Thursday, March 7, 2013

Carl Levin

The Senator from Michigan retires, giving Sherrod Brown the undisputed title of Most Rumpled Senator but leaving Most Jewish Looking Senator up for debate. Levin has been an excellent Senator for years, a workhorse and not a showhorse.

You know what I'm looking at. Levin will be 80 when the 114th Senate convenes without him. Of the eight who have announced retirement since the election (including DeMint and Kerry), the youngest is DeMint, who will be 63 then, and six will be 70 or older. Ed Markey, likely new Senator from Massachusetts, doesn't help, but Tim Scott does -- and overall there's just an excellent opportunity for the Senate to continue it's streak of getting younger.

The big thing with the Old, Old, Senate is still the increasing age of new Senators. But even if that continues, it's looking pretty good for age diversity increasing nicely during the 2014 cycle.


  1. "leaving Most Jewish Looking Senator up for debate"

    I'd say that goes to Schumer.

  2. This is fairly galling. Levin was a prominent opponent of filibuster reform just two months ago. And yet now one learns that he was probably contemplating retirement already at that point. Why the deep urge to block other Democratic senators' preferences then, given that the question of his own individual senatorial powers would soon be moot?

  3. Levin also jumped from the (Detroit) City Council straight to the Senate, although he's from a political family. There was a DK diary some time ago on paths to the Senate. Anyway, I'm not sure how many others have ever managed that. Goldwater? Domenici?

    1. There's a list of city council members who later became senators at

      Most of them served in some other office (usuallly US Representative) before going on to the Senate. Domenici served on the Albequerque City Commission in 1966-70 (where he was chairman and ex-offcio mayor from 1967-70), and was then GOP candidate for governor in 1970, losing to Democrat Bruce King. He successfully ran for the US Senate in 1972. So technically I don't know if you could say he went straight to the Senate.

      Barbara Mikulski tried to go directly from the Baltimore City Council to the Senate in 1974, but lost to incumbent Charles Mathias. She finally got elected to the Senate when Mathias retired in 1986.

  4. Being the most perennially over-represented cohort in politics, a surprising number of Jewish people are (leftist) senators:

    I think that Brian Schatz wins by a mile:

  5. Wow. I can't believe no one has mentioned Bernie Sanders for "Most Jewish Looking Senator". This really isn't even close.

  6. I do believe that my "up for debate" claim has been sustained.

    I'm not sure about the winner, but Barbara Boxer shouldn't be overlooked in this discussion.


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