The mag says, in a list just posted on GQ.com, "He knows procedure, he's ruthlessly pragmatic about what is politically achievable, and he knows how and when to twist arms and call in the many favors he's owed. All of which has helped him wrangle fence-sitters when it came to ponying up for the stimulus package, negotiate with the Senate Finance Committee on health care, and keep the liberal and conservative elements of his own party in line."
All people with the last name "Obama" and "Biden" were stricken from the list, eliminating the obvious choices. But as Politico points out, the day-to-day face of the administration, Robert Gibbs, is not anywhere to be found.
What's most noticeable is the influx of new names, reflecting the obvious shift of power in the past year. That still didn't keep Dick Cheney from ranking No. 9, after being ineligible from previous lists.
Among media types, Jane Mayer of the New Yorker and Scott Shane of the New York Times rank No. 27, The mag writes, "Their work has impacted our detention policies and, whether they'd admit it or not, forced the hand of the Obama administration to release the torture memos. Call them journalists, advocates, or pains in the ass of power, what they do is essential."
George Stephanopoulous is the only on-air journalist to make it, ranking No. 31. "The questions he asks—whether informed by his regular conversations with his old pal Rahm or not—are much tougher and more forward-looking than those you get on the other Sunday shows."
Other notables: Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, at No. 37; Bob Cohn, editorial director of The Atlantic.com, at No. 39; White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, at No. 40; Politico editor in chief John Harris, at No. 43; lawyer Robert Barnett, at No. 44; SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein, at No. 45; and restaurateur Ashok Bajaj is No. 47.
As a reminder that in D.C. power is not always about politics, Washington Capitals hockey player Alexander Ovechkin ranks No. 48.
GQ is feting the honorees this evening at 701 Restaurant in D.C, with the list featured in their upcoming November issue.