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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Frank Lautenberg's retirement resets New Jersey Senate race (22 comments)

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  •  Rush Holt and Scientist-Politicians (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    desmoinesdem, brook, R30A

    If Rush Holt were to become the next Senator form New Jersey, that would make him the only reserch scientist in the senate.

    Bill Foster (D-IL) is currently the only other research scientist in Congress - coincidentally both he a Holt are physicists.

    Foster drew some criticism when he considered founding a PAC (this idea was interrupted by his candidacy for a second stint in Congress) for being too much of a Democratic partisan. There is a divide between think tank policy wonks and researchers in the laboratories. The policy wonks want scientists to embrace more Republicans, and researchers in the laboratories are generally progressive Democrats who would despise Republican policies.

    I feel a diary coming on.

    One final note. Scientists more consistently become politicians in other countries. For example, Angela Merkel is a physicist as well. Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 05:40:39 AM PST

    •  American scientists (0+ / 0-)

      Much like scientists across the world, American scientists are largely secular people. Given the fact that the irreligious have a huge stigma on them in terms of the American electorate, it is no surprise there aren't more of them in elected office. Also, there are other facts as well, like scientific minded people often see political discourse as beneath them and their skill set, and a lot of highly intelligent people in the sciences are quite socially awkward, which is antithetical to what is required of elected officials.

      •  Mmm... (5+ / 0-)

        Scientists aren't "socially awkward." I believe you outed yourself as an engineer, in which case I will half-jokingly accuse you of projection.

        Research science is actually good training for a political career. There are great many opportunities for public speaking and debate, contact with the media, and then there's working in a political bureaucracy (the university).

        I want to break through some of the stereotypes associated with scientists, because they are holding back greater political success.

        I'd also like to point out that many weirdos and introverts are routinely elected to Congress. I think they are the norm, in fact. Students for a New American Politics!

        by redrelic17 on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 06:25:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Jerry McNerney (D-CA) has a sci/eng background (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Though he also was in the business side of things, being the CEO of a wind power startup.

    •  I know people in Holt's district (7+ / 0-)

      I like the bumper stickers that read "My Congressman is a rocket scientist."

      Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

      by desmoinesdem on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 07:56:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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