One of the great things about the American political system is that money plays no role in the process. The people who are elected to represent the public at large are chosen based only on qualifications, not on their personal financial success in business, or their familyâ€™s longstanding wealth. These people are the best of the best, and they go to work each day with just one goal in mind â€“ to make the United States of America the very best country in the world.
(Thatâ€™s how it works, right?)
Okay â€“ so maybe not. Money and politics have forever been closely linked, not just in the United States, but all around the world. Wealth has everything to do with the ability to get elected for public office in the U.S., and some of the top politicians are also some of the wealthiest people in the country. While most would argue that democracy is the most successful political system in human history, it is not perfect, and the ability for wealthy people to â€śbuyâ€ť their way into power is one of the glaring weaknesses of the system.
With the understanding that financial success plays a role in creating a political career, letâ€™s take a look at 16 of the wealthiest politicians in the U.S. today.
John Kerry â€“ Secretary of State
A former Presidential candidate, Kerry currently serves the country as the 68th Secretary of State. Prior to taking the role of Secretary of State, Kerry was considered to be the wealthiest U.S. Senator while representing the state of Massachusetts.
So where does Kerryâ€™s considerable wealth come from? Ketchup, mostly. Kerryâ€™s second wife, Teresa Heinz, is the widow of Henry John Heinz III, heir to the H.J. Heinz Company. While Kerry deserves the credit for creating his own career in politics, his wealth comes thanks to a variety of delicious condiments. At least we know that any barbeque held on the lawn outside the Capitol Building is sure to be well-stocked with ketchup, mustard, relish, and more.