The 50 Most Powerful People in D.C.
Written and reported by Robert Draper, Sarah Goldstein, Wil S. Hylton, Mark Kirby, Raha Naddaf, Tory Newmyer, and Greg Veis
In the year since we elected our new decider in chief, a lot of things in Washington have changed. Pelosi and Reid are trying to wield their majorities, Tom DeLay is on Dancing with the Stars, and Rahm took over the world. A whole new power structure has emerged. So in order to navigate it, we polled journalists, congressmen, lobbyists, think tankers, and influence peddlers and came up with our biennial list of the men and women who truly have clout—in a city where a lot of people think they do.
41. Joel Benenson
President, Benenson Strategy Group
As Obama's pollster, Benenson went head-to-head with his mentor Mark Penn by insisting that voters valued change over experience. Turns out he was right. Since then, he has become the go-to guy for any politico wanting to take the public's temperature: His client roster now includes Gavin Newsom and Gordon Brown. Photo by G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times/Redux
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