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Peter Burke's insight:
While hectic, busy, and tiring, the life of a senator is still a luxurious one. Any person who has ever served as a senator is almost definitely retired comfortably with fame. For the rest of their live they are special guests at fine parties and benefits, whenever they are introduced as a senator they are automatically respected. A former senator will also never run out of ways to make money. Former senators are paid to give speeches at events simply because they were once senators. Also, former senators are offered to be board members at large companies and organizations. In summary, senators are no longer forgotten like they were in the early years of American history. In the modern era, with television and other forms of popular media, senators are like celebrities. One hundred years ago, most senators were humble (some even poor) men, who represented their state. As a matter of fact, some senators struggled to afford getting back and forth between their states and Washington D.C. However, for the better or for the worse, a senator today lives a more luxurious life.
The Washington Post. The Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2012. Web. 1 Apr. 2013.
Qualifications to be a US Senator as defined by the Constitution
Peter Burke's insight:
Because the job of a U.S. Senator is such an important and powerful position, the constitution lays out a few guidelines for who can and cannot become a senator. For one, a Senator must be of 30 years of age in order to hold office. Also, obviously, a senator must be a citizen of the United States, and must have been a citizen for at least nine years. Lastly, a senator must legally inhabit the state of which he or she represents. These guidelines are present, but very easy to follow. Therefore, there is a whole other list that quietly restricts who can and can’t be a senator. Very often a senator was previously a representative in the house, a lawyer, or a successful businessperson. While the constitution does not require a senator to have previously held one of these jobs, and senator still needs to be electable. When one is ready to run for the senate, he or she needs to be backed by the Republican or Democratic Party. If a candidate is not electable, neither the republicans nor the democrats will endorse him or her. Therefore, while not always the case, one with senatorial ambitions should consider pursuing one of these occupations prior to running a for a senate seat.
The biographical information page for U.S. Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho
Peter Burke's insight:
Yes, many people would say a senator lives a luxurious life. To be honest, I cannot disagree, however Senators do not live easy lives. Unlike those from Roman times, senators are no longer flourished with extreme wealth (the salary of a U.S. Senator is not particularly high.) However, long hard worked days are what being a senator is all about. This passage titled “A Day In The Life” by Senator Mike Crapo helps explain the long worked days of U.S. Senators. Filled with radio interviews, meetings, hearings, coffees, luncheons, and dinners senators are never able to take a break. A senator does not have the luxury to summer in Nantucket, or travel in Europe for a week. A senator is constantly at work because he or she has made an obligation to his or her constituency. People are not elected into the senate to write books or be invited to special cocktail parties. Senators are not remembered for the books they write or the wealth they earn from giving speeches for money. Senators are remembered for bring meaningful reform in order to perfect the union of the United States of America.
One of the most important roles of the United States Senate is to approve nomintations. Part of the reason why senators are considered more powerful than district representatives is their ability to nominate people to powerful positions. The senate has the ability to cancel a Supreme Court nomination, cabinet nomination, ambassador nomintation, and several other important nomintations. Therefore, the Presidents of the United States are not able to make unwise nominations with out the Senate rejecting the decision. Also, because there are only 100 senators in United States Congress, each senator's vote is very powerful. Although the Senate does not have the power to actually choose a person to be nominated, only the Senate can confirm a nomination. I believe that this system of nominations is very efective. When the President needs the Senates approval for all nominations, he or she is restricted. I also believe that this system gives more responsibility to individual Senators. With more power, Senators make better decisions. One of the greatest parts of being a Senator is the role played in nominations.
Unlike many other offices in Unites States government, including that of the President, there is no limit as to how long a senator can hold his or her position. As a result, some senators have spent very long periods of time representing a state in the senate. In many of these cases, the long served senator becomes a large part of the state. Therefore, every six years when it comes time to vote again for a senate seat, everybody votes for the person they have known forever. This is often a very good thing. For instance, Senator John McCain has represented the state of Arizona in congress for many years now. As a result, Senator McCain has had plenty of time to become a senior and important member of the senate. Senator McCain was even nominated for President of the United States and was noted that he had far more experience in government than is opponent. I believe that it is a good thing that there is no limitation of terms for senators. Unlike the President, a senator only represents one state, and if he or she is liked by that state the people should be able to elect whomever they want.
One thing about members of Congress that has angered many Americans for a very long time was their ability to trade off inside information and knowledge. I will say that people did always have a point. There is practically no one on the planet Earth with more private information than a member of U.S. congress. These are the people who decide what is legal and what is illegal, and owning a stock to a company that should be regulated or punished will certainly impair a representative’s judgment. However, this past year, congress passed a bill called the STOCK Act that disables members of congress from being able to trade on inside information. When voted for on the Senate Floor, The STOCK Act passed with a remarkable 96-3 turnout in votes. I believe that this shows us that senators do not become senators to inside trade after all. Like everyone else, a senator will find his or her way to make a comfortable living. However, a senator acknowledges that his or her primary job is to pass meaningful reform and passing The STOCK Act was doing just that.
Each senator is a little bit different from his or her peers. As a matter of fact, some senators are wildly dissimilar. Different senators expertise in different realms of politics. Some senators are very involved with fiscal policy, whereas other senators subject in foreign affairs. For this reason, there is a committee system in the senate. This system allows the senate to function in a more efficient manor. As a result, senators who are very knowledgeable in the field of armed services do not have to spend time discussing education. With this system, senators are also able to make names for themselves and increase their chances of becoming more successful. For instance, Chuck Hagel recently became the Secretary of Defense due to his experience on the Foreign Relations committee. Committees are each given a chair, who represents the majority party in the senate. The system of committees in the senate help diversify senators. As a result senators differ in power and status. Senators gain prestigious reputations typically after serving in the Senate for many years.
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