According to calculations, it has been two centuries since the United States had a Congress enumerated with lucky 13.
This class at least hopes to be luckier than the 112th Congress which had an approval ratings as low as 12% and received the distinction of “least productive” by passing only 237 bills into law, a hundred fewer than the previous Congress.
Despite their lackluster grades, 95 percent did not have to drop out of the class.
The 90 new kids include a reindeer farmer (Republican Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan), an ER doctor (Democrat Raul Ruiz of California), an animal vet (Republican Ted Yoho of Florida) and a legacy (Democrat Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts).
But there are also plenty of familiar faces, including the strangely familiar face of Joaquin Castro, twin brother of DNC keynote speaker Julian Castro. Although seating is assigned, many Congressmen were once the type that liked to sit at the front of the class. Congress will contain 42 alumni who received degrees from Harvard and 19 who served time at Yale. But much like college students, few actually show up to hear lectures in the chambers, which garner only slightly larger audiences on CSPAN.
Withstanding cynicism about Congress, Mr. Smith is going to Washington this year. In fact, four Mr. Smiths are going, all of them incumbents. Adrian Smith (R) of Nebraska, Chris Smith (R) of NJ, Lamar Smith (R) of Texas, and Adam Smith (D) of Washington.
But perhaps the most exceptional fact, this Senate will have more women—16 Democrats and four Republicans—than any previous class in history. Diane Sawyer sat down with most of them in this exclusive group interview airing tonight on ABC World News.
As the 113th Congress takes its seat today, should we ask ourselves something Clint Eastwood said before he started talking to chairs, “Do I feel lucky?”