Which folks in congress have the most respectable academic cv's?

I know that some of the folks in congress, despite their apparent stubborn, inflexible and intransigent stands, must be innately bright people. I also understand that it’s a mistake to equate schooling with education. None-the-less, some of the senators and congressmen must have some stellar intellectual and academic achievements behind them. Who among them are standouts from that point of view? I’m not talking about attending Harvard, per se, but maybe graduating cum laude from one of those august institutions, earing a doctorate, etc. Dopers - who’s the real brain trust in DC?
xo,
C.
p.s. - yeah, I know Newt has a Ph.D., but that, alone, doesn’t qualify him as one of the top intellects in the business. I’m looking for the truly bright. Are there any there?

First hit on Google.

The late Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was a professor of Political Science before being elected to the Seante.

I guess I’m not understanding the criteria very well. You’re looking for people in Congress who have strong academic credentials, such as having a PhD, but Gingrich’s PhD doesn’t count? (Not that he’s in Congress anymore, of course.) Are you looking for those who have good academic credentials, or those who are generally regarded to be very smart people regardless of what they may have studied?

In terms of academic qualifications, Rush Holt has a PhD in physics from NYU, and Vern Ehlers has a PhD in nuclear physics from Berkeley.

Richard Lugar and David Vitter were Rhodes Scholars.

Richard Blumenthal graduated summa cum laude from Harvard and went on to Yale Law. Brad Sherman graduated from UCLA summa cum laude, and Harvard Law magna cum laude.

There are a handful of doctors, including thoracic surgeons like Charles Boustany and Larry Bucshon.

Surely there are more members of Congress who would be regarded as pretty smart, after all, you take a group of 538 overachievers and there’s bound to be more than a dozen good ones in the bunch. As who might be the not-so-smart ones, that might depend on your own political views. :wink:

This is more of what I was after. Yes, my OP didn’t make clear exactly what I was looking for, but I wondered who is considered to be extremely bright, beyond the mere attainment of a degree (even advanced) from Harvard. A Rhodes Scholar, for example, is an indication to me of someone who’s beyond just book smart. Graduating summa from Harvard or Yale means something special, I believe. Thanks.

That one’s out of date. Here’s the version for the current Congress:

Unfortunately, the Congressional Quarterly Member Profiles mentioned in the excerpt are behind a paywall; Vitter and Lugar are the Rhodes Scholars in the Senate, but I’m not sure who the ones in the House are.

Ah, here we go: Jim Cooper and Jim Himes were also Rhodes scholars. Gabrielle Giffords was a Fulbright student, though she has resigned since the report was prepared, so I guess that means there are only two former Fulbright students in Congress now. Terri Sewell was a Marshall scholar.