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Magazine / Congressional Insiders Poll

Congressional Insiders Poll

February 17, 2011

Grade President Obama’s handling of the Egyptian crisis.

Democrats (25 votes)

Average grade: B+

A: 6%


A. “After 30 years of U.S. support of Egyptian autocracy, at the expensive of democracy, President Obama is appropriately promoting a populace-centric approach.”

A. “He was walking a tightrope. The easy answer would have
been to support an ally, but he knew that it was unacceptable.
He was forceful, and the end result shows that.”

A. “An A thus far, but the semester isn’t over yet.”

A. “Big countries have big falls, but it is better to go forward than backward. President Obama was helpful in not pushing too fast.”

A. “Steadfastness and skill; he knew more than the pros—[former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Frank] Wisner and [Secretary of State Hillary Rodham] Clinton. A bravura performance by Obama.”

A-. “After some initial equivocation, the president found his footing by breaking from traditional American doublespeak
that supports the status quo to back the Egyptian people’s demands for reform.”

B. “Things would have been better if the State Department had
not publicly asked Mubarak to stay while the president was asking him to leave.”

Grade President Obama’s handling of the Egyptian crisis.

Republicans (33 votes)

Average grade: C

A: 9%

A. “Obama and Hillary Clinton, after a few missteps, got their feet on the ground quickly. I think [Defense] Secretary Gates did a masterful job behind the scenes with the military.”

A. “He understood the regional importance Egypt plays and resisted the temptation to be dragged into taking sides.”

B. “There were some awkward twists and turns as well as some contradictory statements, but we got through it and ended up on the right side of history. The real challenge will be in the coming months when a military full of Mubarak backers must fashion a functioning democracy. Obama must stay engaged,
or this could go very badly.”

B. “It’s a complex situation, but they’ve done a lot of things well.”

C. “Average to nonexistent action; perhaps that was best.”

C. “If that had been [George W.] Bush caught flat-footed and veering from day to day on policy, he would have been crucified. Obama gets a pass. Not sure why.”

D. “President Obama sent an awful message to our friends by publicly calling out President Mubarak.”

D. “He played it safe. If you are the president and you show no leadership on an issue, then the rating is poor.”

D. “The U.S. role has been minimal, for better or for worse, and our standing with regional nations has suffered.”

D. “The administration didn’t see this coming and has no idea where it’s going. We looked weak and out of the loop on the world stage. Maybe another apology tour is needed.”


Should states have more responsibility than the federal government for setting policy in any of these areas? (Check all that apply.)

Democrats (25 votes)

Education: 64%
Health care:
None (volunteered):

“All teaching is at the classroom level, so school districts should get all the money and be held accountable for effective teaching.”

“K-through-12 is 95 percent a state responsibility now.”

“States generally should have more responsibility in education and, beginning in 2014, in health care. The other two are more of a shared responsibility.”

“Education and transportation lend themselves more to local control than other issues.”

“Only national policy, national grid, and national pricing will move this country forward. But it is hard to argue, since California already has 20 percent renewable—way ahead of the pack.”

Health care
“As we have national standards for air and water, we need national standards in health: national choices.”

“Federal laws control land, sea, and air transportation credentials and infrastructure. Like [the Defense Department], our  [Transportation Department] should be federalized.”

“It’s a collaborative process. We must work together to solve these policy problems.”

“On all of these I believe that we need a partnership, but the federal government has to set a tone for a national agenda. History shows us that sometimes states’ rights meant no rights for some people.”

“This should be a partnership between the two, in which the federal government sets minimum standards and the states have the flexibility to implement and improve.”

“The policy responsibility is split, since some issues are primarily local—for example, local streets. And others are of national importance—for example, ‘Are American kids able to compete in the world?’ ”

Should states have more responsibility than the federal government for setting policy in any of these areas? (Check all that apply.)

Republicans (33 votes)

Education: 97%
Energy: 42%
Health care: 82%
Transportation: 76%
None (volunteered): 3%

“Directives from the federal government only serve to hinder our local officials’ ability to adapt to the needs of our children in the classroom—stifling innovation and preventing widespread progress in our education system.”

“Sadly, under this administration the feds have thwarted energy independence except for private lands in North Dakota. Nuclear, oil shale, drilling, coal, and natural gas all suffer.”

“All save energy where there is a national-security imperative when it comes to weaning us from foreign oil. The problem is, energy-producing states seem to be more serious about that than the Obama administration.”

“Time to let states reclaim most of [the] federal gas tax and start building roads without the middleman.”

“All of them and more; the 10th Amendment will become a rallying cry during this year’s budget debates. Lots of programs will be block-granted to the states, along with flexibility—huge structural changes [are] coming.”

“States should set policy in accordance with how they fund policy, however, and all these areas include substantial sums of federal funds.”


Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Jon Tester, Tom Udall, Mark Warner; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly , Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Linda Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, Pete Stark, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, Jeff Sessions, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Michele Bachmann, Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, Charlie Dent, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Darrell Issa, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Pete Sessions, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.

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