The Daily Telegraph out of the United Kingdom ran a list of the top 100 liberals and conservatives in the US. There were some obvious entries, some surprising entries, and some controversial entries. But I do know a good idea when I see it, so I'm going to do something similar. I don't have the attention span or desire to do 100 liberals and conservatives, so I'll just do 10.
Before I do it, though, let me point out that these are not necessarily my favorite liberals and conservatives. These are the ones I think have the most power, influence, and potential. Let me know what you think.
In the interest of fairness, I will let the liberals go first. :-)
10) Harold Ickes - Hillary may be the candidate running for President, but Ickes is the kingmaker. He cut his teeth in the Clinton White House and is known for being a hard-nosed political force of nature when it comes to Bill and Hillary Clinton. He will do whatever he can to make Hillary a contender. That kind of potential impact on the 2008 race puts him at number 10.
9) Mark Warner - The former Governor of Virginia and current candidate for the US Senate has good looks, decent verbal skills, experience running a government, and a more moderate streak. But the thing that lands him on the list is his youth. He's only 52, which is relatively young in political years. Even if he waits 8 years to run, he will be 60, which would still be young enough to run for President while being old enough to avoid being labled as too green to lead. Watch this man and you will see one of the people who may change Democrat politics as we know them.
8) Michael Moore - Say what you will about his less-than-truthful documentaries, the fact is Moore can bring people from both sides of the aisle together on a subject and make them all agree with him. "Sicko" may not have been as big a movie as "Fahrenheit 911" in terms of box office, but people still relied on what he said about the American health care system to raise concerns. That shows Moore still has power and can use it to move a nation.
7) Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. - Sulzberger, known by many as "Pinch" as a play on his father's nickname "Punch," is the owner and publisher of the New York Times. The print media may be losing readers, but when most of the media outlets in America rely on the Times for what stories to cover and how to cover them, "Pinch" still has an impressive amount of stroke.
6) Bill and Hillary Clinton (tie) - No, this isn't a typo. Bill and Hillary tie for 6th in my list because they rely on each other to give them both credibility. Bill has the looks and the moves, but he lacks credibility with women because of his infidelity. Hillary has instant credibility with women, but lacks the looks and the moves to be an effective leader. In short, for the two of them to have any sort of power, they have to be together in some form. Including on my list.
4) Sen. Joe Lieberman - This is going to be an odd choice to some, but it makes sense in the larger sense of the Senate makeup. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, the Senate has 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 2 Independents. One of the Independents is Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The other? Joe Lieberman. Sanders tends to side with the Democrats, but Lieberman doesn't always. One vote from Lieberman against the Democrats and there's a deadlock. Forget Harry Reid. The real Senate Majority Leader (or in this case Senate Majority Maker) is Joe Lieberman
3) Marcos Moulitsas Zuniga - You may not know the name, but you know the website. Marcos is the creator of DailyKos, an online community for liberals to gather, exchange ideas, and, oh yeah, blame Bush for everything. The Kos influence was felt in the 2006 elections when they helped to defeat Joe Lieberman in the Democrat primary, and they have the goods to do it again in 2008.
2) Barack Obama - The only thing stopping Obama from being #1 is the fact that he doesn't have the kind of influence yet to change the face of the left. But if he stays in politics and stays true to himself, you will see Democrats and their ideological allies shift in a way that will ultimately end the division in this country and make us all Americans again.
1) George Soros - The man has the means to run the Democrat Party because he can deliver two things they want, need, and love: money and votes. And as the money man behind many groups like Media Matters and MoveOn.org, his influence looms large over the modern left. Whether that's positive or negative is yet to be seen in full, but one thing's for certain. Soros will be in the thick of it.
I'll do the top 10 conservatives in the next blog post. See you there!