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Look to Virginia for rising political stars

Rosalind Helderman

'Tis the season for end of year lists.

The NBC political team behind First Read, Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro, is out today with their list of the top ten political risers, not just of 2009, but of the whole decade. And, wouldn't you know, three Virginians made the cut.

The two declared that "no current Republican congressman has risen so far, so fast" as Eric Cantor, and ranked him seventh on their list. Just behind him at number eight came Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, who the pair note started the decade as the little-known mayor of Richmond and ended as a major state governor, vice presidential finalist and DNC chairman. "What's next?" they mused. Indeed.

Finally, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell made the list at ninth, his recent electoral win making him "an instant star in his party" and "an automatic VP possibility (or higher?)" the two wrote.

To cap it off, both of Virginia's Democratic senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb, were given honorable mentions. Is it any wonder following politics in Virginia is a blast?

Now how about a look ahead: What Virginia politicians do you think will the state's fastest climbers of the next 10 years? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 23, 2009; 4:21 PM ET
Categories:  Eric Cantor , James Webb , Mark Warner , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Ken Cuccinelli
B. Comstock
J. LeMunyon
John Brownlee
Bob Marshall

Posted by: joshstlouis | December 23, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Let’s see how far Citizen Kaine’s star rises after the 2010 Mid-term elections.

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVirginia | December 24, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Having failed to elect a Democrat successor, Tim Kaine is dead politically. The best he can hope for is some sub-cabinet job in a one-term Obama Administration. Thereafter, he will fade into a well-earned political obscurity.

Webb and even more so Warner will have a hard time hanging onto their Senate seats in 2012 and 2014, respectively, as the moderate/conservative backlash against the Obama/Pelosi far-too-left agenda sweeps the Commonwealth. Webb clearly sees that he could get swept out of office in the wake of an Obama defeat in 2012; Warner so far seems less aware of his upcoming political demise.

Posted by: BertofOldTownAlexandria | December 24, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree about Bob Marshall but I would add two potential rising stars are Del. Chris Peace who represents part of Hanover County and Sen. Ryan McDougle who represents most of Hanover and parts of several other counties.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bowling might have places yet to go - either Governor or US Senate.

Sandy Sanders

Posted by: eesjresquire | December 24, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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