June 11th, 2008
05:31 PM ET

What’s more important to Congress than re-election?


FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

You can almost smell when it's election time in Washington D.C., that's when the politicians start making lots of noise about the issues that actually affect millions of Americans. The rest of the time it's all about them, their lobbyist buddies and the special interests. But for a few months before we vote, they pretend to care.

This time around, it's all about skyrocketing gas prices and the shaky economy. The Democrats joined together yesterday in going after Republicans about soaring energy costs. After Senate Republicans blocked debate on bills that would extend tax incentives for alternative power sources and put new taxes on oil companies. Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the floor to say: "This is framed with the picture of a presidential campaign going on."

But Republicans are standing their ground. They say the bills were shortsighted, that the Democrats aren't doing anything about lowering the cost of gasoline immediately and they refuse to open more domestic areas to oil production. House Republicans also reminded voters that the Democrats have been in charge of Congress for the past year and a half as gas prices have soared.

Meanwhile, members of both parties are in constant communication with their respective presidential nominees. This probably means there's a whole lot of coordination going on as lawmakers speak out about these issues that are hitting Americans' pocketbooks hard. You can be sure they're all focused on their candidate winning the White House and hopefully providing long enough coattails so those who are up for re-election in Congress don't get thrown out on their ear.

Here’s my question to you: Is anything more important to Congress than being re-elected?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Robert from Long Beach, California writes:
There better be something other than re-election on the minds of incumbents. Change is in the air, and maybe some of them will not be re-elected.

Jon writes:
As with many situations, you have to look at each individual. There are certainly members of Congress who put re-election as priority #1. However, I believe there are congressional members who truly stick up for what they believe is right for this country, even if it is not popular with their voters.

F. from Minnesota writes:
Getting a lobbying position in some blood-sucking industry.

Tony writes:
Apparently nothing is more important than re-election to Congress. Not fixing the economy, not resolving the oil crisis or the weak dollar. Just padding their pockets by adding personal earmarks to bills and promoting their party to recapture the White House. We Americans deserve the politicians we have because we keep putting them back in power.

Deano writes:
Nothing is more important. Run, get elected, keep big business happy as long as you can stay in office, then call in favors to get that pot at the end of the rainbow job after being kicked out of office. The longer they can keep getting reelected, the more they can kiss up to big business and grab the better post-civil service job.

Andi writes:
Of course the only thing the politicians care about is being re-elected. Otherwise, why would they let the administration walk all over our civil rights, torture prisoners, and lead us into illegal wars without ever calling for impeachment? At what point did getting re-elected trump the honor of representing our country with honor and dignity?

Mike from New York writes:
Maybe sex and money. But, all that stuff seems to go hand in hand with re-election.

Filed under: US Congress
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Mary Johnson

    No !! its all about being re-elected so they can build up the years needed to collect the benefits... the Medical and pension benefits we all would LOVe to receive after working approx 12 years for gov't.
    Mary from Sarasota, FL

    June 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  2. Carol c.

    Of course not! They have shown that by their partisanship with no regard to the voters. This is a living for them, a very lucrative living for many of them and they are so out of touch with their constituents it is not funny.

    I have long thought that no bill should approach congress that does not stand alone. No coupling with other bills so they have an "out" on the way they vote. Let the American people see where they really stand on the issues and I predict we would have term limits for congress made by the people they work for–US!

    Knoxville, TN

    June 11, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  3. Martha from Lake View, SC

    The rampant narcissism of most politicians would probably not even be affected by threats of death. Nothing is more important to these self-centered individuals than some level of power and being seen and heard. This is a good reason to get rid of the imcumbants often before their egos get completely bloated.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  4. Mark - Asheville, NC

    No, and that is the problem.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  5. Ricard McKinney, Texas

    Not if your a member of Congress.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  6. Ed Reed

    I hate to generalize, because there are the 1-2% who really care about their country, for the most part they desire they're Party being in power so their spouses, siblings, and children will be worth more as lobbyists and when they retire themselves or lose their seat, they will be paid more to lobby their former colleagues.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas

    June 11, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  7. Jenny

    Nothing is more important to a congressman than reelection. They must run every two years for reelection and thus are always running. Senators are a little better , they run every six years so they may actually spend some time working for the people instead of running for reelection.

    Jenny Rome GA

    June 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  8. Anthony Smith

    Nothing, but running 2nd and 3rd respectively are the news conferences and the free gas!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    June 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Dan, NY

    Dear Jack,

    Asking Congress if anything is more important the getting re-elected is a little like asking a news organization if there is anything more important than ratings. Each of them seems to be equally capable of doing the most outlandish things in order to further their agendas.

    Dan NY

    June 11, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  10. leevaughn brown

    Hey Jack
    The only thing I can think of is being re-reelected
    Cinti, Ohio

    June 11, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  11. David, Orlando, FL

    Jack, you must be looking at the page of your calendar – this is NOT Friday. Today is Wednesday. And the answer is No, but tied for first place is lining their pockets and accepting trips, junkets and other unethical amenities of their office from their lobbyists.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Allen L Wenger

    Yes. Setting up their second career as a lobbyist, during their last term of office.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  13. Josh in Sylvania, Ohio

    No, unfortunely. The democratic congress can't get anything past because of the stupid, stubborn Republicans protecting the Big Oil companies. The bill that the Democrats wanted to pass would have given some relief. But the Republicans just don't get it and still refuse to put the concerns of the average American above their corporate masters. I am looking forward to November to finally kick the Republicans out of office since it's their fault that the country is going down the drain.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  14. Tony From Torrington

    Apparently nothing is more important than re-election to Congress. Not fixing the economy, not resolving the oil crisis or the weak dollar. Just padding their pockets by adding personal earmarks to bills and promoting their party to recapture the White House.

    We Americans deserves the politicians we have because we keep putting them back in power. As Thomas Jefferson once said...“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have..”

    June 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  15. Chad - Owensboro, KY


    Other than voting for their own pay raises, Im not sure anything is more important to them other than re-election. I really hope I'm wrong!

    June 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  16. james tilton

    probably not...for either party

    June 11, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  17. Tyson

    There isnt anything more important than re election for politicians. Our political system in the country has finally reared its ungly head. For hundreds of years we've been going down the same old path in politics. When you have politicians that has no term limits they spend the majority of there terms focusing on their re elections. We need to start setting term limits or these politicians will continue to screw us working people. We have a congress that spends everyday trying to pass laws agaisnt who? US, the American people. Were heading doen a nasty road. When is the politicains going to learn that if they really take charge and help us then they will never be booted out. Our politicians want to spend our money and their money on bad mouthing the other candidate. Please wake up.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  18. Jayne in NH

    It doesn't seem so. Few have the courage to actually make a difference in Washington. It seems they rake in a good salary, enjoy top-of-the-line healthcare and benefits and cultivate new lobbyist buddies who will hire them for millions after they've put in a few terms. The Republicans, in particular, amount to nothing. Their purpose is to filibuster all Democratic legislation so they can campaign on the "do nothing Congress" mantra. The whole lot of them are disgusting.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  19. Tom in Desoto Texas

    Number one item is to be re-elected. Number two item is how much campaign funds will they collect and end up taking home when they aren't re-elected. A golden parachute before the retirement funds kick in.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  20. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, How About Congress Serving The Interest Of The American People? Oh, I Forgot Congress Doesn't Do That Any More! Vote The Bums Out Of Office!

