The rapid rise of the career politician, in 2 GIFs

Politics as profession is on the rise.  We all know this. There are many more people populating our state legislatures and U.S. Congress who have never done anything outside of being a professional politician than there were even a few decades ago.

Now, thanks to David Mendoza, who authors the Mendoza Line Tumblr, we have a terrific visual way to grasp this changing reality. Using data from Brookings' Vital Statistics on Congress on the job background of people serving in the House and Senate, Mendoza has built GIFs of the jobs members of those two chambers held prior to being elected. (As he notes, politicians are allowed to fill out more than one occupation, meaning that the raw numbers in his two images don't add up to 435 in the case of the House or 100 in the case of the Senate.) Mendoza starts with the 89th Congress (1965) and ends with the 113th (2013).

Watch the number of veterans in the House and Senate decline even as the number of professional politicians rise.

 HOUSE


SENATE


Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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