The Top Ten Good Men Politicians



“Good” is not the adjective that springs to mind when most people think about politicians. Unscrupulous, self-serving, incompetent, sure—but good? Not so much.

As our political landscape grows ever more polarized—and ordinary Americans feel increasingly alienated from the political process—the conventional wisdom seems to be that when it comes to elected officials, a good man is hard to find. As humorist Kin Hubbard once put it, “We’d all love to vote for the best man, but he’s never a candidate.”

At the Good Men Project Magazine, we want to believe that there are a few good men in politics. We need to believe it. So we spent the last few months looking for them.


We looked for men with integrity and intellectual honesty.

We looked for men who respect their political opponents, treat their constituents like the adults they are, and promote openness and transparency in government.

We looked for men with compelling ideas—and the ability and vision to turn those ideas into action. Do we endorse everything they stand for? No. But we can respect those we disagree with.

We looked for men who can see beyond the next election cycle and who have the political courage to lay the foundation for America’s future success—even if it means making unpopular decisions today.

We looked for men who are willing to work in good faith with those from across the aisle in order to get things done.

We looked for men who are not afraid to challenge their party’s leadership when that leadership is putting politics and partisan mudslinging above what’s best for the country.

Most importantly, we looked for men who aren’t completely full of shit.


Sadly, we didn’t find any. Just kidding. Believe it or not, there are actually more than 10 good men in politics. In list-making, as in politics, you can’t make everyone happy, so we had to exclude some worthy candidates from our Top 10 Good Politicians list. We also excluded many worthy women—we are the Good Men Project, after all.

While we don’t expect our list to restore your faith in America’s political system, we do hope to bring your attention to elected officials worth respecting for their integrity, their passion, and their ideas.

In addition to our list, we asked fifteen political thinkers, commentators, and journalists—including Cokie Roberts, David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan, John Podesta, Chris Wallace, Andrea Mitchell, Joan Walsh, Thomas Frank, and Jonathan Capehart—for their nomination of a “good man” in politics.

Disagree with them? Disagree with us? Or, better yet, agree with us? Let us know in the comments. Oh, and go vote on November 2.

The Top-10 Good Men Politicians

10) Mitch Daniels

9) Bernie Sanders

8 ) Mark Strama

7) Richard Lugar

6) Jeff Flake

5) Al Franken

4) Anh “Joseph” Cao

3) Cory Booker

2) Paul Ryan

1) Carl Levin


Click here for “good men” nominations from top political journalists and thinkers

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

About the Editors

We're all in this together.


  1. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” is a trumped-up plan to facilitate further corporate take-over. When all is said and done, we can vote who gets put in power in the government. We can’t vote on CEOs. I would rather pay my taxes to the government with all its flaws (and even corporate influences) than give more power to big money.
    And what is with Flake? I am so glad to see someone speaking up about the earmarks, but I think his politicizing of the funding of scientific research mars that. Now we need someone more vocal in defense of honest science than Flake is against earmarks.
    My vote goes to Bernie Sanders. At least he is truly for the people.

  2. Christine says:

    Why the HELL is Ron Paul not on this list? You ppl r crazy!! He should be at the TOP!!

  3. Look up quotes of Boris Johnson. He is better than all of these.

  4. You left off the two Oregon Senators and the congressman from Seattle Jim McDermott.

  5. Maggie Thatcher is the only good politician I know of. The reason is that she is dead. Alive, she was a feminine version of Hitler only worse. Now she is were all politicians should be, in hell.
    They promise us a better world yet when they are elected they turn their backs on us and sell out to the ruling people with power. It will never change unless we start to fight for what is rite instead of just letting it happen and hope it will be better tomorrow.