    June 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  21. Jon O.

    As with many situations you have to look at each individual. There are certainly members of congress who put re-election as priority #1. However, I believe there are congressional members who truly stick up for what they believe is right for this country, even if it is not popular with their voters.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  22. GEORGE St.louis

    There is nothing important to this congress anymore.There is alot of partisan than bipartisan unity.The meembers of congress were elected to go and solve the issues on behalf of the american people,but they think they were told to go and make loyalty to their party and pres.bush.Republicans have refused to work with the dems to solve the issues that are affecting the american people ie,home foreclosures,gas prices,immigration,instead they want to be loyal to the president and worried about the re-elections.How can we elect members who don't want to help the american people solve the hardest issues facing us?All republicans who are on re-election ought to be voted out of office this nov.

    June 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  23. AndyZ Fairfax, VA

    What a simplistic question! What's mpre important to Congress than their re-election? Why it's their bloated, over-inflated, annual pay raise!
    Anyone besides me remember Jack Kennedy's Dollar a Year Cabinet and Staff?

    June 11, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  24. Faith, PA

    The power that comes with the reelection

    June 11, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  25. Linda in Virginia

    I vote to decrease their salaries and benefits and any money that came their way from any transaction from holding that position. Make them give 365 hours of community service to get re-elected, make them serve food to the poor, put them in the streets and let them have full knowledge what its like to be homeless, No more vacations at the expense of the american people, no more first class flights with airlines paid by the american people. Privledge shouldn't be theirs just because of the position they hold.

    When the power of love over comes the love of power the world will know peoce.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  26. fanta (The Gambia west Africa)

    Synically the truth is that every congress member inspite of being Democrat or Republican would like to be re-elected to congress, this gives them utmost sense of representaion.Some of them will share the views and values of the people who vote them in office, some find it as an opportunity of exploiting the American people and some are just there to fill in the blank space.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  27. Sam, North Carolina

    If there is something more important to Congress than being re-elected, you sure couldn't tell it by their actions!

    June 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  28. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    Nothing is more important to a congressman or congresswoman than being re-elected. Approximately 80% of their earnings and the funds they raise for their own accounts are used on behalf of their own campaign, the campaigns of their colleagues, or the campaigns of their colleagues' colleagues. Additionally, half of the time a congress-person spends in office, is similarly spent campaigning...

    I have an idea, how about we disband political campaigns altogether, and just let the citizens vote seasonally as to whether or not these people stay in power based on their accomplishments?

    June 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  29. Hubert Bertrand

    BOY Jack you open a can of worms.Re-election is the only thing they care about BECAUSE more money!!! More power!!!

    June 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  30. toby from sedona

    Issue #1 in Congress is job security. Their own.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  31. R in CA


    These people groom themselves and pursue public office for years. Once they attain it, letting it go is less likely than willingly losing a limb.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  32. Raj, Toronto

    Top dollar, health care, entitlement, courted by lobbyist, high paying jobs when you step down from your seat, pull stings to get your children in high places.

    The republicans are the elitists and they know how to work the system, thats why they don't want change and transparency. They continue to misrepresent what Obama means by change, simply it means accountability and strength.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  33. Pete in NY

    Jack, Congratulations you have come up with the most self evident question ever. The answer is clear- NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN REELECTION

    June 11, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  34. John S., Ct.

    It's the American people stupid. Why not pander and get paid for it? Americans want everything and don't want to pay for anything. The poor want handouts, the rich... well, they want handouts too. These politicians wouldn't be in Congress if they weren't saying things that make sense to Americans... and we all know it's the other party's fault.

    American's look in a mirror. It's your own selfish fault, not the politicians! If you want to reform politicians, reform yourself!

    June 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  35. marilyn

    you're kidding, right

    talk about a cushy job with the most incredible benefits

    June 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  36. Nuwan Sam

    No. Last time I checked, they were all Politicians. Reelection is the ONLY dream a politician can have. So why do you have to ask this question Jack ?

    June 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  37. Ralph in New York

    Re-election means that the public has approved the way the President and other elected officials have done their jobs. Approval of these individuals would mean approval of their party.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  38. milly in massachusetts

    Jack it seems as though that's the only time they act like they are listening to the American People. You notice that I said act. As Elvis said "A little less talk, a little more action please" would go a long way to toward getting some things done.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  39. Steve , Idaho

    This is just the time of the year when the politicians put up their tents, they come out with their dog and pony shows, paint on their smiling faces, and perform their grand illusion in front of the American crowd. They have us mesmerized and applauding while the ballot booth curtain closes.
    After it's all over, the clowns all wiped the smiles off their faces and crawl back into their beat up old trailers, where they play cards in the middle of the night with the wretched lobbyists and special interests. Then things go back to normal under the Big Top.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  40. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    Yes, Jack, there is something more important tnan election, although it is closely related. Making a lot of money for themselves and their cronies. They obviously don't care about the american people or the country.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  41. JW Georgia

    The thing a Congress-person desires most is FACE TIME. Whether soap box or TV time, the Representative wants to blather away and tell us all about it. To him/her, that is HOW to get the money and the exposure for....what else? Re-election.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  42. Deanna, Katy Texas

    Based on the weenie actions of the super delegates this past year? Nothing.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  43. Linda Richards

    Out of necessity, no. Campaigns for politicians should be publicly funded to stop PACs, lobbyists and special interest groups from calling the shots. This will also free up our politicians to pass laws that we need in order to form a more perfect union; nationally and politically.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  44. don in naples, florida

    Probably all the tax breaks they all get. It certainly isn't getting the job done because we have all seen how incompetent this government has been.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  45. Marty, Idaho

    Nope. They think they are elected to be reelected, not to govern. I guess if I got paid for doing nothing, I would do anything I could do to hang on to it, too.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  46. William from Sanford, NC

    There is nothing more important than being re-elected but there is something that is equally important, and that is to make sure a third party doesn't gain any power.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  47. Robert - Long Beach, CA

    There better be something other than re-election on the minds of incumbents. Change is in the air, and maybe someone will not be re-elected.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  48. Ken

    Yeah they are worried about re-election, that's why no who is needing to be re-elected is going to pressure an impeachment of Bush/Cheney

    June 11, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  49. Linda Richards

    Apparently not. This is due, in part, to a flawed system. If they want to stay in Congress, they have to campaign and if they have to campaign, they're not in Congress. Public funding would alleviate the problem. It would also free up our politicians to pass laws that we need in order to form a more perfect union; nationally and politically. Linda In Woodbury, NJ

    June 11, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  50. Richard/Nh

    Sure Jack,
    Getting a job with a lobbying firm and recieving the congressional retirement and health benefits.
    Richard Hill
    Colebrook, NH

    June 11, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  51. Lawson, St. Pete, Fl

    It's their job to get re-elected. Some of us may actually have benefited from those who actually have some sort of morals and common sense but the majority of them are enjoying the perks of the job, even if only for 2-3 years.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  52. Kathy Glendale Heights, IL

    Not yet, but wouldn't it be great if real change occurred and politicians were hounded by paparrazzi who publicized their voting practices and their funding habits and made them accountable for their behavior...

