Is Eric Cantor really the most powerful person in Washington? Do a couple of party planners and weathercasters really outrank the president of the United States?
Well, if you’re going to get all work up over GQ’s new “50 Most Powerful People in Washington” list, you clearly have no appreciation for the art of the magazine listicle. When Rolling Stone compiles its “best songs of all times,” of course some of the picks will be controversial or demonstrably incorrect — otherwise you wouldn’t care enough to buy it.
In GQ’s third D.C. power ranking since 2007 — on newsstands next week and online Wednesday — editors put the House majority leader at #1, followed by Mitch McConnell, David Plouffe , Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton.
Deeper in, repeat contenders like Grover Norquist, Tony Podesta, John Boehner. And a pair of brothers at #20: Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes and CBS News president David Rhodes. (Mom tells GQ she was annoyed neither called to tell her to turn on TV the night of the bin Laden killing.)
Then it lightens up: José Andrés is #41 (in the VIP restaurateur spot given to Ashok Bajaj and Tommy Jacomo in past years); Comet Ping Pong’s James Alefantis comes in at #49, though curiously without mention of his power-couple other half David Brock; Stephen Strasburg is at #47 (previous lists honored Dan Snyder and Alex Ovechkin).
And congratulations to party-throwing mavens Barbara Martin and Jayne Sandman of BrandLink DC and Svetlana Legetic of Brightest Young Things! They’re at #42. That’s right. But not POTUS (whom GQ never puts on the list). And at #38 — the Washington Post’s own Capital Weather Gang! (Supposedly Jon Favreau checks their blog “obsessively.”)
Disagree with the rankings? Draw up your own rankings and share them with us.
Read earlier: GQ’s “most powerful” 2009: The D.C. power list’s demure debut, 10/15/09