Throughout the course of American history there have been some great politicians, and here we give you the 10 best Democratic Senators ever. Remember, the Democratic Party officially started in 1828, so the founding fathers aren't counted. The Party has also gone through some major changes, so the 20th century is really what defined it. These Senators have been a part of major legislation, helped to make important changes, or have become an institution in themselves. Here they are in reverse order.
- Carol Moseley Braun (IL) Four African American Senators have served in the Senate since Reconstruction. Carol Moseley Braun is the only black woman to serve. Though she only served one term, she is the first woman to defeat an incumbent in the Senate and the first woman to serve as Senator in Illinois.
- Mike Gravel (AK) Before he became known for his Presidential run in the 2008 election, Mike Gravel was known for his stand against the draft in the Vietnam War. He may have single-handedly ended the draft in the United States. He attempted to filibuster against the draft, and became one with the anti-war movement during a time when the anti-war movement is as strong as it has ever been.
- Bob Graham (FL) Senator Graham is not a celebrated member of the Senate, but has contributed in important ways, especially when it came to foreign policy. He was against the War in Iraq from the start. He also led investigations that exposed information that should have been included in the 9/11 Commission. Graham is proof that a Senator needn't be world famous in order to be important.
- Barbara Boxer (CA) Being one of the few women in the Senate's history alone is almost enough to earn Barbara Boxer a spot on the list. Her career work has secured her spot. She has been a strong supporter of everything a Democrat is supposed to support. She is pro-choice, supports environmental regulation and fought against drilling in Alaska. She even objected to certifying electoral votes in the 2004 election because of suspicion that not all votes were counted in Ohio.
- Daniel Inouye (HI) Daniel Inouye has served as a representative of the state of Hawaii since it became a state. He is the third oldest Senator. He served on the Watergate Committee and was involved in the Iran-Contra investigations.
- Robert Wagner (NY) Robert Wagner is largely responsible for the United States' laws regarding unions today. He stood strong with workers and made sure they could not be fired if they unionized. He wrote anti-lynching legislation, and also attempted to allow 20,000 Jews into the United States in 1939, in the middle of World War II, but the bill was voted down.
- Robert F. Kennedy (NY) Although he only served for less than one term in office, Robert Kennedy's stature as an icon in American political history makes him a must on this list. He worked on poverty issues, and like his brother Ted, also took up the cause to end apartheid. His assassination as he was running for President took someone who fought for progress away from the country.
- Hubert Humphrey (MN) Along with serving as Vice President, Hubert Humphrey was also an influential Senator. He was a major backer of Civil Rights legislation and helped to push through the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Humphrey was also responsible for putting forth legislation that created the Peace Corps.
- Lyndon Johnson (TX) Lyndon Johnson was a powerful Senator before he was President, and he moved up the ranks quickly. Some call him the most effective Senate majority leader in history. He had an incredible ability to gather information and could negotiate and intimidate with the best of them.
- Ted Kennedy (MA) Perhaps the greatest senator of all time, Ted Kennedy served as Senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years. While he campaigned tirelessly for economic and social justice, what made him a successful Senator was his ability to compromise and work with Republicans. He worked on issues ranging from universal health care to apartheid. His body of work is tremendous, and despite having brothers that may be more revered, his work may have ended up being more important.
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