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The Friday Line: Ranking Republican Leaders



Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), Rep. John Boehner (Ohio) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) all make the Fix's list of 10 most influential Republicans. Photos by Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg News and Harry Hamburg/AP Photo

The Republican party at present is, in the words of one smart GOP operative, a chorus of voices without a soloist.

As such, certain voices rise and others fall over the course of months.

Those stepping into the front row of the choir of late include Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; voices that have have quieted in recent months include former Vice President Dick Cheney, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal -- although we hear a Jindal re-emergence is in the offing.

Our look at the 10 most influential Republicans at the moment is below. Remember that this is not a list of who is most likely to win the party's nomination in 2012 and should not be taken as such. Rather, it's an attempt to show the leading voices for a party in rebuilding mode.

Agree or disagree with our picks? The comments section awaits.

Coming Off the Line: Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele, Dick Cheney
Coming On the Line: John Boehner, John Cornyn, Chris Christie

10. John Boehner: Boehner, the party's minority leader in the House, has done something amazing in the first six months of the 111th Congress: kept his members unified. The unanimous "no" vote against President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan earlier this year and the defection of just eight Republicans on the cap and trade vote last month speak to Boehner's ability to keep the conference in line. He also scored major points with the base of the party with his relentless attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) over what she knew and when she knew it regarding the interrogation of terrorists by the C.I.A. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. Mitch McConnell: The Kentucky Senator has retreated into the background somewhat in recent weeks but as the chief legislative strategist for Senate Republicans, McConnell will be at the center of the fights over health care and cap and trade this summer and fall. For those who doubt McConnell's effectiveness, go back and look at how he drove the Gitmo debate from the floor of the Senate. (Previous ranking: 10)

8. John Cornyn: The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee has had a good run of things lately. He successfully recruited credible candidates in Illinois and New Hampshire and has seen the NRSC's decision to wade into contested primaries pay off in Missouri and Florida. Cornyn's momentum was slowed somewhat by his uneven performance in the Sotomayor hearings -- he couldn't seem to decide whether or not to go after her or throttle it back -- although he did set himself up to cast a "regrettable no" vote on her confirmation that will complicate Democrats' efforts to paint him as anti-Latino. (Previous ranking: N/A)

7. Newt Gingrich: The former House Speaker drops a few slots on this month's Line as several Republican strategists painted his fourth place showing in a recent Gallup poll looking at the 2012 field as decidedly disappointing given that Gingrich is working hard behind the scenes to build support. Still, the first vote in Iowa is still two and a half years away and Gingrich's role as the "ideas" guy in the Republican party virtually ensures him a permanent spot on this Line. (Previous ranking: 2)

6. Tim Pawlenty: Pawlenty is on the rise in the Line as, although he hasn't done much publicly yet, the Fix keeps hearing stories of the leg work (financial, staff etc) that Tpaw is doing behind the scenes. The collapse of Sen. John Ensign (Nev.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.) thins the 2012 field, which gives Pawlenty more room to run. Expect Pawlenty to emerge (and go higher on the Line) as summer turns to fall. (Previous ranking: 6)

5. Haley Barbour: Sanford's implosion installed Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, as chairman of the Republican Governors Association about six months earlier than had been planned. That's a good thing for the candidates in Virginia and New Jersey who will directly benefit from Barbour's strategic know-how. Barbour would almost certainly be higher on the Line if he was not considering a run for president in 2012. He is more powerful as a kingmaker in a national race than as a candidate in his own right. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Bob McDonnell: The party's nominee in the Virginia governor's race this fall has an even money (or slightly better) chance of taking the seat back for Republicans -- a win that, if it comes to pass, will be painted as a national referendum on Obama's presidency. (Previous ranking: 4)

3. Chris Christie: The more we look at this November's New Jersey gubernatorial race, the more convinced we become that Christie, a former U.S. Attorney, is going to beat Gov. Jon Corzine (D). Now, campaigns matter and there is still plenty of time for Corzine to make up ground. But, he hasn't yet and that puts Christie in the catbird's seat. A Republican win in true-blue New Jersey would turn Christie into a national figure in much the same way that Christie Todd Whitman's victory in the Garden State way back in 1993 established her as a player at the national level. Christie seems to sense the opportunity to be the moderate voice for the GOP; he came out in favor of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation this morning. (Previous ranking: N/A)