    Oh wait.. that would mean 10,000 photographers in airport bathrooms and brothels. Nevermind.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  53. Ron Richmond

    Obviously it's not the "people"! What a message it would send if we voted all in office out! Democrats and Republicans. Why should they have a job when no one else does?

    June 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  54. David NH

    Yes, not being sent to prison! There should be a law that says, work for the citizens or go to jail.
    I think if Obama gets the November nod, we'll see alot more transparency. Hopefully, we as citizens will do our job and vote them out.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  55. Doreen

    First jack, let me tell you that I miss you. Since the gas proces are so high and the economy being the way it is, we've had to cut back and unfortunately, the cable / dish bill was the first to go. There are a couple reason sthe re-election season is important to them: In the real 9 to 5 world of having to be responsible for your actions, showing up on time, and most important – doing your job – none of them (including my congressman and senator from Georgia) could never make it! What ever would they do if they had to use their own money to pay for trips to Europe, cruises to the Bahamas, etc. They'd be broke in a month, homeless in 2, and by the third would be asking everybody "Why doesn't the government do something?"

    Respect and miss you!

    June 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  56. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.


    June 11, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  57. Alma (Tennessee)

    I'm not sure, but if they are they should be ashamed of themselves. We send them to office to serve us. If they can't fulllfill that obligation, we should have the courage to vote them out. We can't blame Congress when we refuse to do our part and watch over them. We should voice our opinions on every issue whether we appprove or disapprove. This administration has taught us a REAL LESSON on trusting our leaders. We tend to select leaders who can paint the most negative picture of the the other person instead of looking at the real issues. I am tired of leaders who fringe ignorance when they lead the country down the wrong road. We need to learn to be good followers so that we can develop good leaders. Good followers watch their leaders closely.

    June 11, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  58. A Kraft Naples, FL

    their lobbying jobs when they leave congress

    June 11, 2008 at 4:00 pm |

    apparently not. look around them and what they have done or rather what they haven't done. rome is collapsing and burning around them and they choose to ignore it.. when election time comes up, maybe we should put their name on the ignore list!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  60. Stacy from Farifax, Virginia

    The don't care about much else. In the 1960's and 70's Congress was in session on average 323 days per year. In the 1980's and 90's it dropped to 278 days. In 2005 it was at 97 days per year. The main reason is to spend more time raising money to get re-elected.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  61. Bill in New London, CT

    No, but would we want it any other way? Isn't that the point of the elected officials, so they do what we want them to do so we will vote for them? Its called democracy. Of course, the problem is when they don't do what we want them to do and the LIE about it so we'll still vote for them. In such case, we should impeach them. Right, Mr. Bush?

    June 11, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  62. john marlton, nj

    Nothing may be more important than being re-elected, but surely a close second is the type of media attention they get. It’s in your court now. As an alternative, give me a couple days on your show and in a bipartisan fashion I’ll raise their blood pressure 50 points and make the back of their hair standup. At the end of those couple days, we’ll take a CNN satellite truck to Capitol Hill, you drive, I’ll work the loud speaker and guaranteed when they see us coming they will scramble like roaches when the lights go on.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  63. John from NJ

    Well let’s see, they care about getting on TV and looking good, making money for there friends back home in pork spending, they care about setting themselves up for when they leave office and getting re-elected you can pick what is more important to them.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  64. Eddie

    yes, money

    June 11, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  65. Jerry from Fayetteville, TN

    There is nothing more important to Congress than reelection, and ideally reelection should be the most important thing since it indicates that the constituents are being properly represented. Of course in the real world reelection becomes a game of appearance, spin, and hornswoggling the electorate, but it’s still ultimately the responsibility of the voters to make intelligent choices.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  66. Bill, Stringtown, Ok.

    Money from lobbiests

    June 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  67. Lynn

    First thing getting reelected. Second voting themselves a pay raise and third enjoying the tax cuts they are receiving. They stopped thinking about the middle class a long time ago. Look at the leadership in the senate and house of representatives. We voted the Democrats in 2004 and what do they have to show for it. Nothing.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  68. Marty CT

    It's all tied to EGO...not too terribly different than bloggers who frame questions to get the desired effect....

    June 11, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  69. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Giving themselves raises.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  70. Russ from New Wilmington, PA

    With all the benefits and great salary that comes along with membership in the Congress, can you really blame them for wanting to stick around for as long as they can? Perhaps the only way to change the way Members of Congress think about their jobs is to put terms limits on them. That's an idea that's time has come, don't you think?

    June 11, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  71. Anna, SW Missouri

    Is anything more important? Yes, it is who will they get to lobby for and how much will they make doing it when they leave their current position.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  72. Darren S.

    Delicate business, pandering to 'special interest' needs, catering to their pet projects, and looking responsile before an upcoming election; so it seems re-election is only important once ever four years in the House and every six years in the Senate.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  73. LaVerne E Brison

    Jack: No!!!!! they only think about themselves . Just Look at what King George is trying to do with only 5 months left in office. He is trying to rewrite history, trying to make sure that John McCain gets elected in the hopes of salvaging something out of this misbegotten war so that he can claim credit for it and try to rewrite his legacy. It's not going to work. The world has seen him for what he is. As for the congress, Historians are going to wonder why they did not impeach King George and Darth Vader.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  74. Philip Murphy from San Francisco

    What's important to them, aside from being elected, is being caught. The phone call they should not have made; the lunch they should not have accepted; the off-camera remark, or off-the-record remark they should not have made. What's important to them is perception and spin – unfortunately.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  75. bill goverman

    Studio City, CA. Jack, ofcourse there are more important things to congress than re – election. first off wasting time and tax payers dollars interviewing baseball players about steroid use, or interviewing and convening over ex assistant football waterboys in regards to taping practices. Wow just imagine if they took that time to investigate the standing president and his war profiteering lot of cronies, how many $billions of dollars would be saved and how many Iraqui and american lives would not have been lost!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  76. C.L.


    Re-election is just about they care about these days. The incumbents seem to want the power and the prestiege, without much consideration for the people that they represent. It used to be that one could write, call or even stop by a neighborhood politician's office. I miss the days when public officials were available to us voters and actually acted like they cared about us and our opinions other than at election time.

    C.L. Missouri

    June 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  77. Jay-Mississippi

    No Jack, absolutely not. To care about the anything else would consume real time such as trying to create solutions to problems. If I am trying to find solutions then I cant be meeting the right people to get re-elected.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  78. L.M.,Arizona

    Without term limits what is more important then re-election let's not blame the players when we the people make the rules.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  79. Tom C, Stuart, Fl

    Being on C-Span and applying for a job with a big oil company in front of the world. Republicans are devoted to the oil companies and are making asses of them self to the public on National television. Watch, listen and learn who they really work for.

    Tom C. Stuart,Fl.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  80. John in San Diego

    Jack, it's an interesting fact that the finest legislators in Washington – from either party – are those whose campaigning is minimal because their reelection is a virtual certainty year after year. The question is whether their commendable performance results in their reelection by appreciative voters, or whether their guaranteed reelection allows them to focus instead on the important issues that truly matter.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  81. Marcia from Indiana

    If Congress had men of honor Bush would have been impeached.That he is still in office is a disgrace for this Congress and an affront to history and the American people.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  82. Carol

    What is more important to Congress than re-election. Their next pay raise and their retirement plan.


