Friday, October 16, 2009

Future Speakers

Larry Butler is giving an interesting talk about the careers of U.S.
House Speakers before they became Speaker. Most recent Speakers have
started out as relative moderates relative to their party but moved
toward the ideological extremes around the time they became Speaker.
Pelosi is the exception. She started as deeply ideologically extreme,
and is the only recent Speaker who moderated prior to getting the
position.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's his time period? Post-WW II speakers? Earlier?

Seth said...

Recent. O'Neill to Pelosi.

Anonymous said...

Degrees of freedom issues? How's he measuring things -- NOMINATE scores? The problem is that Speakers, once in office, don't vote, and thus don't have NOMINATE scores?

Seth said...

I'll post the graph once it's available. It just shows that recent speakers have generally become more extreme prior to becoming speaker, but Pelosi moved in the opposite direction. The interesting thing is that these folks start with scores all over the place but all end up right around the same place (about half a standard deviation more extreme than their party median) just before becoming speaker. That seems to be the sweet spot.