This is a time of year for lists. While the Summer brings my list of the top political yummy bouncies, this list will be significantly less sexy. While some people think that yummy bouncies run the world, this is not entirely true. The real power rests in the scalps of those we sometimes rarely see.
PBWGs, aka Powerful Bald White Guys, run the world. For those who do not understand PBWGs, watch “Law and Order.”
In 2008, Eliot Spitzer and Fred Thompson would have made the list. Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings has to get to a Super Bowl first. Jon Corzine would have made the list had he not been fired again. Henry Waxman and Brad Sherman might make the list in 2010, but so far they have not accomplished anything.
Most of the people on this list are Republican, but by 2010 the Democrats will have been in office long enough to reverse those numbers.
An honorable mention goes to Chesney Sully Sullenberger. He was definitely the most heroic PBWG of 2009.
Here are the top 10 PBWGs of 2009.
10) Karl Rove–Despite being out of office, make no mistake about it. Every Republican in the country consults him for advice. He is one of the leading political strategists of all time. Democrats are praying he stays retired.
9) Bernie Kerik–Despite a cloud hanging over his head, he is being targeted because he has a ton of influence. People do not get targeted for being powerless. Also, whether or not he slept with Judith Regan is irrelevant. Any man even rumored to bed Judith Regan is powerful, since the whole point of obtaining power is to bed women like Judith Regan.
8) Rudy Giuliani–He is not running for senator, governor, or president. Yet as the lead security consultant to Rio De Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, he will be in the global public eye for years to come.
7) Alan Greenspan–He is the PBWG of the decade. Even though he is out of power, financial markets still hang on his every word. When a retired guy has that much influence, he is on the list.
6) John McCain–Despite losing the 2008 election, he has now settled into his role as elder statesman and leader of the loyal opposition. His war hero status gives him “gravitas.”
5) Dick Cheney–He was a candidate for PBWG of the past decade as well. While McCain leads the opposition in Congress, Cheney leads the opposition as a private citizen, which gives him far more latitude. Joe Biden wishes he were anywhere near as relevant, while trying to plug up his many deficiencies follically and intellectually.
4) David Axelrod–Barack Obama does not make a move without consulting this guy. Everything is political, and this guy plays the hardest of hardball.
3) John Roberts–At first glance this guy has perfect hair. On much closer inspection, he has a bald spot on top. Also, if a list of the top 10 ultra lily white caucasians was compiled, he would top the list. This man can affect every law that is passed.
2) Ben Bernanke–He will most likely be the top PBWG of the next century. He was a very solid choice to be Time’s Person of the Year, although one person ranked above him. He was dealt a nearly impossible situation, and he stayed calm. His steady hand is what leadership is about.
1) Hank Paulson–He should have been Time’s Person of the Year in a close vote. Regardless of whether one supported the bailouts or the stimulus bills, Paulson’s relevance cannot be denied. While Bernanke had to implement the plan, Paulson developed TARP and sold it to Congress. The entire economy hinged on the work of Hank Paulson.
San Diego Chargers @ Tennessee Titans
(Titans by 3, they cover)
Buffalo Bills @ Atlanta Falcons
(Falcons by 9, they win but fail to cover)
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals
(Bengals by 14, they win but fail to cover)
Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns
(Browns by 3 1/2, upset special, Raiders win outright)
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers
(Packers by 14)
Houston Texans @ Miami Dolphins
(Dolphins by 3, they cover)
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
(Steelers by 2 1/2, they cover)
Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants
(Giants by 5.5, they cover)
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots
(Patriots by 7 1/2, they win but fail to cover)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
(Saints by 14.5, they cover)
St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers
Denver Broncos @ Philadelphia Eagles
(Eagles by 7, they win but fail to cover)
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts
(Colts by 5.5, they win but fail to cover)
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
(Cowboys by 4, they win but fail to cover)
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
(Vikings by 7, they win but fail to cover)