2. Sarah Palin: The Alaska governor has been ranked as high as number one on this Line and as low as number nine. That yo-yoing effect is a reflection of the Fix's difficulty in wrapping our arms around what Palin means in the party, what she plans to do with her political future and how seriously she needs to be taken. On the one hand, her stunning July 3 resignation seemed impetuous and her resignation speech was the sort of stream of consciousness ramble that is not advisable for a politician at any level. On the other, the fact that she raised $733,000 for her Sarah PAC in the first six months of the year despite having no organization to speak of and with the dominant narrative around her during that time being the chaos of her personal and political life. We decided to put Palin so high on the Line for one reason: is there any other Republican you can think of who, if she runs for president, will be a favorite in two -- Iowa and South Carolina -- of the first four states to vote for president in the primaries? (Previous ranking: 9)

1. Mitt Romney: Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and a 2008 presidential candidate, is the most complete package on the Republican side of the aisle. His recent fundraising report -- in which he collected $1.6 million over the first six months of 2009 and doled it out to states like New Hampshire and South Carolina -- make clear he is running for president again (we never doubted it). And, Romney continues to do the sort of policy-centric things -- op-eds, appearances on Sunday talk shows -- to keep him on the leading edge of the issue debate in the party. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 17, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Comments

"As a matter of fact, if they are FOR something, i know automatically that it must be an awful idea. Luckily, they are never FOR anything." tmcproductions 2004.

Ya know, tmc, your likely a liberal and as such you don't support things Republicans stand for. But we do believe in alot of things. We believe in lower taxes, letting people keep their own money and spend it how they see fit, we believe that small businesses have the right to keep their money and grow & hire people creating jobs. You, as a liberal, likely believe in higher taxes, forcing people to give their money to the government and letting government spread the wealth in a communist society and sticking even more taxes to business so they have to downsize & government can be the nation's primary employer so we all have the exact same amount no matter who works hard & who doesn't. You see, as a Republican I believe in positive rewards for those who work hard. You as a liberal don't believe in personal freedoms & economic security of those who earn it. Republicans believe in a strong national defense to keep this nation safe and secure. You, as a liberal, believe that we should downsize our military & try to negotiate with anyone who even so much as invades. We believe in national security, you liberals don't believe in anything on ntl. security. Republicans believe in morals that brought this nation to the heights it is in now: marriage between 1 man & 1 woman, we believe in the sanctity of life, we believe in the right of each person to bear arms & we believe in the Constitution of the United States of America. Most liberals have no real morals and have no idea what they believe in. We Conservatives are ridiculed because we do have strong beliefs by cowards to afraid to believe in anything.

Posted by: reason5 | July 20, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The basic principles of the Republican party need to be overhauled. And it will not be done by these old,southern, white, homophobic, creationists.

until they make the leap into the new millenium with the rest of us, no one but the media and their "base", will ever listen to a thing they say.

As a matter of fact, if they are FOR something, i know automatically that it must be an awful idea. Luckily, they are never FOR anything.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | July 19, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on, it's Limbaugh. They all grovel to him. Graham got shoved back into line when he didn't go hard enough on Sotomayor. Steele went to his knees and begged forgiveness. Limbaugh isn't running for office but he's the guy who dictates the tone and his audience is all the GOP has left

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 19, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

by far the most infleuntial republicans are inorder1.john ensign.2.mark sanford.3. vitters 4. craig.5.spitzer[because he acts like a republican]

Posted by: donaldtucker | July 19, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Boehner - it's easy to keep the troops inline when you're leading a homogeneous group (nobody here but us hard-right conservatives) like the House GOP.

McConnell - he's a leader of the GOP by default. The party leader of the Senate is always some kind of leader. Otherwise he's not moving the earth for me.

Cornyn - what sort of leadership did he show in the Sotomayor hearings? All hat, no cattle.

Gingrich - he may be a Thought-Leader of the GOP but otherwise he's miserable wretch appealing to the GOP base but otherwise is poison to the rest of us on Planet Earth.

Pawlenty - as Stephen Colbert said, it's like watching Ambien colored paint dry.

Barbour - he looks like a good ol' boy the GOP is so chock-full of. Good Ol' Boys will not fly in 2012.

McDonnell - his election will be a referendum on Obama or it won't. That in a nutshell is how the GOP will Monday-morning quarterback the VA Gov's race. It was a referendum if McDonnell wins otherwise it was just a matter of a poorly run race by McDonnell and means nothing else in the scheme of things.

