Who's Worth Watching?

Our ongoing feature to identify politicians and other leaders who bring something unique to the table. Respond with people you think we should keep our eye on.
Thank you for your nominations! Here's who we have so far:

097: Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina has been on news programs lately and seems to be the Republicans' "go to" female potential candidate for 2016. I respect her for rising out of health problems (she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009) and getting back in the action. She was named by CNBC as one of the worst CEOs Of all time but she also has some fans. She was Hewlitt Packard's first female chairman. In 2010, she ran against - and lost to - Barbara Boxer for the California Senate seat that Boxer has held since 1992. I guess I will be watching to see if Fiorina talks about her CEO experience if she runs for President.

February 18 2015

171: Senator Susan Collins (R - Maine)

I’m nominating her because of the milestone she achieved this week – casting her 5000th vote in the Senate. (She has served in the Senate since 1996 and never missed a roll call vote.) She is chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. She has said that her role model for this diligence as a Senator was inspired by Margaret Chase Smith, also a Senator representing Maine, who didn’t miss a vote in 13 years. Collins’ first vote was to confirm Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State. She is also worth watching because she is known as a bipartisan and a moderate Republican.

July 12 2012

222: Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty is turning out to be a favorite surrogate for the Romney campaign. He's Republican, 52 years old, served as Governor of Minnesota from 2003 to 2011; before that, was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for 10 years and served as Majority Leader for two terms. He joined the Presidential race in May 2011, but dropped out in August 2011. Other interesting facts about him: His father, who was Polish-American, drove a milk truck. He (Tim Pawlenty) played hockey in high school. When he was Governor, he balanced the budget of Minnesota, without raising taxes, by using spending cuts and borrowing from earmarked funds. His administration implemented several large public works projects, partly financed by federal stimulus funds. He has stated he believes abortion should be decided by the state; he’s against same-sex marriage and civil unions; and he would reinstate “Don’t ask, don’t tell” for the military. His wife served as a district judge and then switched to the field of dispute resolution. He was raised Catholic but then joined his wife’s church, which is a Baptist-variety Evangelical Protestant.

June 29 2012

050: Olympia Snowe

Olympia Snowe has been an outstanding Senator and accomplished many "firsts." She's the first Republican woman ever to secure a full-term seat on the Senate Finance Committee, and only the third woman in history to join the panel. She's the former Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. She is considered one of the few remaining "centrists" in Congress and she's decided not to see re-election because of the polarization of the parties. She says she will now work from "the outside" to make things better and that will be worth watching. Click here to learn more about her http://www.snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/aboutolympia?p=biography

June 06 2012

222: David Walker, former head of Government Accountability Office

David Walker, was appointed by Bill Clinton as head of the Government Accountability Office and also served in the Bush Administration. During his term at GAO, he developed a “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour” to inform American citizens about wasteful government spending. He was previously mentioned by IWD in the results of Politico’s online election and is currently being named as a potential candidate by Citizens Elect. So maybe he's somebody we should watch??

March 26 2012

213: The Coffee Party

This organization is more than two years old, but you never really hear about it. Formed as an alternative to the Tea Party, its guiding principle is that government is "not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans." http://www.facebook.com/coffeeparty%20

March 26 2012

339: Amy Siskind, President of the New Agenda

Amy Siskind is a national spokesperson, writer and expert on helping women and girls advance and succeed. A successful Wall Street executive -- and the first female Managing Director at Wasserstein Parella at the age of 31 -- she founded New Agenda to work on issues such as economic independence and advancement, gender representaion and bias, sexual assault and domestic violence. In addition to speaking on college campuses and to young women about economic empowerment, she's been interviewed on CNN, FOX News, CNBC, and PBS. She's also working on a book about her experiences as a woman on Wall Street.

March 23 2012

243: Elizabeth Warren, Candidate for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts

From the moment she appeared on the scene around 2009 as an advocate for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau--she was impressive. Her background as an expert in Bancruptcy Law certainly gave her immense credibility, but her ability to argue for these protections with such gracious conviction and intense persuasive ferocity is her true gift. Her statement that " ...Nobody in this country ever got rich on his own" is brilliant (responding to the Republican argument that the very rich deserve tax breaks because their businesses, etc. fuel the economy with investment, jobs.) As she notes, all of those businesses, needed government (tax dollars) investment in roads, railways, etc to get their products produced and delivered. The fact that the Administration did not appoint her to head up the agency she advocated for and helped create is very upsetting. Now, as she runs for the Senate in Mass., hopefully her credentials will be appreciated, and result in a Senate win.

March 14 2012

170: Josefina Vazquez Mota, candidate for President of Mexico

Josefina Vazquez Mota is the first female candidate from a major political party -- the National Action Party -- to run for President in this country where walking down the street (in some parts) can be dangerous. What a brave woman!

February 14 2012

97: U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-North Carolina

Congressman Jones has been working on a bill that would reclassify working military dogs as "K-9 members of the armed forces" so they are no longer left behind in war zones as "equipment." Under the new classification, they would be eligible for medical care and transportation back to the states to find new homes.

February 07 2012

244: Haley Barbour, former Governor of Mississippi

I think we have to keep an eye on Haley Barbour and other loose cannons who hold public office. What’s really frightening is that he may not be finished yet. Only a year ago he was exploring his options to run for President, then he dropped out after being skewered for some comments of a racial nature.


Note from IWD: Prior to leaving office as Mississippi’s Governor, Haley Barbour pardoned more than 200 convicted criminals. Eight of the pardons went to men who were convicted of killing their wives. Explaining his actions, Barbour said that 186 of the pardons were given to people who were already out of the penitentiary. But in the aftermath, a judge is considering reversing the pardons and the Mississippi Attorney General called the pardons “inconceivable.”

January 16 2012

076: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota

We must watch her as she ascends into the spotlight. They are calling her “the Queen of the Tea Party “– but after watching several interviews I would also call her “Queen of the Re-direct.” I wanted to like her because she is serious, smart, dignified and has good credentials – but she refuses to answer a question directly. When interviewers ask her to explain statements she has made, she detours around and switches to one of her campaign planks.

June 27 2011

062: Mark Warner, Senator-Virginia

One of the Gang of 6 and preeminently qualified to be a leader in taking on the budget crisis. His experience as co-founder of Nextel, governor of Virginia who revised the tax code, raised the bond rating and balanced the budget while working with a state government run by the opposition, balances fiscal responsibility with compassion.

May 23 2011

048: Jon Hunstman, Jr.

9th U.S. Ambassador to China, appointed by President Obama; former Governor of Utah, after winning second term – resigned to take the Ambassador post; previous experience as Assistant Secretary of Commerce under President George H.W. Bush; possibly running for President in 2012, being criticized for serving under Obama, but he says when called by a President to serve, you accept.

May 23 2011

IWD: Debbie Wasserman Schulz, D-Florida

Representative from Florida’s 20th Congressional District since 2005; had 60% of vote in last election; New Chairman of the Democratic National Committee – first woman in 15 years (and third in history) to hold that position; breast cancer survivor; mother of four; friend of Gabrielle Giffords, one of the first to visit her bedside and is currently holding a fundraiser for her.

May 02 2011

IWD: U.S. Rep Allen B. West, R-Florida

Freshman Representative from Florida; Tea-Party conservative; African-American who defeated the sitting Democrat in a mostly white, politically polarized district; Army veteran; ranks third among 87 freshman Congressmen in recent fund-raising period; gave keynote speech at Conservative Political Action Conference; called President Obama a “low-level socialist agitator.”

May 02 2011