U.S. Senators: Where Are They Now?
Cyclorama

U.S. Senators: Where Are They Now?

By
Cyclo

What are America’s former senators doing now? Lobbying, lawyering, holding new office … but mostly lobbying.

The job of united states senator, though not without its perks and prestige, is a rawer deal than it may seem. Its main responsibilities involve petty humiliations and untelevised subcommittee hearings, and unless you possess the magnetism of a John F. Kennedy or a Barack Obama, you don’t even get to be president.


No wonder, then, that so many senators cash in when they depart Congress. While some dive into the smaller pond of state politics and others climb the ivory tower, the vast majority of Senate retirees pursue opportunities as lobbyists in the ever-thriving private sector. We examined the second acts of all the living senators who have left the body since 2004 and discovered that the next-best thing to a key to the executive mansion is the one to the executive washroom at Patton Boggs.

ACTUALLY RETIRED *

DANIEL AKAKA

RETIRED, 2012.

JEFF BINGAMAN

RETIRED, 2012.

JIM BUNNING

RETIRED, 2010.

Known as the Senate’s resident crank, Bunning was all but forced into retirement in 2010 by his Kentucky colleague Mitch McConnell. Since then, he seems to have done the impossible by actually keeping his name out of the papersuntil January, when he emerged from retirement to manage a local campaign for sheriff.

LIDDY DOLE

DEFEATED, 2008.

PETE DOMENICI

RETIRED, 2008.

BOB GRAHAM

RETIRED, 2004.

FRITZ HOLLINGS

RETIRED, 2004.

JIM JEFFORDS

RETIRED, 2006.

TED KAUFMAN

RETIRED, 2010.

PAUL KIRK

RETIRED, 2010.

HERB KOHL

RETIRED, 2012.

DICK LUGAR

DEFEATED IN PRIMARY, 2012.

ZELL MILLER

RETIRED, 2004.

PAUL SARBANES

RETIRED, 2006.

GEORGE VOINOVICH

RETIRED, 2010.

*Does not account for potential part-time work on corporate boards, think tanks, or universities.

HIGH PAYING ODD JOBS

ROLAND BURRIS

RETIRED, 2010. Practicing law at Burris & Associates

JEFFREY CHIESA

RETIRED, 2013. Practicing law at Wolff & Samson

KENT CONRAD

RETIRED, 2012. Board of Directors at Genworth Finance, Steering Committee at Campaign to Fix the Debt

JON CORZINE

RESIGNED, 2005. Governor of New Jersey, 2006–2010; CEO, MF Global, 2010–2011

JIM DEMINT

RETIRED, 2012. Heritage Foundation

The South Carolina Republican was a Tea Party godfather until resigning at the end of President Obama’s first term. Formerly one of the poorest senators, he saw his earnings skyrocket when he became head of the Heritage Foundation, which he has transformed from a think tank into an interest group.

JOHN EDWARDS

RETIRED, 2004. Practicing law at Edwards Kirby

JOHN ENSIGN

RESIGNED, 2011. Veterinarian

RUSS FEINGOLD

DEFEATED, 2010. State Department Envoy

PETER FITZGERALD

RETIRED, 2004. Founder and Chairman, Chain Bridge Bank

BILL FRIST

RETIRED, 2006. Partner at Cressey & Co.

CARTE GOODWIN

RETIRED, 2010. Practicing law at Goodwin & Goodwin

GEORGE LEMIEUX

RETIRED, 2010. Practicing law at Gunster

KEN SALAZAR

RESIGNED, 2009. U.S. Secretary of the Interior, 2009– 2013; practicing law at WilmerHale

OLYMPIA SNOWE

RETIRED, 2012. Founder, Olympia’s List

Since retiring in 2012, Snowe has started a political action committee to support Congress’s remaining centristsand joined the board of investment firm T. Rowe Price, where her yearly compensation will likely top $300,000.