Christie - ditto.

Palin - her fans in the GOP may have undying love for her, but her early exit from the AK Gov'ship isn't a good thing in the long-run, 2012, 2016 or ever.

Romney - he's not the paint drying he's the paint itself. He'll adhere to every nook and cranny so he cab appeal to Palin and Huckabee's fans.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | July 19, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@ChrisFox - I'd heard the term in a different context recently.
Say, the FBI, CIA, and NSA have a working joint task force on terrorism. I think that's the kind of thing scrivener has in mind.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 19, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

- Scrivener tends to go after anyone who gets sick of reading the same conspiracy theories over and over (and over and over and over...) again.

==

There's another one over at The Precinct, EJ Dionne's blog. Conversation there is slower than here and a little more highbrow, at least when the trolls aren't filling it up e the same BS they do here.

There's a frequent poster over there goes by "MiltonG1" and has an avatar of a hooded statue looking downward, presumably to demonstrate this buffoon's high opinion of himself. You think scrivener is repetitive .. this guy claims to be a physicist yet shows no empiricism in his thinking, which is the usual free-market tax-cut BS, but with a really odd twist .. the guy has an obsession with "collectivism" and sees it as the unifying principle behind everything of "the left." It's creepy in a way scrivener isn't, because scrivener is clearly psychotic whereas this guy is just another lying shill.

Scrivener is obsessed with this nutty "energy weapon" thing, the other guy sees "leftist" conspiracies everywhere.

It may have been different at one time but nowadays the right wing is ALL ABOUT nutty conspiracies.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

What's a fusion center?

The one thing it's clearly not is a power station. Fusion power is as far away as it ever was.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

...and quote antisemite Westbrook Pegler... and not read any newspapers...and not ever gain a first-grader's grasp of geography...and avoid any live interview with a legitimate journalist on any topic...and be the target of more than ten ethics investigations...and insult trombonist Gregory Charles Royal and his friends...and go to five colleges before "earning" a degree...

==

One REALLY needs to wonder what kind of underachiever looks up to Palin. Anyone who sees her as smart has to be not only dumb but exceptionally so, as in not playing with a full deck dumb.

There is one skill she actually has down cold, and that's the whole dog-whistle racism thing. Her adept use of coded put-downs reflects a lifetime of manipulative practice, finely honed by years of nastiness and exploiting negative emotions to get her way.

The kind of person who belongs in a basement apartment with no friends, not in the White House with the nuclear football.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd put my money on Romney securing the GOP nomination in 2012.

Posted by: bpai_99 | July 18, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@ Lisa421 - Scrivener tends to go after anyone who gets sick of reading the same conspiracy theories over and over (and over and over and over...) again. ChrisFox8 is a particular target. My favorites were the scribbler parodies.

Then again, what do I know? I'm just an unknowing cog in the government's fusion center. I'm in so deep, I don't even realize that I'm part of the center.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 18, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"And [Phalin] still finds time to quote Reagan, Thomas Paine and even Aristotle!"
__________
...and quote antisemite Westbrook Pegler... and not read any newspapers...and not ever gain a first-grader's grasp of geography...and avoid any live interview with a legitimate journalist on any topic...and be the target of more than ten ethics investigations...and insult trombonist Gregory Charles Royal and his friends...and go to five colleges before "earning" a degree...

Nuff said.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 18, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

The term "Republican leader" is almost becoming an oxymoron. Were it not for likely overreach and excessive hubris by Obama, as well as most Democrats in Congress, the GOP could be on the verge of following the examples of the Federalist party after the war of 1812, the Whig party after the uproar in much of the north about the Kansas-Nebraska act and the brief appearance of the Know-Nothing party during the late 1850's.

The best hope the party of Lincoln has of ever winning the White House and/or at least one house in Congress is to open its current narrow ideological right wing tent to moderates. They need to discard their obsession with helping the rich, show genuine concern for the needy, especially in the area of health care, support stronger law enforcement and seek to end reverse discrimination, aka as affirmative action programs. Otherwise the Republican party is likely to remain in the political wilderness for at least another decade, which unless they become more of a moderate party, is in the best interests of the nation.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | July 18, 2009 2:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't think "lead" is quite the word, but let Palin be the face of the GOP, that'll certainly ensure they remain on the outside for years and years.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 18, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm delighted with the notion that Palin will lead the Republican Party in 2012 and wish her all luck in that endeavor.

