Political Notebook


2 from state in political tourney field

Tournament brackets are available to political history buffs as well as to college basketball fans.

MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” is conducting its version of March Madness with what the news show calls the “Senate Madness” tournament. Participants vote online at msnbc.com for seeded U.S. senators they wish to advance through the tourney.

The top-seeded lawmakers and their eras are Daniel Webster of Massachusetts in the 19th Century, Henry Clay of Kentucky in the Mixed Era, Lyndon Johnson of Texas in the 20th Century and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts in the Modern Day.

Two senators from Indiana made the field, both in the 19th Century era.

The 13th seed is Daniel Voorhees, a Terre Haute Democrat. Nicknamed the “Tall Sycamore of the Wabash,” Voorhees served from late 1877 to early 1897 and carried legislation requiring that U.S. paper currency be backed by both silver and gold. He also was regarded as a key player in the expansion of the Library of Congress.

The 16th seed is Albert Beveridge, a progressive Republican from Indianapolis who served from early 1899 until early 1911. Beveridge advocated U.S. imperialism and the regulatory agenda of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Fans of Beveridge might be unhappy with his draw. It would appear he belongs in the Mixed Era region, what "The Daily Rundown" is also referring to as the All of the Above era. Not that he stood much chance against "The Great Compromiser" Clay, but at least we would have had the Indiana-Kentucky contest that went missing from college basketball's regular-season schedule.