    June 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  83. Mike Raleigh NC

    As an elected official I'm confused by the question. Is there another option?

    June 11, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  84. Ernice - St. Croix VI

    Off limits? Common Jack, the democrats will follow Obama's lead and stay off Cindy McCain, But the republicans are like loose cannons they will definitely see Michelle Obama as fear game, but that's understandable, they're in a hole, and they're trying to get out, it's like being on a ship that's sinking and you're about to drown, you'll jump on a red fish to save your life.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  85. Pat - Florida

    Their salaries..

    June 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  86. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Obviously not the well-being of the United States, otherwise they would have impeached & indicted the entire Bush administration by now.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  87. Annick, MD

    Is there anything more important to you than having a good audience for your show Jack? Well, it 's the same

    June 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  88. Kristine from Connecticut

    When will people finally realize we do not live in a democratic society. It is a koo....
    We force other countries to do as we say not as we do. We are the worst example of what a government should be.
    All they care about is $$$$ and themselves.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  89. Brian from California

    Obsolutely nothing matters to Congress but their self interest. Look at what they did for the last 30 years sitting on their buts without drilling for more oil within our own country. Now the Democrats act like it is all Bush's fault. Anyone intelligent will know that the real problem with Washington is the Congress. Yes I agree B.H. Obama we need change in Washington, we need more Republicans running the show like they did during the Reagan and Clinton' years. Two years of the Nancy Pelosi show has been a nightmare..

    June 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  90. Janice Pound

    Apparently greed and power. They continue to squash any bill for the good of the country, or the people. If they do pass it Bush vetoes and they do not over-ride the veto.McCain just voted against a bill giving Vets state college education with mioney for books etc. and a small stipend. I believe it's supposed to pass anyway, but I have no doubts Bush will veto. McCain went to college on the GI bill. I implore all voters to vote for 435 new faces in congress. And vote for all 4 parties. Ind. Green, Dems, and Reps. Lets do our part to sweep the congress clean and start the change we all need. The one that says for-by and of the people

    June 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  91. Angel in LA

    Money, Money, Money
    The love of money is the root of all evil. Is there a more evil business than politics?

    June 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  92. James in Idaho

    That's a rhetorical question right?

    June 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  93. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Nothing Jack!! Then it comes down to increasing the perks and the size of the slush funds!!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  94. DMAC/Post Falls, ID

    If that is true you sure would not know it is election yr. They are still into themselves to the point it gets sickening. Especially watching that rich -–piece of fluff Nancy Pelosi strut her stuff and flip her head and hands like-I won't say it. It won't get posted.
    To bad we can not impeach her and her big flapping mouth. She is another one of them that is WAAAAAY out of touch with the real American People and what needs to be done in this country.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  95. James

    Stealing enough money to retire!

    Jim, Prescott, MI

    June 11, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  96. Mark, Berwyn, PA

    I'm 47 years old and I have yet to meet, or read about, a politician that has anything higher on their priority list than 'being re-elected". It's not just Congress, as this affliction extends all the way down to our local school board elections. It is a sad but true fact; politicians only want to stay in power, but they never exercise that power to help the people who elected them.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  97. Beverly Merry


    You are so up on it. They want nothing but to win again. Congress is going to get no where in re election until the problems in this country are being fixed and the feuding is ended.
    They have no time for anything but fixing the home crisis, the price of gas and getting our kids home from Iraq. If they can't do this I would say no one will be returning to WA this year.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  98. Terry / Austin, Tx

    NO, their pockets are not yet full from special interests groups/lobbist, but the American people need to wake up and vote them all out and demand no more than two terms in office. Most have been there too long and no longer accommlish anything.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  99. Janet Abdoulaye, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Apparently nothing is more important than re-election. Certainly not their Constitutional duty to impeach an abusive president. God bless Dennis Kucinich for doing his JOB.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  100. Josh

    Sure. Those little campaign lapel pins.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  101. perry j

    well jack maby they should be doing there jobs firest
    congress should have thirty day to run for relection and only thirty , but if they plan on running while holding an office this should be there only time off during the year
    and when they want to run for any office they do not hold at that time they should have to resine to run

    council bluffs iowa

    June 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  102. Annie, Atlanta

    Obviously not. Our president and vice-president should be impeached and tried as criminals. They know it and most of us know it. But almost none will do anything to jeopardize their cushy jobs. I'd like to receive $160,000 plus a year for working maybe 90 days of it!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  103. J.R., AR

    Duh Jack, The Cafferty File!! What else?

    June 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  104. Jenna Wade

    Is anything more important to Congress than being re-elected?


    They start the re-election process the day after they win their elections.

    Term Limits would help to take cafre of this problem. So would public financing of elections. And I wouldn't mind seeing a limit on how much time can be spent to do actual campaigning.

    Roseville CA

    June 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  105. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    It must be hard on a person who gets elected to Congress. You know, all that planning that comes with the job. Planning for the next election, planning what to do when out of session, and planning field trips abroad that is charged to expense accounts. Yeah, hard life, being a Congressman. We should be more appreciative of their fine work and the solutions that they have worked out. I feel better every night when I go to bed knowing that we are going to get all those athletes who have taken steroids.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  106. Ray Kinserlow

    America, let's hope.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    June 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  107. sarah, Indiana

    voting to get themselves a raise may be more important. they certainly dont care about their constiutional duty to check the president. they dont care about the american public, the economy, the environment, health care, oil and gas prices, our public image abroad, stopping lobbist and big business from destroying our country, or anything else really.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  108. carolyne,barcelona

    no nothing I can think of!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  109. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    Our system and our own lack of investment in vetting candidates is why we have too many power mongers who would eat their children to get re-elected. This is as opposed to encouraging bright, thoughtful people with vision who are genuinely thankful for what they've gotten from our country and want to give something back by serving. In short what we have now is simply wat we've earned.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  110. cy gardner

    To Republicans, their next, better paying job is more important than re-election. Witness the party line vote on kowtowing to the Big Oil fatcats yesterday. Look at weasels like Trent Lott who quit the Senate to take advantage of looser rules on moving into a cushy lobbying job, even though it cost the taxpayers of his "beloved" Mississippi millions of dollars to pay for special elections to choosed his successor and the successor tor the House member who got the rest of his Senate term. There is life after politics and it is called lobbying. That's often more important than actually solving America's problems or showing an ounce of character or commitment. cy gardner arlington va

    June 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  111. Michael Fermanich, Marintte, Wisconsin

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ + ego + power +control equals image of politician!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  112. carolyne-Barcelona

    No! nothing I can think of!

    June 11, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  113. Curtis in Philadelphia

    No Jack, there isn't. Our congressmen and women know a cushy job with great benefits when they see one. They love their jobs, they just hate their real work.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  114. Raymond Duke/Gatesville,Tx.

    Only the lobbyist who provide them enough funds to make them all millionaries. Ethics and the american people are out the window as soon as they win.I listen to your discussion with Donna Brazille and that supposed republican strategist about Obama's wife saying she has so much class and how she came from nothing to go to Harvard . Well it must have been affirmative action that gave her that chance . I don't see any poor whites getting in no matter how qualified they are. If people would read the papers she wrote in school and listen to her speak I don't see where the word class fits in. I guess by going by cnn's standards I guess you could say that if you bought a 1000 dollar hooker like Spitzer did you got class. If you buy a twenty five dollar hooker I guess you got no class.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  115. Debra Rich, Washington, DC

    Probaly not, and that is a shame. They have a president that should been impeached a year ago, and ecconomy gone wild. They are too busy worrying about their jobs to actually do their jobs.