Posted by: nodebris | July 17, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but Limbaugh is still the most influential voice, whether he's gotten many recent column inches in the Post or not. What, Pawlenty is more influential? Christie? Give me a break.

Posted by: nodebris | July 17, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

And Palin with her "real Americans" talk ISN'T a religious bigot?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I like Palin and Romney. Together, they've got all the bases covered.

I would never vote for Huckabee. Yes, he's clever. Yes, he plays the guitar. And I agree with 80% of what he says. But the man is a religious bigot. Always has been a bigot, and will still be a religous bigot in 2012.

Posted by: WeNeedSkills | July 17, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

And he kept on repeating that he was against Harriet Meiers getting on the bench, as though he'd made a point.

Uh, she wasn't remotely qualified. Sotomayor is.

Funny, when the GOP tries to appear open to minorities, they pick someone like Clarence Thomas.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Buchanan sounded hysterical, like a man whose world is ending, or whose religion has just been exposed as a fraud.

He used to be a potent debater on "Crossfire," now he just sounds like a complete nut.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 7:49 PM
_________
Agreed.

I hadn't planned to watch Maddow last night but I'm glad I did. An historical moment.

I disagree that Maddow got the better of him (he basically launched into an uncontested supremacist rant), but it didn't matter because he blew himself up. It'll be interesting to see if MSNBC keeps putting him on, or whether he'll go "on vacation" for awhile.

Have to give him credit for one thing: he really went for it...totally unhinged.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 17, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The Rachel Maddow/Pat Buchanan "white power" post on HuffPo, positioned under a post about the junior KKK, now has 3157 comments. Amazing. Palin level numbers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/17/rachel-maddow-takes-on-pa_n_237146.html

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 17, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Buchanan sounded hysterical, like a man whose world is ending, or whose religion has just been exposed as a fraud.

He used to be a potent debater on "Crossfire," now he just sounds like a complete nut.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

What the hell is wrong with his eyes?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Pat Buchanan, hands down.

It was Rush, not it's Pat B.

His 15 minute, red faced, out-of-control white supremacist rant/meltdown on Rachel Maddow (covered by the entire internet HuffPo, Kos, Democratic underground, etc.)was his Imus, Al Campanis, Jimmy the Greek, Bob Grant -- take your pick -- moment.

Pat took the rhetoric of Von Brunn, Hannity, Rush, and Hal Turner and took it to a whole new level.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/17/rachel-maddow-takes-on-pa_n_237146.html

Rachel gamely attempted to argue with him (he talked over her IMO) but basically she let him hang himself as Imus et al. finally did.

When asked why 108 of the 110 justices had been white, Pat took the bait and went for it...right off the cliff:

"White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks, who were 90% of the nation in 1960 when I was growing up and the other 10% were African-Americans who had been discriminated against. That's why."

Mediamatters.org's Jamison Foser has compiled a kind of Pat Buchanan's greatest racist and antisemite hits (the ones MSNBC ignores when it keeps putting him on the air as "conservative analyst").

Foser states accurately, "Pat Buchanan's bigoted comments are not merely an aspect of his public persona; if they are not what he is best known for, they should be. MSNBC needs to explain why they are not disqualifying."

A link to Buchanan's greatest, er, "hits" (you won't believe how bad it gets):
http://mediamatters.org/columns/200906080008

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 17, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

At least gary4205 is not getting accused of actually being JakeD.

==

Like it really makes any operational difference.

You GOP trolls are as interchangeable as piston rods

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

How you could justify leaving Huckabee off this list of most influential Republicans is beyond me. In fact, you lose all credibility as a hack for Romney.

Romney's problem is that for every position he takes you can almost always find an instance where he has taken the other side. Add to that his massive insincerity and craveness and you have someone who will appeal to that faction of the GOP which is floating off to oblivion.

Posted by: colinashley | July 17, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Forever!!!

Long live The Quit Bull!!!!

When she is POTUS and Al Qaeda says mean things about her, first she will talk about how hurt Piper is, then she will resign.

And Cilliza will love Palin even more when she is The Secong GOP Pres to quit and write about how maybe it is Piper Palin's turn.

(((I think Cilliza is emblematic of what The Washingtimes wannabe Fred Hiatt "Soul for sale" Post is today.

(((The Post should bring back Debbie Howell and have her and David Broder tell us what happened to the dinosaurs.

