Washington named third rudest US city; lawmakers react to ranking

The results are in, and while D.C. might not be considered the rudest city in the United States, it’s pretty darn close.

A new reader survey from Travel & Leisure magazine finds that Washington is the third rudest American city.

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The publication writes of the District, “Politics is ugly, and perhaps getting uglier … it got two spots ruder since last year.”

When asked what she thought about the rude ranking, Sen. Kelly Ayotte said, while laughing, “I guess nothing surprises me in terms of D.C.”

The New Hampshire Republican ventured to guess that the folks in her home state would never be featured on such a list: “I think people in New Hampshire are very polite. My guess is that as a senator for New Hampshire, it’s among the most polite.”

But Ayotte might have to battle another lawmaker for that title. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) proudly declared, “Utah is the least rude state in the union.”

But Lee is surprised that D.C. is considered a rude place, saying, “There are things here that happen that become contentious. There are things here we talk about that people have a legitimate, sincere, deep disagreement — it doesn’t always translate to rudeness. Sometimes it does, not always.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) didn’t seem all that shocked that the nation’s capital was considered ruder than the biggest city in her home state, albeit not by much. Los Angeles came in right behind Washington in the survey, to which the lawmaker said, “Oh, no! I don’t think it’s the fourth rudest.”

Feinstein added, “I’ve never encountered rudeness in L.A. Ever. I mean, I’ve encountered a lot of rude drivers here, to be honest with you.” Zing!

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) also disputed Boston’s fifth-place finish on the “America’s Rudest Cities” list, saying, “Whenever I’m out and about in Boston people are really wonderful.” But he acknowledged that Bostonians are “certainly spirited and independent. And they let you know how they feel.” 

When we noted to Brown that Travel & Leisure wrote that gloating about championship sports teams might be to blame for the rudeness, the senator replied with a sly smile, “We are going to win the Super Bowl — what do you mean? Is there a problem with that?”

And it just so happens that the New England Patriots’ opponent in this Sunday’s big game just happens to be the home team for the place that’s been dubbed the rudest city in the nation (even though the New York Giants play their home games in New Jersey).

The mag writes that the holder of the No. 1 spot on the list, New York City, is “America’s capital of crabbiness.” But Travel & Leisure contends that “America’s Rudest Cities” voters “probably love New York for its flamboyant, bird-flipping spirit.”

ITK reached out to the offices of New York lawmakers, including Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D), to see what they thought about claiming the top spot in rudeness. While Maloney’s press secretary emailed that he “didn’t want to be rude” by not answering, the congresswoman was swamped and unable to comment. We didn’t hear back from Schumer and Gillibrand. How rude.