    It is amazing that they can look of the way things are now, and not do anything to change it. They need them to buck up, do thier jobs, and start to repair this mess. I find it so unbelievable that they have so little concern for the people they serve. What has happened is nto just thier fault, it's also our fault.......this is what you get when you vote out of fear. Now the big bad wolf has blown our house down, and we're running looking for the brick house. It is up to us Americans to get it right this time, we need to listen to this people and hold them accountable to their promisies. When they renig, then we have to let them go. If we have learned anything this past spring is, "we the people" do have power......we just need to use it the right way this time.

    June 11, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  116. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    Yeah, they care great a deal about being re-elected, at least until they have accumulated enough millions and benefits to retire. How's come a person can go into congress with a moderate amount of wealth, and in a few years be a multi-millionaire? With the high cost of living in DC, they must be really frugal and save really well????????

    June 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  117. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Nothing! Unless you count their mistresses,interns or visits to Minneapolis men's rooms.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  118. Frank Yorktown, VA

    The only thing more important to the congress than getting reelected is to make deals that will put money in their pockets. How else could anyone explain why a person would spend millions of dollars of their own money on top of the money they raise from contributions to get elected to a job that pays much less? Others like Senator Clinton who didn't own a house when her husband left office and is now worth millions. and owns two. I bet most Americans would like to be able to earn that in eight years.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  119. Christine from Lee's Summit

    The only reason they want to get re-elected is for the benefits. Benefits that they voted on while everyone was unaware of what was going on. This is typical of everything happening in our congress and senate. They are voting on bills and laws that the average American is unaware of, which is the way they want it because it is usually to the disadvantage of the average citizen. I say, remove the voting power from the congress and senate and give it to the American people where it belongs.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  120. John in La.

    Short answer is No !! But it really is our own fault. For the people by the people is the truest definition of term limits, and we the people have failed in our obligation to make the time and commitment to properly govern ourselves. The definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Sorry I don't know who to quote on that but my guess is he or she was as frustrated as the rest of us about something...

    June 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  121. Kyle, CA


    Hillsborough, CA

    June 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  122. Nancy

    A pay raise or a fat K Street contract?

    Nancy in Denver

    June 11, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  123. Don in Florida

    It doesnt seem like there is Jack. I dont understand why the President of the United States can only serve a maximum of two terms yet Congress can stay on indefinately. They should be limited to two terms also. I think there would be less corruption and congress would get a heck of alot more things accomplished. Maybe 8 years maximum. Let's get some new blood and some new ideas in Washington.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  124. Kay from Oklahoma

    Re-election is the most important issue to politicians. Dan Boren of Oklahoma has made the statement that he will not endorse Barack Obama for President, but he said he will vote for him. What kind of statement is this? Sounds like a fence rider to me. He claims to be a Democrat, but he won't be getting my vote.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  125. Shannon McMurphy

    There should be one thing more important, and that is media bias. Jack, your anti-Clinton, Probama comments over the last few months should be ample reason for that concern.

    People wil now start finding out things about Obama that they should have found out months ago...well, too bad for those who voted for him.

    Let's hope Clinton supporters will vote for McCain...America needs someone with experience, given the state of the world today.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  126. Bob From Georgia

    Nothing is more important to a politician than being re-elected, regardless if he/she is Republican or Democratic. And nothing is more important to CNN than backing Obama. Its a shame CNN hasgone the past 18 months working to create political views rather than reporting actual news.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  127. dortha wieland

    no,he said what he meant. however,i grew up with cowboys and they are usually good people.please do not confuse george bush with them.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  128. Art in Virginia

    No. They all want to be reelected, but the reasons for wanting to be reelected differ. Some have the people's welfare in mind, some are concerned about the welfare of corporations, and others are most concerned about their own welfare. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure. Corporate executives are too involved in congress and the governance of this country. If you want to see the price of gasoline go down, just tell the oil companies they can drill where ever they want.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  129. Victoria

    Yes and no. Not voting on pay raises so they are automatically given the raises is also important to them!

    June 11, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  130. Rose, Illinois

    No. They forget they are our employees.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  131. Dean Harrington

    June 10th, 2008
    You know who -I'm- gonna vote for? I'm gonna vote for persons who will promise that they will take a cut in pay until Our economy gets better. I urge you to request the same of -your- Senators and Congresspersons. awizkid

    June 11, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  132. Rubin from Roslyn, NY

    Oh please. If they cared about important issues we might be able to claim our government works.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  133. James from Noah's next stop in Iowa


    Is no one giving congress the benefit of the doubt here? Re-election is really just a drop in the hat compared to what they really want. They want to be remembered throughout history by becoming as powerful as they can get. If they can make it as a footnote in high school history as the first, last, best, or worst to do something. That or they'd rather get elected to do something else. How many people have become president without being in one of the two houses yet?

    June 11, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  134. Matt

    The only thing more important to Democrats right now is gaining enough seats to ram-rod their agenda unchecked. You dont think this do-nothing Congress was an accident, do you?

    For Republicans, re-election is all they can "hope" for...

    God, help us all.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  135. James Kansas

    The election is the most important thing, after Democrats just lost the House vote on extending unemployment benefits. Obviously most Republicans have never needed unemployment benefits for their families survival. "Heck Jack" don't these Republicans in the House know that we are at the highest unemployment rate since 1985. Maybe it's not just President Bush who doesn't read newspapers, maybe it's a Republican thing.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  136. Craig from Scottsdale, Arizona

    No! And the simple solution is Term Limits. Even John McCain used to propose term limits as a solution. We have essentially just paid three Senators a years salary to run for political office. And three years from now, we'll get to do it again. What private company would give a person a years sabbatical every three years to look for a new job!

    June 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  137. Adam from Long Island, NY

    Of course there is! Our congressmen and women care about looking good and throwing wasteful earmarks to benefit their own constituencies. Even voting sometimes. This keeps them out of the negative spotlight and keeps their voters happy and ensures their re-election... oh wait, nevermind.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  138. Jerry

    There is nothing more important for politicians at election time than getting reelected. The blame game heats up, lots of finger pointing, and those with the real money…slick attack ads. I find it humorous and sad at the same time that well educated people act like fools getting their picture taken doing any number of things they would never do if it wasn’t election time, and all the while the country goes to pot. What’s even sadder is that one party blames another for the mistakes they had made while they were in charge and they try and spin the issue to win over the public like we’re dummies. It makes me sick. The worst part is that the main stream media lets them get away with it. They rarely say it like it is and calls these politicians on their BS, except for you Jack, ok, and Lou Dobbs (we like him too).

    June 11, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  139. Debra Rich, Washington, DC

    Probaly not, and that's a shame. We have a president that should have been impeached a year ago, and a ecconomy "gone wild." Congress is too busy worrying about the elections, when they should be worried about doing their jobs.

    It is amazing that Congress can look at the state of our union, and still do nothing. Their idea of allowing Bush to continue to ruin this country, so that they look good is not working. Are they going to wait till things get so bad no one can repair it? They need to buck up, get their heads out of the sand, and start repairing this mess now. Waiting for November just makes them look worse. It will seem as if they want to don't work for "we the people," but instead that they work for "me the person."

