This coming week's cover story in the National Journal will reveal the results of a survey of political and Capitol insiders, who speak candidly about their political colleagues in exchange for anonymity. It's a little bit like a high school yearbook poll, isn't it? Largely irrelevant to society at large, irresistibly fascinating to those who have a vote.
And immensely flattering to those who win, like Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whose West Broward district is based in Pembroke Pines. Member of Congress named her the Democrat with the brightest future.
That victory was only slightly diminished by some of the anonymous quotes that appear in the article. Said one cynical and apparently self-loathing member:
Are you kidding? 'Bright' and 'political future' are mutually exclusive terms when it comes to describing Congress.
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Things a Republican congressman would say! Oops, sorry, thought I was in the finals of the $25,000 Pyramid for a second. Anyway, that member refused to vote for anyone's political future.
Wasserman Schultz won 16 percent of the 32 votes by members of Congress. In second place was Virginia Sen. Mark Warner with 13 percent of the votes. In the survey of 83 "political insiders" (whatever that means), the pair was also named as the top two, this time with Warner finishing on top.
Judging by the article, which we got an advanced copy of, members got points for personality, prolific fund-raising, and cable news ubiquity.
But it might be hard for Wasserman Schultz to hold on to that spot as a future star. She has the unenviable task of leading the Democrats' retention efforts in 2010. Judging by Congress' low scores in national surveys, she's got her work cut out for her.