JIM WEBB

RETIRED, 2012. Writer

LOBBYISTS & CONSULTANTS

WAYNE ALLARD

retired, 2008. Livingston Group

GEORGE ALLEN

defeated, 2006. George Allen Strategies

Once considered a contender for the White House, Allen lost his Senate seat in 2006 after calling an Indian man a racial slur. Now, his consulting firm is advising Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder against changing the team name.

KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON

RETIRED, 2012. Bracewell & Giuliani

EVAN BAYH

RETIRED, 2010. McGuireWoods

BOB BENNETT

DEFEATED IN PRIMARY, 2010. Arent Fox

KIT BOND

RETIRED, 2010. Kit Bond Strategies

JOHN BREAUX

RETIRED, 2004. Patton Boggs

SCOTT BROWN

DEFEATED, 2012. Nixon-Peabody

The short-lived “people’s senator” has kept several irons in the fire since his 2012 defeat. He has signed on at lobbying firm Nixon Peabody, draws paychecks as a contributor at Fox News, and is even mulling a campaign in neighboring New Hampshire.

CONRAD BURNS

DEFEATED, 2006. Gage International

NORM COLEMAN

DEFEATED, 2008. Hogan Lovells

MO COWAN

RETIRED, 2013. ML Strategies

LARRY CRAIG

RETIRED, 2008. New West Strategies

TOM DASCHLE

DEFEATED, 2004. DLA Piper

CHRIS DODD

RETIRED, 2010. Motion Picture Association of America

Dodd vowed never to lobby his former colleagues after his retirement in 2010. Not long thereafter, he became president of the Motion Picture Association of America, where he lobbies on behalf of Hollywood for an annual payday of more than $3 million.

BYRON DORGAN

RETIRED, 2010. Arent Fox

JUDD GREGG

RETIRED, 2010. Security Industry and Financial Markets Association

JON KYL

RETIRED, 2012. Arent Fox

JOE LIEBERMAN

RETIRED, 2012. Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman

BLANCHE LINCOLN

DEFEATED, 2010. Lincoln Policy Group

A casualty of 2010’s Republican wave, Lincoln was considered a good candidate for the Obama Cabinet. Instead, the former Agriculture Committee chairwoman now runs interference for agriculture giant Monsanto and other former campaign contributors.

TRENT LOTT

RESIGNED, 2007. Patton Boggs

MEL MARTINEZ

RESIGNED, 2009. DLA Piper

BEN NELSON

RETIRED, 2012. National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Friendly to insurance interests while in office, Nelson received a nearly 450 percent pay bump to become the CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in January of last year.

DON NICKLES

RETIRED, 2004. The Nickles Group

BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL

RETIRED, 2004. Ben Nighthorse Consultants

RICK SANTORUM

DEFEATED, 2006. American Continental Group (before running for president)

GORDON SMITH

DEFEATED, 2008. National Association of Broadcasters

JOHN SUNUNU

DEFEATED, 2008. Akin Gump

JIM TALENT

DEFEATED, 2006. Mercury, Fleishman-Hillard

JOHN WARNER

RETIRED, 2008. Hogan Lovells

POLITICIANS

MAX BAUCUS

RETIRED, 2014. Ambassador to China

JOE BIDEN

RESIGNED, 2008. Vice President of the United States

SAM BROWNBACK

RETIRED, 2010. Governor of Kansas

LINCOLN CHAFEE

DEFEATED, 2006. Governor of Rhode Island

HILLARY CLINTON

RESIGNED, 2008. U.S. Secretary of State 2009–2013

MARK DAYTON

RETIRED, 2006. Governor of Minnesota

CHUCK HAGEL

RETIRED, 2008. Adviser at Deutsche Bank and Corsair Capital, 2009–2013; current U.S. Secretary of Defense

JOHN KERRY

RETIRED, 2013. U.S. Secretary of State

BARACK OBAMA

RESIGNED, 2008. President of United States

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