((Bah!

Posted by: wapoisrightwingrag | July 17, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Christie, up-and-coming just like Whitman -- was. Always more popular outside of NJ than inside. Left town before the lynching mob could get her for her sweetheart contracts, state police racial profiling scandals, and rising property taxes due to business tax cuts. Thanks. Catapulted to EPA administrator under president Cheney. What a career enhancer. Chris Christie following in those footsteps. All I can say again is thanks. I wish soeone could tell me what his REAL name is.

Posted by: ebabin | July 17, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

To jasperanselm, why stop there? Just think what if EVERYONE posting here under different names from the "right wing" position really is just one person, like scrivener50 has been saying? Maybe you can dismiss us all easier if you simply claim that we (I) suffer from multiple-personality disorder?

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

And I completely forgot to actually comment on the blog post itself. Brevity is not my strong suit.

I definitely agree with the No. 1 and No. 2 picks. Mitt Romney isn't the only guy suggesting alternatives to the current spending model under the Democratic leadership, but coming off the 2008 election, he's easily the most visible. I have no doubt a large percentage of Republicans ended up with buyer's remorse when the economy became the central issue of the election after they were already stuck with John McCain rather than Romney. Romney's not going to be able to influence whether the stimulus works as President Obama has planned, but he's laying the groundwork for a rise if it doesn't.

Sarah Palin, for all my doubts about her effectiveness in the long run, is the -- not to put too fine a point on it -- pretty face of the Republican party right now, and as much as the political enthusiasts who frequent the Fix might not like it, recognizability sells.

I also agree with putting Haley Barbour and Newt Gingrich on the list, though Gingrich is going to need to keep himself a little bit more behind the scenes if he wants to be effective. Folks who didn't like the way he did things back in the '90s will have an easy time remembering a name like Newt Gingrich.

The only quibble I might have is with John Boehner. The Republican members of the House may be pretty consistent in their opposition to Obama's policies, but I don't know how much of an effect Boehner has had on that; the "everything Obama does is wrong" tactic is too overarching for it to be creditable to him, methinks. And though he might just be a name and a quote on a national scale, here in his home state of Ohio, he's not much to look at these days.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | July 17, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

If I may point to one facet of gary4205's post...

"Destroying the country" is a funny thing, isn't it? George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were both accused of it; Bush, the naysayers said, was going to take away all our freedoms and bankrupt us in Iraq, and Clinton, the naysayers said, was going to go all big government on everybody's tuckus and morally bankrupt us, whatever that meant. And yet, they both got re-elected. George H.W. Bush wasn't held up to such country-destroying scrutiny, but he lost his re-election bid.

I doubt a 2012 presidential bid by Sarah Palin would be as unrefined as all that, but based on recent history, I think we can say that accusing President Obama of "destroying the country," either directly or by the folks manning the hype machine, would most assuredly hurt her more than it would help her.

Not that I really expect her to be the nominee in 2012. More likely, she'll go the Hillary Clinton route -- she'll be hyped up for years as the undisputed frontrunner, only to fail to live up to the hype for a variety of reasons that most of the general public won't have seen coming. And that's assuming a scandal, legitimate or blown out of proportion, doesn't bring her down in the interim. Every politician's got a few skeletons in the closet, and if the entity that loves Palin the most is the Republican base, the tabloids are an easy No. 2.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | July 17, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Nope, gary and jakey definitely occupy different rooms in the idiot asylum.

Posted by: jasperanselm | July 17, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

At least gary4205 is not getting accused of actually being JakeD.

Posted by: Lisa421 | July 17, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Move over JakeD, TheFix has a new idiot!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And her tweets are a daily record of all of her accomplishments in Alaska. It's unbelievable just how busy she is and how much she does.

==

(*guffaw*)

No, what's unbelievable is how many opportunities she's let slip away.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

President Palin...
OMG....in pink no doubt!

I NEED AN OLD PRIEST AND A YOUNG PRIEST!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

mccain--he may still....what?
be alive?
you will get the nomination when you pry it from my cold dead fingers....!

it was 1994 I believe...
Baby Bush chose to run for Gov. against Richards 4 years prior to Poppy's plan.
It was JEb's time ya know.
Baby Bush changed our history by choosing that gubernatorial run.
By 4 years.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"Bush the Younger was a gubernatorial candidate in '96 while Clinton was trouncing Dole, a smart strategic move by the RNC to set him up for 2000."

