"The right-wing strategy of politics of personal destruction ushered in during the Clinton administration is alive and well."
"The financial background check is invasive, intrusive, and insulting."
"There has to be some degree of egotism to agree to public debate of your worth as a human."
"Good people do not want to answer ridiculous charges and put their lives on hold indefinitely. It's terrible."
"The process is ridiculous, and both parties are equally at fault."
"It's like getting rolled down a hill of razor blades. You may get to the bottom — you just don't recognize yourself any more."
"It's just one more example of the growing price people pay to be in public service — a real tragedy."
"Outsiders endure it and promise never to do it again."
"Most people don't know how bad it is until they get nominated. But when they find out, they want to walk away."
"The process is excruciating, but the draw is strong."
How much, if at all, does the confirmation process deter good people from wanting to serve in government?
REPUBLICANS (94 VOTES)
A lot: 54%
A little: 40%
Not at all: 6%
"Even if you have nothing to hide, you have to be comfortable with your whole life being laid bare to the public. Not something a lot of people desire."
"Who wants special-interest groups crawling through the gutter to find 'gotcha' information about potential nominees? This is a strong deterrence to get the best and the brightest to participate in public service."
"A salary cut, an intensive scrutiny of business and private concerns, and a chance to be collateral damage in the endless campaign cycle. What's to like?"
"Why on earth would anyone want to go through it unless they want a political future? And the people who want a political future are the ones who will keep the status quo in government."
"Over the years, I have known many quality people who have passed on government service because of the confirmation process. Note: Party affiliation absolutely makes no difference. Republicans make life miserable for Democratic appointees, and Democrats do likewise to Republican appointees."
"I know a high school soccer coach whose first practice was always a run up a 2,000-foot mountain. It was an effective weeder. If you don't have the thick skin needed for the confirmation process, you'd never survive the office anyway."
"The prestige and résumé enhancement of a Senate-confirmed post — not to mention the sense of purpose of high-level public service — will always outweigh the frustration and invasiveness of the confirmation process."
Not at all
"Ego normally prevails over sanity."
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Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.