Washington Watch: Bulldogs a popular breed in Congress

WASHINGTON -- Want to be in Congress?

You may want to go to the University of Georgia first.

UGA is one of the top 10 alma maters for members of Congress, according to U.S. News and World Report's latest college rankings.

Coincidentally -- or maybe not -- UGA also was just ranked the No. 1 party school in the country by the Princeton Review.

Current Bulldogs in Congress include both of the state's senators -- Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson -- and four of its 13 House members. Among them: Republican U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Tom Graves of Ranger and Jack Kingston of Savannah, who probably is the biggest Bulldogs booster in the House these days. Rep. John Barrow of Savannah is the lone Georgia Democrat who went to school there.

Rep. Ander Crenshaw, a Florida Republican, also graduated from UGA.

UGA was tied with three other schools -- rival University of Florida, Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin -- for the No. 5 spot among alma maters of current members of Congress.

Leading the alumni pack in Congress (but not even coming close in the party school listing): Harvard, Stanford and Yale.


Apparently Chambliss didn't study computing while getting his business administration degree from UGA (he did graduate in 1966, after all).

Chambliss was named one of the Senate's "digitally challenged" members in a "digital competence" study released Wednesday by researchers at New York University and George Washington University affiliated with L2 Think Tank, a branding research firm.

Chambliss' "digital IQ" of 81 ranked him No. 75 of the Senate's 100 members when it came to using the Internet, social media and other technologies to connect with voters and constituents.

Isakson fared a little better -- No. 57 with an "average" digital IQ of 92, according to the researchers.

No. 1 on the ranking: Arizona Sen. John McCain, deemed a "digital genius" by the researchers.


Ah, the August "district work period." A time when members of Congress get back to Georgia, shed the suits and ties, get out of Washington's Beltway, forget about parliamentary procedure and get out among the real people. Who needs lobbyists' fancy fetes and hoity-toity parties at the Capitol Hill Club anyway?

A sampling of how some of Georgia's members of Congress spent their time back home over the past week or so: Chambliss toured a Valdosta car parts factory. ... Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta stopped in at the Fun Day Campout in Cedartown. ... Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Lithonia toured the Beltline, I-85 and Arabia Mountain Heritage Area bike paths with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. James Oberstar. ... Rep. Sanford Bishop presented a patent to an Albany inventor who created a device that can disable a vehicle if its driver is drunk.

Isakson, who's up for re-election, probably gets the distance award.

In the past few days, Georgia's junior senator made stops at the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, attended a Cobb County Regional Transportation Management meeting, met with constituents and shook some hands in Albany and Americus, and hosted town hall meetings, small-business workshops and other campaign stops in Macon, Cordele, Tifton and Perry.

E-mail Bob Keefe at bkeefe@ajc.com or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ajconwashington.