The Top 10 PBWGs of 2010
Yesterday brought us the Top 10 Powerful Bald White Guys of the previous decade.
Now it is time to get into the Top 10 PBWGs of 2010.
As always, honorary mentions must be given to the original PBWGs, that being the ones on Law and Order barking orders authoritatively. Fred Thompson’s Arthur Branch came and went, as did Tom Everett Scott’s fantastic Eliot Spitzer based character Governor Donald Shalvoy. Yet the epitome of the Law and Order PBWGs is the character of Captain Donald Cragen, originally on the original and now on SVU.
Another honorable mention should be given to the actor in the Geico Gekko commercials. He might be better for a list of Talentless Bald White Guys, but maybe he wants us to think he is talentless. As an actor, he plays the role perfectly.
Florida Governor Rick Scott and California Governor Jerry Brown will most likely make the list in 2011, but until they actually govern I will reserve judgment. James Carville and Karl Rove are both still eagerly sought out by politicos in their respective political parties. Yet no matter how many television shows they go on, they are off the list until they become official advisers to somebody.
With that, here are the Top 10 PBWGs of 2010.
10) Silvio Berlusconi–The Prime Minister of Italy keeps losing his job, and keeps coming back. The fact that Italy seems to change governments every couple of months makes Berlusconi’s staying power all the more impressive. He is a staunch backer of the United States and Israel, but even had he never gone into politics, he still would have been Italy’s most powerful media figure. Even remove his title and he is a billionaire. How does a 72 year old man get to sleep with 18 year olds? Again, he is a billionaire. Men who find that behavior revolting are either jealous or cowering because their wives are in the room.
9) Daniel Hannan–He is the British version of Alex De Tocqueville. This British legislator is unabashedly pro-American, and is screaming at the top of his lungs for America not to follow the failed path of Europe. His screeds are must see television. If America and England get their acts together, it will be in no small part to his counsel.
8.) Irving Picard–This influential private citizen is more than just an attorney. He is the lawyer suing beneficiaries of a previous PBWG, Bernie Madoff. By going after profits that he considers ill gotten gains, he has the power to make many investors whole again. A recent 7 billion dollar settlement with one widow means he has now recovered half the defrauded money. That is impressive.
7) Scott Rasmussen/Doug Schoen–These guys are actually not the same person. Rasmussen is a Republican pollster while Schoen is a Democratic one. They are both near the center, and frequently work together. Schoen has been excoriated lately for having the nerve to put his own polling integrity above massaging the numbers to keep the base happy. Rasmussen is the same. By ignoring the unscientific public opinion polls, these men are widely respected for bringing polling results that are considered trustworthy. Schoen deserves praise for trying to return civility to politics, and conceding how his own liberal leaders are failing in this respect.
6) Ken Salazar–He is the Secretary of the Interior under Barack Obama. One way a guy becomes powerful is by having a job where nobody knows what that person actually does. For those who did not know, the Interior Secretary does not measure the White House drapes for texture or color. Salazar should add a “c” to his name and make it Salaczar. He is in control of much of America’s environmental policies. Think of a green colored Wizard of Oz.
5) David Axelrod–Barack Obama’s top political strategist makes Karl Rove look disengaged and apolitical. Barack Obama does not breathe without consulting with Axelrod. Axelrod is the link between Obama and the SEIU. Forget the Wizard of Oz. Axelrod is the guy who makes sure that the curtain the Wizard hides behind is stitched together with appropriate labor. Look for the union label on that curtain. Axelrod is there.
4) Michael J. Copps–He is not Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties. That would be Michael J. Fox. Yet while Copps does not get to sleep with Tracy Pollan, his power and influence means he probably could. He runs the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC under Copps first tried to overtly push the Fairness Doctrine, which was anything but. Now he is pushing Net Neutrality, which most certainly is not. Basically his job is to help Obama shut down any and all dissent and ban conservatives from having free speech. Net Neutrality is a poison pill and Copps is the one administering the toxin. This man should be feared.
3) Thad Allen–When the BP oil explosion happened off the Gulf Coast earlier this year, Barack Obama was helpless to solve the problem. He turned not only to a PBWG, but also to a man who resembles a walrus. People trust and like walruses, since they are as reassuring as Captain Kangaroo. As National Incident Commander, nobody knew exactly what Colonel Allen did outside of hold press conferences. I have no idea if he knew what he was talking about, but he looked commanding and authoritative. His handling of the situation was well regarded.
2) Ben Bernanke–This poor Central Banker can’t get his due. First he has to follow in the footsteps of legendary PBWGs Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan. Then last year he finished in second place behind Hank Paulson. He may end up being the PBWG of the coming decade, but for the second straight year he is nosed out for the top spot. He was a calm steady hand during the 2008 financial crisis. Once he learns how to speak Greenspeak or some other undecipherable gibberish economist language, he will be fine.
1) Ken Feinberg–He will also be given serious consideration when the list of most dreadful New England accents is released. PBWG Jack Welch may make that list, as will pretty much everybody in New England. Feinberg is a civil administrator. So how does a bureaucrat get the top spot? He controls the 20 billion dollar slush fund that Obama extorted from BP. Yet while the money was taken using thuggish “boot on the throat” tactics, Mr. Feinberg had nothing to do with that. He is a very respected bean counter with a reputation for granite integrity.
He looks like he was born out of the womb with a red and blue diagonal necktie droning on about debits and credits. Even he must secretly find himself boring. When prostitutes were complaining that the oil spill hurt their business and they were therefore entitled to some of the money, he found a way to make a sensational headline coma inducingly dull. He responded that while some claims were more dubious than others, he would look at every little claim. Only a true technocrat could ignore a sexually charged story and respond with number crunching tediousness.
He is smart, driven, focused, and has total autocratic control over 20 billion dollars.
Also, given that he may fade into obscurity by 2011 or 2012, he will not be one of these people desperate to win this award year after year. He is comfortable in his cue ball skin. Then again, controlling billions of dollars can make most people confident and comfortable with themselves.
All Hail Ken Feinberg, the top Powerful Bald White Guy of 2010!
Well done sir!