Ariana Huffington, the owner of the Huffington Post website, has decided to commemorate the POLITICAL ANIMALS limited cable series on USA Network, starring Sigourney Weaver, as a Hillary Clinton type character, by having a contest among readers as to the top “Political Animals” in American history.
A total of 50 figures of the past and present are included in this “Political Animals” listing.
Let’s look at the list in detail:
The Presidents of the United States listed include: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton–a total of 10 out of the 50.
African Americans are represented by Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr;, Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chisholm, Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, Huey Newton, and Dorothy Height–a total of 9 out of 50.
Women mentioned, other than those listed above include: Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Harris (Mother Jones), Sandra Day O’Connor, Susan B.Anthony, Dolores Huerta, Frances Perkins, Nancy Pelosi, Margaret Sanger, Emma Goldman, and Gloria Steinem–a total of 11 out of 50.
From the Supreme Court comes Earl Warren and John Roberts, along with Sandra Day O’Connor.
We also have, from the business world, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and Charles and David Koch (the infamous Koch Brothers).
From the labor world, we have Jimmy Hoffa and Cesar Chavez.
Political operatives include Mark Hanna (connected to William McKinley), James Carville (connected to Bill Clinton), and Karl Rove (connected to George W. Bush).
We also have Presidential candidates or possibilities as follows: Barry Goldwater, Huey Long, Robert La Follette Sr,, William Jennings Bryan, and Eugene Debs.
The final five are gay activist Harvey Milk, Vice President Dick Cheney, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Ambassador Joseph Kennedy (father of JFK), and newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst.
This is a very varied list, with plenty of controversy, as to who is on the list, and who has been left off.
There are many ways to rate or rank who are the greatest “Political Animals’, but certainly Presidents would have to be seen as having the edge in a broad sense. although not monopolizing completely.
The author, if pushed to pick the top ten from this list, and not adding others, would conclude as follows in order from Number One to Number Ten, and welcomes debate and discussion by readers:
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Lyndon B. Johnson
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Robert La Follette Sr.
As an aside, if the author could add people to the list created by the Huffington Post, he would add the following:
John C. Calhoun
John Quincy Adams
Hubert H. Humphrey
Thomas “Tip” O’Neill
Again, debate and discussion is welcome!