It's interesting. Supposedly George Bush was expected to lose to Ann Richards while Jeb Bush was expected to win in Florida which would then springboard him to a Presidential candidacy. However, George won while Jeb lost and a few years later, George ran and became elected President instead of Jeb.

Although I think the year was 1994, not 1996. (Jeb went on to win in 1998)

Posted by: DDAWD | July 17, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"59 million just voted for her in November."

lol what a dope this gary is. This would be the first time in American history a vice presidential candidate claimed the votes were for her and not her running mate.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 17, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: gary4205: Palin will be key to that. The nomination is hers if she wants it. She will be the one taking the Oath of Office on January 20, 2013.
-----------------------------


Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

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Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Good list, except for Pawlenty. This guy has the personality of a wet dish rag. Also has no real accomplishments that stand out.

As noble effort as your list is, there is really only one name that matters on it, and that's Sarah Palin.

As you point out, America's Governor raised over $700,000 with absolutely no effort whatsoever. Her PAC staff is what, just Meg and one other person?

And don't forget, after her Independence Speech, where she announced she was redeploying her efforts to the national effort, an additional $200,000 came flying in making her haul almost a million dollars.

Put that in perspective. Romney doesn't have a day job. He is going all over raising money, has a mature and competent staff doing the same. And yet, Palin basically sets up a website, has some web ads, and because of Alaska's insane democrats, does absolutely nothing else, and raises almost as much as Mitt did after working at it!

Hmmm.

Palin will be speaking in California at the Reagan Library in August, and has already been invited to headline in Iowa.

Absolutely no one can fill up an arena like Palin can. And Sarah Palin connects with people like no one else in politics, including Him. 59 million just voted for her in November.

After the 26th of July, she will no longer have the George Soros funded, Barack Obama and DNC directed loons that have paralyzed her Government to deal with.

She already has a larger twitter following than Jindal, Romney, Huckabee,Pawlenty, and Rick Perry combined, with about 25,000 to spare.

And her tweets are a daily record of all of her accomplishments in Alaska. It's unbelievable just how busy she is and how much she does.

And she still finds time to quote Reagan, Thomas Paine and even Aristotle!

She has already announced that her new twitter account won't be so politically correct. As she has been talking to the nation for some time, now that she can do it unrestricted, look for her to really go to town. If I was Barack Obama, I'd wear a cup!

Sarah already understands the internet better than anyone else. She has a serious network of internet supporters ready to go. All she has to do is ask, and this bunch will do absolutely ANYTHING she asks of them.

No body else has anything even close to this deal. Not even the GOP itself.

And we haven't even gotten to 2010. She has promised to help like minded politicians get elected, She will be the key to taking back the House and winning more seats in the Senate. Again, anyone she campaigns for will have huge enthusiastic crowds, and plenty of money rolling in.

And as Obama is destroying America faster than if you went out and rounded up Al Qaeda and brought them here, gave them suitcase nukes, and told them to have fun, he's already a lame duck prez. He will not be re-elected!

Palin will be key to that. The nomination is hers if she wants it.

She will be the one taking the Oath of Office on January 20, 2013.

Posted by: gary4205 | July 17, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of pathetic losers!

Posted by: DrainYou | July 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

These may be the most interesting Republicans, but they are NOT the most influencial. Pawlenty, McDonnell, Christie may be worth watching, but they are not influencing anyone. California, Arizona (and other states) are at or near financial collapse because of the influence of one person: Grover Norquist. Why can't he break through on this list?

Posted by: cybridge | July 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"Having listened to Sen. Al Franken's questioning of Sotomayor on the internet neutrality issue, I'm thinking that just maybe, it takes a comic satirist to defend freedom of speech, freedom from illegal searches and seizures, and -- if Senator Al becomes familiar with this emerging human rights issue -- freedom from microwave and laser radiation assault."


From the most recent comments posted to:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"


Posted by: scrivener50 | July 17, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

- I can think of one: Governor Mike Huckabee....To refresh your memory Chris, he WON in IA and finished a close second (3%) in SC.

==

But that was before McCain got the nod and selected Palin. Since then she's sucked all the social-conservative oxygen out of the room, leaving little for Mike "Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff" Huckabee.

Huck comes across as a nice guy. Palin comes across as vindictive and nasty. Don't forget what sort of voter we're talking about here.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"The Line" On apparent government malicious tampering with, and censorship of, telecommunications...