  6. It has been cited that Mitch Daniels has saved Indiana from financial ruin. The question is, “How did he do it”? To meet his new budget, he fired thousands of state employees. This was not a “cutting of the fat”. A large percentage of the newly unemployed state workers are the ones who have dedicated 30, even 40 years to their jobs. These same people are finding it impossible to find new jobs because of their age. Even though it is illegal to not hire someone because of their age, the fact is no one is hiring 50 and 60 year old people in his economy, especially when their work experience is limited to state government. It is a tragic event for these folks. Many have had to cash in retirement plans just to keep their homes. My wife is one such case. She had over 30 years es an employee of the BMV.

    I voted for Daniels twice because I am a lifelong conservative. Now, I have a very cynical view of all politicians. His policies have virtually destroyed our lives and taken a toll on our health. The stress is unbearable. I guess it is a negligible price to pay for Mr. Daniels career advancement.

    For Mitch Daniels, the old saying holds true, “The ends justify the means”!

  7. “We looked for men with integrity and intellectual honesty.
    We looked for men who respect their political opponents, treat their constituents like the adults they are, and promote openness and transparency in government.”

    Given the first two criteria, neither hoosier merits a spot on this list. Take it from a hoosier. You need only look at the amount that Indiana owes for it’s underfunded unemployment trust fund. It will start incurring penalties at the end of the current Daniel’s administration. Lugar has finally sold his vote to the party of NO!

  8. I could not agree more. This man is so corporate in his views he should say he is CEO of Wisconsin.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Corey Booker is a nice guy with a conscience. I wonder how long he will stay in politics. No doubt he is shocked by the crap going on it the big political arena. WHY isn’t Luz Warren on this list?


  1. […] this post on The Good Men Project along with The Top Ten Good Men Politicians from across the […]

  2. […] the nonprofitty goal of helping at-risk youth, and they have just come out with a list of their Top 10 Good Politicians (stop snickering!). I contributed to their selection and description of Number 6 (coincidence??), […]

  3. […] The growing season is over for now; the comforters have been put on the garden beds for the winter and I find myself with plenty of time to wander aimlessly around the internets looking for trouble.  Well, I didn’t find any really good trouble to get into, but I did find this: The Top Ten Good Men Politicians. […]

  4. […] But there are a few decent males in government, at least on this list of "Good Men" in politics. (The Good Men Project, via […]

  5. […] us to find how best to live in that world. The Good Men Project compiles a (bipartisan) list of the Top Ten Good Men Politicians, profiling each of them and interviewing most, while Bettany Hughes, author of The Hemlock Cup, […]

  6. […] We talked a lot about transparency in our recent list of the Top 10 Good Men in Politics. […]

  7. […] provide  this list  for you with the caveat that it isn’t my list,  though I do approve of a couple of the  […]

  8. […] the Good Men Project teams up with Fox 25 in Boston and last Friday they highlighted our story on the Top 10 Good Politicians. (If you haven’t read the piece yet—yes, they […]

  9. […] of our “Top Ten Good Men Politicians” were fighting to retain their seats last night. Unfortunately, not all of them held […]

  10. […] LifeThe Top Ten Good Men PoliticiansSir, Can You Help Me With This?I Blow-dry My Son’s HairIn Yale Fraternity Pledging, Rape Is a […]

  11. […] 3) The Top 10 Good Men Politicians, by the Editors […]

  12. […] governor’s straightforward approach has earned him the respect of a number of his colleagues, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, considered a rising star in the Democratic […]

  13. […] it’s possible for someone to have their head screwed on right and still manage to use the words “Paul”, “Ryan” and “good” in the same sentence […]

  14. […] If there is any truth to the old adage “a good man is hard to find,” then the staff at The Good Men Project magazine had some serious work cut out for them when coming up with their recently published list of the Top Ten Good Men in Politics. […]

  15. […] NOTE: At the end of 2010, we ran a series on “The Top 10 Good Men Politicians”, including Cory Booker as one of the top ten. /* Filed Under: Good Feed Blog Tagged […]

  16. […] to find a definition of a good politician, therefore I had to use the descriptions used by …  Check-Dis-Out: At the Good Men Project Magazine, we want to believe that there are a […]

Speak Your Mind