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The importance of seniority in the United States Congress can not be underestimated. Seniority is determined by which of each state's two Senators was elected first. The first elected is the Senior Senator, the other is the Junior Senator.
Junior Senators are usually fresh-faced middle-aged men (and occasionally women) who have spent their entire working lives in state politics and have grown so accustomed to sucking on the lobbyists teats that the chance to suckle at the national level is irresistible.
They are given back bench seating in the Senate chamber, which they rarely visit since they are usually out on the campaign trail, running for the Presidency.
Junior Senators are sometimes given plum committee chairs if they have a long, nepotistic history in politics or if their spouse used to be the Commander-In-Chief. These chairs allow them to develop connections to lobbyists who can help them finance their Presidential aspirations for the mere exchange of any dignity, self-respect or ethics they may have once possessed.
- ↑ and less occasionally black2
2. And even less occasionally black women