STILL MORE APPARENT DIRTY FUSION CENTER TRICKS

See most recent comments following this ACLU blog post:

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate/#comments

OR

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 17, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Oops... meant '68 for Nixon.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 17, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, there are always people jockeying for position, but like in the Tour de France, the serious contenders don't make their public moves early.

This is admittedly an anecdotal analysis, but it seems to me that most successful modern presidential candidates have made their move during or after the preceding campaign.

Obama tested the waters at the 2004 Dem convention while still a Senate candidate but didn't start seriously until after the 2004 election was over.

Bush the Younger was a gubernatorial candidate in '96 while Clinton was trouncing Dole, a smart strategic move by the RNC to set him up for 2000.

Clinton wan't even on the national radar in '88 but was the only Democrat who seemed to sense that Bush the Elder would be vulnerable in '92.

Reagan and the elder Bush were exceptions, as Reagan had challenged Ford in '76 and Bush was well-established as VP to Reagan.

However, Carter and Nixon came out of nowhere and oblivion respectively in '76 and '72. Johnson inherited the job, so he doesn't count. Kennedy waited until after the '56 election to start his ball rolling. Eisenhower was also a last minute entry, slipped by Robert Taft in the primary and the cruised to victory in the general.

If the White House changes parties, the winner has been someone relatively new to winning party's national leadership (Nixon being an exception, though rising from the ashes as he did he might have well been).

If a party holds the White House (e.g. Reagan to Bush I, Kennedy to Johnson, FDR to Truman, Coolidge to Hoover, Teddy Rooseveldt to Taft) the successor is an establishment candidate and in three of my five examples a vice president--two of whom got the job initially by the death of their boss.

So we know Obama is running again in 2012. Who the 2016 frontrunners are probably won't start sorting itself out until the 2014 elections.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 17, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"We decided to put Palin so high on the Line for one reason: is there any other Republican you can think of who, if she runs for president, will be a favorite in two -- Iowa and South Carolina -- of the first four states to vote for president in the primaries?"
- I can think of one: Governor Mike Huckabee....To refresh your memory Chris, he WON in IA and finished a close second (3%) in SC.

Posted by: stevenscholl | July 17, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

mstratas :
i agree.
massive free for all. And to think they put Rush as their "public spokesperson" out there for so long while the mess is going on still.
he's either killed the RNC or will kill it.
(if not already dead).

Republicans must stop playing the game of politics and start playing the game of elected official hired by the people.

What good is it to say "i am the one that votes NO on every democratic president's proposals (bills)"...
when that proposal you arbitrarily voted no on---
helps the American people.

Same with Dems that get a Rep president and consistently vote NO on the Rep. Pres. bill ---
simply to say "i am the one that stands out".
Then, we the american people, start thinking........
hey...do you even read the 600 to 1000 pages that every bill probably contains?

No...you look at the sponsor and automatically decide YOUR VOTE is a NO.
It's saddening. Based on the sponsor of the bill, their vote is decided.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

3 and 4 seem a bit of a stretch for nominees. However, I take that as a 2009 only thing as the paucity of races is going to lift the prominence of anyone running.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | July 17, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

mesondk writes
"If the Democrats are dominant now, then the most important Republican is the one Obama would turn to first if he needed help, and that is McCain-once a warrior, always a warriors and committed to public service rather than private interest."

That is an interesting metric. But I think by that metric Lugar beats McCain.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 17, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Think the more influential Republicans are those who are not posturing for position but seeking the national interest and likely to be so recognized by the current administration, therefore:
Lugar, for being the first to endorse Sotomayor, recognizing her qualifications; Lindsey Graham, for being reasonable in questioning and indicating his military/legal background; and
JOHN MCCAIN-once again the most bipartisan of Republicans, trying to save money by not buying excess F-22s. If the Democrats are dominant now, then the most important Republican is the one Obama would turn to first if he needed help, and that is McCain-once a warrior, always a warriors and committed to public service rather than private interest.

Posted by: mesondk | July 17, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse


yeah, Lindsay Graham.
Wasn't he simply adorable at the hearings?

My designer was just DYING to know if he was wearing his Italian loafers!!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Gallenod writes
"There won't be any serious jockeying for position in the Democratic party until the 2012 presidential race, at which point some favored potential 2016 nominees will get speaking slots at the 2012 convention."

