Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tiberi - Neither Particularly Powerful Nor Particularly Moderate

These types of rankings are always best taken with a grain of salt. Having said that, I think this set represents evidence consistent with what's actually true. For context, the Columbus Dispatch offered two reasons for their one-size-fits-three endorsement of Pryce, Hobson, and Tiberi in 2006: Re-electing incumbents means that Central Ohio will have more influence in Congress (Pork, etc.), and that these three were moderate centrists, which represents the people of Central Ohio well.

Assuming that one was inclined to buy this rationale at the time, both in terms of the criteria chosen and the evidence given to support the endorsements given that criteria, it should be interesting to fast-forward a year and a half. In terms of power/influence, Congress.org ranks Pryce at 188/432, Hobson at 195/432, and Tiberi at 281/432. By comparison, freshman Democrat Zack Space is ranked 40 spots higher at 241/432. It would appear that perhaps the CD had a point about Pryce and Hobson, but electing a Democrat might have given us more influence in D.C. than re-electing Tiberi did.

What about the vaunted Central Ohio Moderation Squad? Well, the National Journal ranked all members of Congress from most Conservative to most Liberal based on votes in 2007. Here we see a flip. PT is ranked 123/429. If you divide the rated members of Congress up into 1/3 Conservatives (143), 1/3 moderates(143), and 1/3 liberals(143), Pat is firmly in that first group, not the second. By comparison, Pryce is 182/429, Hobson is 176/429, and LaTourette, Regula, Turner, and Gillmor join them in that middle group. Tiberi isn't just conservative compared to Democrats, he's conservative compared to the majority of his fellow Ohio Republicans in the House.

I realize that for some folks, probably including some in OH-12, a Congressman who supports the President and isn't capable of doing much beyond that is a dream legislator. For everybody else, it remains to be seen how far Tiberi can stray from what they voted for before they start seriously looking at alternatives.

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