Rahm Leads List of DC Power Hitters

Gates No. 2 in poll of the capital's most powerful people, from pols to stylists
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2009 3:46 AM CDT
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus "controls the fate of every bill to affect all 300 million Americans," GQ notes.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Scratch the names Obama and Biden from the list and it's Rahm Emanuel who carries the most clout in a city packed with power-brokers, according to a GQ poll of Washington insiders. The "ruthlessly pragmatic" White House chief of staff is a lot more than just a gatekeeper to the president, GQ notes. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates—"the one person that Obama can least afford to push around," according to one analyst—comes in second.

Fed chief Ben Bernanke, Senate Finance Committe Chairman Max Baucus, and budget chief Peter Orszag also made the top 5. Nancy Pelosi comes in at No. 8, and Dick Cheney at No. 9, despite being out of office, while Hillary Clinton ranks 18th. Ikram Goldman, Michelle Obama's unofficial stylist, and restaurateur Ashok Bajaj, the "maestro of downtown power dining," managed to make it into the top 50. Click the link below for the full list.