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Poll: Does the Confirmation Process Deter Good People From Wanting to Serve in Government? Poll: Does the Confirmation Process Deter Good People From Wanting to ...

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Poll: Does the Confirmation Process Deter Good People From Wanting to Serve in Government?


U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. nominee Samantha Power testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, Wednesday, July 17, 2013.(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

How much, if at all, does the confirmation process deter good people from wanting to serve in government?


A lot: 70%
A little: 29%
Not at all: 1%


A lot

"What confirmation process? The system broke down years ago."

"It's arbitrary, irritating, and degrading. Plenty of top people are just not into that."


"This process has become the theater of the absurd."

"Why put your life on hold for a year or more while the Senate Republicans diss you? Meanwhile, the White House acts like it is impotent."

"Who says 'no' privately to the White House is rarely publicized, but the list is far longer than it was even 10 years ago. Who in their right mind wants a low-paying, long-hour, unrewarding job bad enough to have their character and integrity attacked by the likes of Ted Cruz?"

"The right-wing strategy of politics of personal destruction ushered in during the Clinton administration is alive and well."


"The financial background check is invasive, intrusive, and insulting."

"There has to be some degree of egotism to agree to public debate of your worth as a human."

"Good people do not want to answer ridiculous charges and put their lives on hold indefinitely. It's terrible."

"The process is ridiculous, and both parties are equally at fault."

"It's like getting rolled down a hill of razor blades. You may get to the bottom—you just don't recognize yourself any more."

A little

"It's just one more example of the growing price people pay to be in public service—a real tragedy."

"Outsiders endure it and promise never to do it again."

"Most people don't know how bad it is until they get nominated. But when they find out, they want to walk away."

"The process is excruciating, but the draw is strong."


How much, if at all, does the confirmation process deter good people from wanting to serve in government?


A lot: 54%
A little: 40%
Not at all: 6%

A lot

"Even if you have nothing to hide, you have to be comfortable with your whole life being laid bare to the public. Not something a lot of people desire."

"Who wants special-interest groups crawling through the gutter to find 'gotcha' information about potential nominees? This is a strong deterrence to get the best and the brightest to participate in public service."

"A salary cut, an intensive scrutiny of business and private concerns, and a chance to be collateral damage in the endless campaign cycle. What's to like?"

"Why on earth would anyone want to go through it unless they want a political future? And the people who want a political future are the ones who will keep the status quo in government."

"Over the years, I have known many quality people who have passed on government service because of the confirmation process. Note: Party affiliation absolutely makes no difference. Republicans make life miserable for Democratic appointees, and Democrats do likewise to Republican appointees."

A little

"I know a high school soccer coach whose first practice was always a run up a 2,000-foot mountain. It was an effective weeder. If you don't have the thick skin needed for the confirmation process, you'd never survive the office anyway."

"The prestige and résumé enhancement of a Senate-confirmed post—not to mention the sense of purpose of high-level public service—will always outweigh the frustration and invasiveness of the confirmation process."

Not at all

"Ego normally prevails over sanity."

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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