United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters after a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 at U.N. headquarters. The United Nations and the Arab League on Thursday issued a joint statement in support of the establishment of a Palestinian state. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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Columnist David Martin

It's easy when watching politicians on television, or reading about them in the paper, to forget that they are actual real life human beings. Maybe not our local elected officials since we're more likely to encounter them in the wild thanks to the fact that we live and work so closely to one another. I'm talking about politicians from more faraway places.

Have you ever wondered what they're like in real life? Is there any difference between the person we see on the cable news shows and that same person when the cameras stop rolling?

I frequently wonder about it, and because of that I often catch myself thinking something like, "Man, I'd like to spend some time with so-and-so for an afternoon."

So here are four people (in no particular order) I'd like to hang out with after reading about them, watching them on the news, and/or following them on social media.

1. U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. — Amash represents Michigan's 3rd Congressional District, which is centered in Grand Rapids and was once represented by former President Gerald Ford. Amash is a friend of free markets and limited regulation, and has a very conservative voting record. While I love his principles, I've been even more impressed with Amash of late as he's been unafraid to engage with constituents who are unhappy with policy decisions coming out of Washington, D.C. Politico recently wrote on his willingness to participate in town halls, to defend his conservative philosophy, while many other GOP politicians are dodging those events.

2. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nimrata "Nikki" Haley — Though the UN ambassadorship is not an elected position, Haley was plucked from the South Carolina governor's mansion for the post, so I consider her a politician. Haley's story follows the classic American Dream narrative, her parents immigrating to the United States from India to give themselves and their children near limitless new opportunities. Haley's political ascent has been a quick one, moving from the U.S. House of Representative to the South Carolina governorship to the UN. She's got her hands full now, but I'll forever admire her for how she handled the Confederate flag drama that unfurled in the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting in the summer of 2015.

3. U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. — Sasse, I hope, will be a longtime fixture in American policy making. Before entering politics, Sasse earned a doctorate in history from Yale, taught at the University of Texas, and served as president of a liberal arts college in Nebraska among other things. Sasse is a constitutionalist who makes himself readily available to his constituents. So much so that he's an Uber driver in his spare time to score face time with the people he represents.

4. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. — Scott has worked his way up the Palmetto State's political ranks from the Charleston County Council to the U.S. Senate. While I can't say I see eye-to-eye with all of his stances, I do like the way Scott discusses his conservative values and how he handles adversity. He doesn't shy away from who he is and what he believes. Scott also gets, in my opinion, the award for best political Twitter comeback so far in 2017. In January, someone called Scott, the first GOP African-American elected to the Senate from the South since Reconstruction, a "house n****r," apparently for his embrace of Republican causes. His response? One word: "Senate."

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list. However, if I had to start with four, it would be these folks. Who would you start with?

Contact David Allen Martin at and follow him on Twitter @DMart423.