Watch for hints at who has party influence through PAC donations & help fundraising. The 2010 election cycle will show signs of jockeying for position within the party.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 17, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

re: Democratic list suggestion

As the Democrats are in power, their hierarchy is pretty well set: Obama, Biden, Pelosi, and Reid at the top, followed by the Clintons and any number of senior senators. There won't be any serious jockeying for position in the Democratic party until the 2012 presidential race, at which point some favored potential 2016 nominees will get speaking slots at the 2012 convention.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 17, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

None of these Republicans are worthy of ranking - it's a free for all. Until one of them shows some statesmanship, maturity, graciousness and common sense, some ideas; instead, of caterwauling against anything and everything that Pres. Obama does.

Posted by: mstratas | July 17, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

he's on tour

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

repulsives needs all the help they can get.

i agree with chris on the list.
except Palin is going to whip Romney

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 17, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Oops, forgot one: Whatever happened to Eric Cantor? He was making waves for a while but seems to have disappeared from the news lately. Did he upstage Boehner one too many times and get muzzled?

Posted by: Gallenod | July 17, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

How about a list of the top Democratic leaders, if only for some equal time? Surely the Democratic leaders list is important because there may be powerful people that we just don't see out in front of the cameras.

Posted by: psears2 | July 17, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Christie and McDonnell might be a little premature. If they become governors, they should definitely be in the top 5 on the list. At the moment, however, they are only candidates.

Then again, that they're on the list may simply be a reflection of how unexciting the other choices are.

Newt Gingrich is a brilliant guy and was "the" idea man behind the Republicans takover of Congress in 1994. He'll be a major player, but mostly behind the scenes and only if the red-meat ideologues can sit still and listen long enough for him to educate them.

Romney's not leading he party; he's setting himself up as the next also-ran to become a Republican presidential nominee (see Dole, Bob). He is not yet beloved by the base, so #1 is too high rating.

I'm surprised Lindsey Graham didn't make the list. He took point on a lot of Republicans' favorite issues during the Sotomayor confirmation hearings which should get him some credit within the party. Steele should get more credit for fundraising, but he's keeping a low profile.

Palin is Palin. She will always have a constituency within the party, but no "establishment" Republican wants her as their standard-bearer.

In reality, the top two or three slots on the list should simply be left vacant to illustrate the disarray the Republicans are in at present.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Jindal is doing what Palin should be doing. Which is to shut up and govern. I'm sure he's exploring the possibility of a run and has his finger in the air, but while doing that, he's building up his creds. If he can turn Louisiana around or at least make some dramatic improvements, that will mean a lot more than a whole bunch of face time on FOX News.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 17, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Palin is ranked too high. If she's an influential voice, she's presumably saying something. I don't see how appearing in Runner's World, claiming she can beat the President in a footrace and stepping down as Governor after half a term amount to being an influential republican leader. Her op-ed on the proposed cap and trade regulation was poorly written and criticized or ignored in the media - with the possible exceptions of Barnes & Kristol, nobody's holding that piece up saying "Here's an important voice within the GOP." I can see keeping her on the list because she clearly is a prominent Republican. But I don't see how she can be ranked so high, when nobody's looking to her for direction - they merely look to her to help raise funds.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 17, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This isn't really about who's leading the GOP, this is a ranking of who's getting in the news.

Romney leading the GOP? He's not even in office. He's raising money for elections in the distant future. So what. He's a boring "bottom line" guy in a shiny suit. Nice hair.

Sarah Palin? Another pretext for getting this stupid woman in the news. She's leaving office as an unmitigated quitter, any candidacy involving her guarantees a well-funded and successful opposition. She's not smart and she's not going to get any smarter, nor more disciplined, and outside the teabagger contingent everyone should be pretty tired of her limited bag of tricks, real soon now.

Boehner? Organizing the tantrums of sore losers. Nice tan.

Pawlenty? The rest? Please. A collection of snoozelords.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Not an original thinker in the lot. All members of the flat earth society.

Posted by: dganderson13 | July 17, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I agree with dropping Steele from the list. The RNC has taken in almost $20 million in the last three months and has over $23 million on hand with no debt. That's a lot of cash to distribute with only 2 Governors races on tap this fall.

Gotta give a brother props for raking in the benjamins. Or something like that.

Posted by: mnteng | July 17, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow lookit the chin on McConnell

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 17, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those rankings.

Posted by: JakeD | July 17, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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