    But Jack, it is not all their fault......it's also our fault!!! We elected alot of these people out of fear......fear that "the big bad wolf" was going to get us. Well, he did blow our house down, and we're running for the brick house. Our fear of what would happened, happened anyway. We're no better off, and it seems that it may get worse. Now "we the people" need to rise to the occasion and be responsible in our voting. We must remember voting out of fear didn't, and doesn't work. We need to think about the direction we want our country to go, and be responsible in voting on who runs our country. "We the people" also should hold our officals accountable for their promises and their job. If they don't or aren't working, then they won't work. Congress doesn't have to impeach or repair this mess, "we the people" will take our vote, and hopefully change the course of this country, and maybe their jobs.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  140. Kevin -Michigan

    How about do their job and over-throw Bush Checks and balances people! Bush weaseled his way to Iraq and congress was too busy trying to get re-elected.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  141. Tom Wayne NJ

    Probably little. But let us put a mirror up to ourselves. If we keep electing them because of their ads (which is why they do all the fund rising) , how they look,and ad hominem attacks instead of spending a little time studying their voting record and reelecting them totally on that, we would solve MANY problems. As someone far more eloquent than I once said "The fault my dear Brutus lies ... in ourselves."

    June 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  142. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Let's see......fixing the economy, lowering food prices, helping to lower gas prices, making health care affordable.....no, just being re-elected, that's all that's on their agenda. And by the way, Let me give congressman Kucinich a pat on the back for wasting 5 hours of the house's time by reading 35 articles of "impeachment" when he knows it will go nowhere. Now, that's the kind of hard work that will really help his constituents back home.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  143. Jerry -Roselle, Illinois

    The first year they tell us how hard they are working for us
    and the second year its back to the old campaign trail!
    Ahhhhhh what a fine country this America is!
    Does anyone write to their congressman about issues and wait 3
    months for a reply and then get a form letter saying when in
    Washington stop by for tickets for the house gallery.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  144. Bill


    The November 2008 election is more important to Congress. Congress should impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Chenny.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  145. gary lee, san luis obispo, ca.

    NO!!! reps. and senators make very good money have excellent benefits, and can receive a little money on the side as gifts. if they can help their constituants a little along the way. then that makes them feel good about getting hansome salaries for doing very little work.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  146. Randy from Cupertino, CA

    I do believe that most politicians go in public service. But somewhere along the way, the money and power take over and they loose their focus. Than it is all about money and getting re-elections. Maybe, have a term limit is the answer.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  147. Brian

    Motivations? Some are money. Some are power. Some are people.

    Aristotle stated money should not be connected to decisions in politics, so people truly look at whats at stake without outside influences.

    Power in this country is out of balance, since Reagan the Executive Branch has had weight they they throw behind principles of personal belief, benefit, or gain, and not for the purpose of the people.

    Very few politicians are still for the people. I'm honored to support Barack Obama (see his web page for more information) because of his dedication to the people. He may be young, but he knows the constitution and his place in things and wants to help us get back on top. Real People, not politicians or money makers, are what needs to matter in this country.

    May all of congress, House, and elected politicians realize this is the warning siren, shape up or ship out, this is not going to change from a Bushnation to an Obamanation, but to a nation for the people like in the constitution.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  148. Anthony Savage

    To a select few re-election isn't very important at all but I'd say for most yes. The only thing I could think of that is more important than re-election is make the other side look stupid.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  149. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Yeah, like getting rid of all of Bush's cronies like you get rid of termites.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  150. Marie

    Power !! When Clinton was president, we had a Republican congress, and the economy was good. Bush was elected, and the economy was good, until he was given a democratic congress.If Obama is elected, taxes go up, more government control. and we may be fighting the enemy in our own back yards...

    June 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  151. bill MI

    It seems that the only people in congress that have a spine and stand against the reelection wave are the ones are the ones people dub the "crazies" such as Kucinich and Paul. Even if you do not respect their views you should respect their tenacity, especially standing alone on their principles – popular with their party or not ( GO KUCINICH!!). If elections were not coming up would Republicans really stand behind a president with a 28% approval and policies that are not popular? I.E. Not extending unemployment benefits. Would Democrats sit on their hands and allow a President to break so many laws, and his co-conspirators ignore their subpoenas?

    June 11, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  152. Mike out West

    Yes, all the things they get to take with them when they decide to leave. (money from their "charities", book deals, speaking deals, health and retirement benefits, etc.)

    June 11, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  153. Josh, AR

    Jack, I wish there was a cute, witty answer to this question that would merit television time, but the answer is an astonishingly simple, "probably not".

    June 11, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  154. Darr/Cleveland/Ohio

    Money and how to acquire it through the various lobbyists.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  155. Rolando DePuy

    No because without getting re-elected they would not be able to fill their pockets with monies from the big corporations..
    We should get rid of everyone and start all over again...

    June 11, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  156. Aaron

    Money from Lobbyist.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  157. Travis ( In the real world)

    YES....buddying up to the lobbyist for their next job.

    June 11, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  158. Duane AZ


    June 11, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  159. bill from murrieta ca

    Sure. Their special consultant jobs when they leave Washington. Find me s member of congress or senate not on the take and you'll find one suprised citizen

    June 11, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  160. Independent in New Mexico

    Wasn't there once a speaker of the house (from Oklahoma I think). Who said that they first arrive full of ideals. By the time they are in Washington one term, their only goal is to remain.....

    June 11, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  161. bill MI

    The ones that actually care enough not to put reelection first, unfortunately are the ones that we are stupid enough to first vote out.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  162. Dale, AZ


    Everyone's complaining, but my question is: Why do we see congressmen/women still in office after 5,10,15,and 20+ years. Because we vote them in...So who's really at fault?

    June 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  163. Lisa in GA.

    Jack.......guess who puts them there! We the people of the great United States of America!

    June 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  164. Tanya Kujath Florence Alabama

    The only thing more important to congress than being reelected would be what bills could be passed to line their own pockets.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  165. Thomas, Yo.town, OH

    Yes. They're on guard so the skeletons in their closets aren't found out.
    That's why you don't hear a peep out of the majority of the mouses. They're in it for the free ride and the smoozing.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  166. matt

    republicans congress only cares about their greed.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  167. Jamie from Fort Worth, Texas

    Is this a trick question?

    June 11, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  168. Lisa in GA.

    Jack, we the people have six more months to fill like we matter... after November..... we the people will not matter again... it is sad how greed have consumed our country!

    June 11, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  169. matt

    If congress wants to cut government spending and get this country out of debt. do away with all welfare ssi and medical cards .make these lazy people get out and get jobs . that will save enough tax dollars to get this country out of debt. could use that money to help in lot better way.instead of supporting lazy people

    June 11, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  170. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    Hoping that they make it instead of struggling like the rest of us.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  171. nancy

    Money from big corporations and the military-industrial complex.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  172. David Matulewicz

    What is more important to Congress than re-election–Nothing. What should be more important to Congress than re-election–Everything.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  173. Nick in Florida


    Their salaries

    June 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  174. Brendan, Arizona

    Nothing. Remember, this is the same Congress that devoted an entire day to hearing Roger Clemens and his trainer contradict each other on national TV. Even what little work they do get done only scores them points with their constituants.

