A. “She has no cards, but she has out-raised Republicans for the next election, recruited better candidates, and raised the ratings of Democrats even though the Democratic president is a disaster.”
B+. “Rock-star fundraising, and she held her caucus together well as the opposition party.”
B-. “She has finally learned to take a step back from the public eye but still thinks money is the only measure.”
B-. “He tries, but he doesn’t even have the support of all Dems.”
C. “Looks weak. Maybe the Senate rules are rigged against anything happening in this environment, but it always looks like [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell is one step ahead.”
D-. “This may the highest grade any Senate leader can ever get.”
D-. “Reid is proving he’s as ineffective with 53 votes as he was with 60.”
A. “McConnell is as effective as he is devious and disingenuous.”
B+. “Grumpy old man who gives the country the creeps still scores wins for the Republican minority.”
D. “I don’t remember the last time that he said anything new.”
Grade the performances so far this year of these congressional leaders.
Republicans (21 votes)
House Speaker John Boehner: B+
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: D+
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: D-
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: B-
A. “Boehner has to deal with a Democrat president and Democrat Senate and has been amazing in negotiations.”
A-. “Boehner has been adroit in guiding a fractious young majority.”
B+. “He will never be a great speaker until he finds or creates a Tom DeLay or Roy Blunt who can routinely give him the 218 votes he needs to win major votes.”
C+. “Boehner has been the first speaker to work in a no-earmark environment, but it has proven difficult for him to control his conference.”
B. “Only because of her fundraising in the minority and strict discipline with which she runs her caucus.”
D. “For Democrats to make gains in the House, they have to move toward the center from Pelosi’s extreme positions and rhetoric.”
F. “Her unwillingness to step down after the 2010 elections divided and demoralized her caucus and gave the GOP a foil for 2012.”
D+. “Reid has a Democrat majority and a Democrat president and can’t get anything done.”
F+. “He’s the leader of the ‘do-nothing’ Senate but gets bonus points for the super-committee idea, which might allow something to get done. That moves him from F- to F+.”
F. “Leader Reid has single-handedly turned the Senate into a legislative cul-de-sac. This has become the most unproductive Senate in the history of the Republic, and he actually seems proud of that.”
A+. “Effective in the midst of chaos.”
B+. “Wily and tough, his only real mistake was saying out loud what most Republicans believe—defeating Obama is the No. 1 political objective.”
B-. “His job in the Senate is to win with less votes, which he does more than half the time.”
Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.
GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.
This article appears in the Nov. 5, 2011, edition of National Journal.