Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.)
Number of terms served: 1
Known for: An alumnus of Harvard University and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Sununu was once called the smartest man in the
Senate by libertarian writer P.J. O’Rourke. He was also the youngest
senator in the 110th Congress. (With Sununu’s departure, the
45-year-old Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE, D-Ark., will be the 111th Congress’s
youngest senator.) Sununu is the son of John H. Sununu, who was one of
President George H.W. Bush’s chiefs of staff and a New Hampshire
Suggested career move: Sununu could challenge entertainer and political
commentator Ben Stein for top smart-man roles. (One of Stein’s recent
gigs was hosting VH1’s “America’s Most Smartest Model.”)
Parting words: “I’m very proud of the work that I was able to do … If I
had to pick one thing that stands out, it’s the challenge we faced
reauthorizing the Patriot Act.”
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
Number of terms served: 2
Known for: He was arguably the best-dressed lawmaker during his time in
Congress; even his office was decked in Ralph Lauren. He also had the
most relatives serving with him on Capitol Hill. In losing his seat,
Smith missed the chance to serve in the Senate with his cousins, Reps.
Mark UdallMark UdallGardner's chief of staff tapped for Senate GOP campaign director The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate Colorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open MORE (D-Colo.) and Tom UdallTom UdallTom Udall eyes NM governor bid Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Tensions rise over judicial nominees MORE (D-N.M.), who both won upper-chamber
offices this year.
What’s next: Frozen carrots are calling. Smith is still a co-owner of
the family business, Smith Frozen Foods, which processes and packages
Suggested career move: Congressional office decorating. Smith clearly
has an eye for beauty, having outfitted his office in subtle lighting
and high-end furniture.
Parting words: “Kinda like Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, I’ve lived my life for 12 years in the eye of a hurricane; that’s the kind of schedule you keep as a United States senator. And we got dropped off at home, and there’s no place like it.”
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)
Number of terms served: 1
Known for: Before becoming a senator, Dole was Transportation
secretary, Labor secretary, a GOP presidential candidate in 2000, a
potential first lady in 1996, and head of the American Red Cross. Once
in the Senate, she took up the top post at the National Republican
Senatorial Committee for the 2006 election cycle. She and her husband,
former Kansas GOP senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, have had
starring roles in American politics for decades.
What’s next: There doesn’t appear to be anything left for Dole to do
(or try to do) in Washington. She plans to keep working on hunger, an
issue she focused on as a lawmaker.
Suggested career move: The couple’s last name has always evoked images
of pineapples and bananas. With her work on food issues, perhaps she
could become the new face of Dole produce.
Parting words: “My heart is certainly in making a positive difference
in the lives of people. To me, it’s important that you continue to find
ways to be of service to others. There are many great ways of giving
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.)
Number of terms served: 3
Known for: Musgrave became the face of the movement against gay
marriage when, in 2003, she first introduced the Federal Marriage
Amendment to make the Constitution define marriage as a union between a
man and a woman. She also reached across the aisle to recruit Rep.
Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) to co-sponsor her resolution to declare 2007 the
National Year of the Bible. Musgrave leaves Washington with the dubious
distinction of having been named to Rolling Stone magazine’s 2006 list
of the 10 worst congressmen and -women.
What’s next: Musgrave likely hasn’t thought that far ahead. She has yet
to concede the election and make the traditional congratulatory call to
her opponent, Rep.-elect Betsy Markey (D).
Suggested career move: A Pentecostal Christian, Musgrave might want to
check out the job openings at the Colorado-based conservative Christian
organization Focus on the Family. Government relations, perhaps?
Parting words: Musgrave has not yet made a concession speech.
Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.)
Number of terms served: 4
Known for: Keller lost 100 pounds during his time in Congress. After
ballooning to 255 pounds, the Florida congressman decided to take
better care of himself. He could be seen walking around the Capitol
carrying a thermal lunch bag full of healthy foods — his way of
avoiding the cheese plates and cocktail wieners at all those evening
What’s next: Keller could fall back on his pre-House work as a lawyer.
He has been in serious consultation with an old law partner who has
been scouting out firms for him.
Suggested career move: Keller’s district includes Walt Disney World,
which usually hires for seasonal positions. Mickey Mouse or Goofy may
need a stand-in.
Parting words: “I told the voters of Central Florida that if you elect
me, poor kids would have higher Pell Grants for college, single moms
would have tax relief and seniors would have prescription drugs. I’m
proud we’ve done all three.”
Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.)
Number of terms served: 1
Known for: Mahoney followed in the footsteps of his predecessor, former
GOP Rep. Mark Foley, when a sex scandal led to his fall from office.
Mahoney ran in 2006 on a family-values platform after Foley admitted to
sending sexual text messages to male congressional pages. In October,
Mahoney admitted to paying one of his former staffers to keep quiet
about an affair.
What’s next: Mahoney’s got a background in business — he worked in
computers, marketing and sales and venture capitalism, which earned him
Suggested career move: Perhaps he should continue to follow Foley’s
lead by going into the real estate business, followed by a tearful TV
interview in a few years.
Parting words: “I take full responsibility for my actions and the pain
I have caused my wife, Terry, and my daughter, Bailey. No marriage is
perfect, but our private life is our private life, and I am sorry that
these allegations have caused embarrassment and heartache.”
Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.)
Number of terms served: 3
Known for: Feeney rode into office on a wave of power after having been
Florida House Speaker during the recount of the 2000 presidential
election between George Bush and Al GoreAl GoreStein’s recount effort is important — here’s why The power of paper Trump's victory margin smaller than total Stein votes in key swing states MORE. In Washington, Feeney was
ensnared in the scandal involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In
2003, the congressman went on one of the now-infamous golf junkets to
Scotland with Abramoff.
What’s next: Feeney began his career as a private-practice attorney.
Suggested career move: Perhaps he and his unsuccessful neighbors,
Keller (see above) and former GOP Rep. Katherine Harris, can open a
consulting firm. If that doesn’t appeal, he could take a hint from his
popular “Penthouse Party” fundraiser in his dorm room-style apartment.
The fare is Budweiser, Diet Coke, Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers. In a
pinch, Feeney could open a sports bar.
Parting words: “We got licked. We got beat. Most of you that were with us poured your hearts out, and we lost on election eve. But it was our principles that ultimately won the day for Florida.”