    Not like it matters anyway. The Bush administration continues to do what it wants regardless of whether or not Congress or the American People approve.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  175. Mead

    It's the one nonpartisan issue in Washington. Republican or Democrat (or Independent), NOTHING matters more to our elected politicians than CONTINUING to be our elected politicians.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  176. Matt Athens, TN

    No... Without reelection they will lose all those special interest dollars going into their bank accounts. Not to mention the free vacations to exotic countries, being somewhat important in the grand scheme of things, and, for a very few of course, doing something good for their constituents.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  177. Rory

    There is absolutely nothing more important then being re-elected for any congressman (left or right). I am currently a student and I am enrolled in a class called "Congress and the Legislative Process", and we actually discussed how, on day one of their terms, congressmen and women are positioning themselves for re-elction. It is absolutely sickening and a disgrace to the very foundations we were built on.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  178. William

    Apparently only money.
    We, should vote out every single member of congress who was in office from 9-11 on, as well as every single lawer, and, start over!!

    They did NOt preserve, protect, and defend the constitution OR the people. Our "President" is living proof that the will of the MAJORITY is not what is listened to, or accomplished.

    WE need to take back our government, and reshape it.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  179. Jeff


    You already took the short answer, so I'll expand. As a smart prof. of mine once told me, the main job a politician has is reelection. It is more important that their friends, lobbyists, fellow politicians, or–dare I say–their constituents. Without a job their power is gone and once they lose it, they're lost.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  180. David Dudgeon

    Being re-elected may be number one......but a self voted pay raise comes in a close second.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  181. deano

    Nothing is more important. Run, get elected, keep big business happy as long as you can stay in office, then call in favors to get that pot at the end of the rainbow job after being kicked out of office. The longer they can keep getting reelected, the more they can kiss up to big business and grab the better post-civil service job.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  182. Joshua P. form NC

    Yes, being elected President.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  183. Barbara from Texas

    No, nothing is more important to our politicians than getting re-elected, being bought by big businesses, lobbyists, and special interest groups. They do not represent the majority of US citizens. How can we get rid of all of them at once?

    June 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  184. Patriot Patrick

    Jack, as much as I love Obama, I'd vote for you in a heartbeat! Heck, no. Nothing matters more to Congress than thier own power struggle.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  185. Dean Griffin

    Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) once quipped that every congress person has 2 ends...the thinking end and their sitting end...and since they depend upon retaining their seat...well why would they ever bother with the thinking end?

    Of course they don't care...just one 2 year stint and they get free medical for life with no copay...

    The secret motto is Alfred E Neuman What Me Worry?


    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  186. Chris Plainfield, IL

    You're loud, outspoken, and opinionated. You're also absolutley right! It is a sad staple of america's current political landscape when the only time you hear about the issues coincides with reelection campaigns. Politics in washington has gotten to crisis levels and nobody is doing anything to stop it. Maybe if we forced them to get elected every year we could finally get something done.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  187. Delynn J.

    Only one thing I can think of that is more important than being re-elected....being president.

    Somerville, Tennessee

    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  188. Dee

    I doubt it. I think EVERYONE wants a job they only have to work at part of the time.

    A close second is fundraising!!!!

    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  189. Andi

    Of course the only thing the politicians care about is being reelected. Otherwise, why would they let the administration walk all over our civil rights, torture prisoners, and lead us into illegal wars without ever calling for impeachment? At what point did purely getting reelected trump the honor of representing our country with honor and dignity and protecting our constitutional rights – even if you end up NOT getting reelected?

    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  190. Max T

    I agree, there is nothing more important to congress than being re-elected, but this is why they bring bills that help people. Most people just don't see them because they die in committee, or are filibustered down. The problem is not the people, it's the incredible time it takes for a bill to become a law
    Max, NY

    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  191. Buzz


    No nothing is more important than getting elected, AND they will lie, but I am hoping that Obama will be the start of a new type of politician.

    BUT there is something you said that needs correcting. The Thug party CLAIMS that since the dems have been in office they have done nothing. BUT the truth of the matter is that everytime the dems TRY to do something, the Thug Party blocks them AND THEN goes out and says the Dems aren't doing anything.

    AND the dems are to damned cowardly to stand up and call the Thug party what they are. THUGS who are obstructionists.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  192. Brad Cozzens, Eagle Id

    There is nothing more important to Congress than being reelected. What I find amazing is that we keep sending them back. A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and aver and expecting a different outcome. Yet this is what we do every election cycle. The only way to get true change is to replace the whole lot up for reelection. It will shake things up in the short turn and the long run.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  193. Charlie in Bremerton, WA


    June 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  194. Bill Patterson

    Nope. And I noqw think I know why. They have a great Dental plan for our elected officials!(Not to mention the ir retirement plan)


    June 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  195. Tyler

    Jack, I think that the only thing that is more important to congress members than getting re – elected is to earn money while they're elected, and to have an influence on the people of America and in the congress.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  196. Homer

    Jack, You're kidding, right? There's nothing, nada, that's more important to these pigs than being reelected.
    Arianna Huffington's book, Pigs at the Trough, was aimed at the corporate swine but it easily could have been aiming at the original oinkers in the pig sty know as D.C.
    Just finished your book, finally, and a big Thanks for calling a spade a phucking shovel.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  197. Kevin

    no because it would be bad. they will go to jail.


    June 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  198. Bill Queale

    Their ONLY interrest is getting re-elected. Look at all the bennies they voted for themselves. I started an email yesterday and sent it to about 100 people. The gist of it is for everyone to vote against ANY incumbent. Even those we see as capable legislators. The larger issue is to let them all know that unless they start to do something worthwhile, they are next. I hope the email gets legs. I hope everyone listening sees it.

    Yardley, PA

    June 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  199. Casey FL

    Congress does not care and plus there is no control of Congress, Congress cares the last few months before the election to just to be re-elected. If there were 2/3 of Democrats in Congress or 2/3 Republicans in Congress. The 110th Congress can enjoy the lowest approval ratings in history. The work will be left to the 11th Congress then over to the 112th Congress then to the 113th Congress then on.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  200. Barry, SD, CA

    Come on, when did you forget that money is THE most important thing? So what if they loose an election while making themselves and their corporate masters a boat load of dough.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  201. Fred Reames

    Even though the presidential race gets more coverage and headlines, it is the Congress that needs to cleaned up. The only way to give them the message is to vote against incumbents. Unless we can show then via the vote, they will always be more interested in getting re-elected.

    VOTE NO ON INCUMBENTS (Clean up Congress)

    PS This needs to be done every election cycle until they get the message.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  202. Arthur Sorensen

    No, because it's just a matter of survival.

    It's a survival of THEIR way of life.

    After all, "We have 2 more years of making business as usual, if we get re-elected".

    That's a bad deal for everybody but them.

    Arthur Sorensen
    Mesa, Arizona.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  203. Daniel Bonnett


    Of course there are more important things to them than being re-elected.
    For instance, there are pork barrel appropriations, taxpayer supplied health insurance, and continuing to line their own pockets, just to name a few.


