, saying, “There were 19 respondents, meaning two people offered their opinion. Not exactly earth-shattering from our perspective.”

Dziok is quite correct about sample size. Because of the small voting pool, many people made a list with just one or two votes.

That said, Bachmann likely won’t mind the company she drew with. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a GOP rock star, Glenn Beck is arguably the most influential right-leaning political commentator in America, and both Iowa Rep. Steve King and Georgia Rep. Tom Price are among the best in the Republican party at grabbing media attention. First place in the category went to “no one.”

Ellison came out shining in the National Journal survey, voted fourth in the “most admired” category by Democratic congressional insiders. Ellison, now in his second term, tied with House Democratic lions Barney Frank, John Lewis and Henry Waxman.

“I think it’s a recognition of the hard work that he does here in the Congress, the standing that he has, the respect that he has among both members and their staff for always being there when a voice is needed,” said Ellison spokesman Rick Jauert. “On a personal level, it makes me really proud to work for him.”

Franken also polled well, chosen fourth by lawmakers in his party as having the brightest political future.

“It’s very flattering,” Franken said. “I’m just focused on my job and getting stuff done for the folks back home in Minnesota.”

The full list of categories where Minnesota lawmakers made a list:

Most admired senator: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, honorable mention from Democratic congressional insiders.

Most admired representative: Ellison, fourth place (tie) from Democratic congressional insiders; Bachmann, honorable mention from Republican political insiders.

Brightest political future: Franken, 4th place (tie) from Democratic congressional insiders.

Most impressive this year: Gov. Tim Pawlenty, honorable mention from Republican political insiders.

Would most like to mute: Bachmann, second place (tie) from Republican congressional insiders (behind “no one”) and honorable mention from Republican political insiders.

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/13/2009 - 06:31 am.

    I was under the impression that the National Journal published only once every four years, to proclaim the current Democratic presidential candidate, the most liberal ever. It’s good to know they publish at least once a year to provide a new and fresh source of conventional wisdom for inside the beltway types to republish elsewhere.

  2. Submitted by Roger Iverson on 12/14/2009 - 07:36 pm.

    Congrats to Keith Ellison. We did right by electing this competent, honest representative who actually works for his constituents. Same for Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. When I look at the GOP senators and reps from some other states, I wonder if the people ever feel gypped by lawmakers who only do the bidding of corporate donors and conservative talk show hosts.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/15/2009 - 07:54 am.

    It most certainly isn’t the job of our congressman to please Democratic insiders. It’s his job to represent his district.

  4. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 12/15/2009 - 09:34 am.


    Most — not all — Democratic staffers are there for altruistic reasons. If they are please that means they think that these representatives are altruistic, too.

  5. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/15/2009 - 10:09 am.

    It’s not Ellison’s job to please staffers either. It’s the staffers job to please Ellison, and ultimately the people Ellison represents.

    Where do staffers get off talking to newspapers? Isn’t their job to be seen and not heard?

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