    June 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  204. Vera From Sedona

    Dear Jack:
    I woke up this morning from a wonderful dream.
    Five months have passed and the election is over.
    Only people with good hearts and intellectual plans for this nation have been elected as leaders.
    Then I woke up!
    Vera from Sedona

    June 11, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  205. P B. Massachusetts

    Throw them all out. They only care about re-election, and pay raises after dark. We have had warnings for years about oil, gas prices, and neither party has done a tinkers dam to fix the problem.

    The fact that the Dems don't want to open up drilling, or anything else to help us all, is an indication that they do not care about any of us.
    What they lack os backbone, ----both sides.

    Give tax incentives for alternative energy, all forms of it. We need to send a message to the oil geeks who are destroying our life style.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  206. Carl in VA

    Ha! Some question Jack! All I hear during this "same o same o" campaign is getting our party elected with little emphasis on what is needed for our country or its people. Let's just point the finger and generate fear (as always) to run the other candidate down. If we had better character on Capitol Hill,...just imagine what this country could really do!? Oh, BTW- – Is it legal to defect to Canada?

    haha READ THIS ONE on air JACK!

    June 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  207. Jeanette Weisser

    No nothing is more important to any of them then being elected or reelected, we need to clean Washington DC out, and must have term limits for all elected who run for office, even if they even had good intentions once they are in they forget who put them there and whats really good for the Country, it's all about winning,power, and money in their interest. Jeanette.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  208. Elisabeth, Bloomington, IN

    No nothing is more important than reelection. But that is hard work for some of these guys, they get challenged once and a while (at least here in Indiana) so our congresspersons can't be destracted with actual issues.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  209. Jim

    Sorry Jack but its been about them since the get go. Just take a look at days such as veterans day, or memorial day. The politicians praise the veterans, wave flags and speak of all they are going to do for the veterans and then it is all forgotten about once the day is complete or they are elected. Sad, Sad, Sad. USMC 1970 TO 1972.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  210. Doug Douglas

    There IS nothing more important that $$. When you have a job, you want to keep it. Re-election is perpetual. It will never stop unless there are term limits imposed on all. One six year term is enough and maybe again for six more after skipping a cycle. Think about it! Every candidate will be fresh. Maybe there will actually be folks wanting to serve their country instead of just having a $$ making job.
    We all know there are lots of politicians serving for the betterment of the country, but there are lots out to just better themselves. Each "camp" surrounds itself with this perpetual election mantra. DC is broken. I guess it IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  211. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – To emphasize the obvious, the Founders required every Representative to run for re-election every two years, so that there would be less time for them to pursue selfish interests while ignoring those of the voters in their Districts. In 1789, two years was a very short time in which to gain support or live down a scandal. In fact, incumbents make themselves worthy for re-election by "bringing home the bacon", Congressional appropriations, preferably earmarks, which the bureaucracy cannot divert to more objective purposes of general need. We re-elect our Congressperson for their participation, on our behalf, in the Great Swindle that is Central Government. At least the "people's agents" in the Swindle, Representatives to the House, have to get our votes every other year – our "States agents", Senators, have the least need to respond to the voters short term concerns, having six years between elections. The answer is not to change the system, which is not in fact possible anyway, but for "the people" to play a more active role in Congressional elections, demanding, more than zero-sum pie cutting, a real effort to make more pie for everybody.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  212. Alier, Chicago IL

    Jack, it is once said by former Soviet Union leader, Gorbachev, " That when politicians are campaigning, they even promise to build bridges where there is no river" and this election is no exception. There are so many good things and promises made on campaign trails which would truly save America from economic strife, but at the end of the day, the true colors of these politicians would prevail! No matter what clothes the hyena puts on, it remain the hyena.

    Alier, Chicago

    June 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  213. Steve


    Don't be so pessimistic! Of course there are members of congress on both sides of the aisle who listen to their morals and have political agendas that are more important to them than their own reelection.


    June 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  214. Sharon/Illinois

    It depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  215. andrew, Ontario

    What do you think, isn't the answer obvious for most of them. That is all part of the American Nightmare I mean Dream .

    June 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  216. Marion Piper

    No. They'll say anything. But that is not our problem as we have seen with the 2006 election and still Congress does nothing. What the United States' legal citizens and registered voters have to do is set up an immediate re-call system in every state. Then, demand transparency and anytime they are caught not working for the betterment of the US, which betters the US legal citizens and by example betters the world, they must be fired immediately. We have to have a way of controlling them against the rich, big business, special interests, and world trade which benefits other countries and not the US.


    June 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  217. Arthur Matluck

    What this country needs is a republican oil man from Texas as president and a republican congress to control these ridiculous oil prices. Oh ... never mind.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  218. Brian, New York

    A resounding NO Jack. In my opinion they should have term limits just like the president. No congresmen/women should be allowed more than 12 years in a row in office, with elections every 3 years,and then not again for at least another 12 years after they have served their 12 year limit. Further no more than a grand total 24 years can be served by any one person. so they can spend two 12 yr terms and they have to be 12yrs apart and only 2, 12yr terms.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  219. Gil from Edison NJ

    Re-election is most important to our career politicians. One simple solution is to cap their salaries at the average salary of the state they represent. They should probably be denied money for speaking engagements too. If they have to live on incomes like us, perhaps they will start to understand our concerns personally since they choose not to listen to us.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  220. Sharon/Illinois

    I think Kucinich (and others who are supporting his efforts to Impeach Bush) is putting country first. As noted in his Articles of Impeachment, elections are being rigged and not much has been done to safeguard against this–it could happen again. Some of our elected officials actually do try to work on our behalf. But the media seems hell-bent on ignoring them or branding them "the most" [fill in an obnoxious term]. The media seems to have nothing over the congress on preserving their own self-interests first.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  221. Doug , Feeding Hills,Mass.

    Other than life or limb, I can't think of a thing Jack. Once a politician, once a congressman, once it's in your blood, you might as well be a pirate on the barberry coast. You'd sell your own grandmother to keep the position. It's sad, but true.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  222. Janis Michaels

    No. Nothing is more important to them than being reelected. Politicians are the aristocracy that we were trying to avoid when we declared independance from England. We are the peons who toil on their land, raise their children, make them "things" and give them money. As long as they keep getting elected they keep their position in society. It's time to try the experiment of term limits. If it doesn't work for the american people we can always go back to the old way.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  223. Frank in Staten Island

    Jack, do you think this is what it looked like when Rome was falling apart? Of course that’s all their concerned about, wouldn't you be, it’s a sweet deal – free medical, large expense accounts, a staff to pamper you, jeez Jack they even have a PENSION! But as much as we would wish a pox on all their houses this is our fault because all we voted for was a simple majority not an override majority and that means GRIDLOCK. At the end of the day this country is facing major issues that really do impact our security and future. Jack, the sky may not yet be falling but there are a lot of clouds in the sky. We need elected officials that see more than themselves. I'm just very glad that we are not trying to create America today with the morons currently in place.

    June 11, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  224. Glenn Swanson

    "Illusion is the first of all pleasures” Voltaire

    Wall Street, investment markets and Congress have much in common: self-interest, preservation and greed. All have streaks of delusion.

    Nothing will change until we remove lobbyists and big money from elections.

    "All progress is based on the universal desire of every organism
    to live beyond its income."
    – Samuel Butler

    June 11, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  225. Sterling Greenwood, Aspen

    Sterling Greenwood
    Aspen Free Press

    June 11, 2008 at 6:43 pm |