GQ’s D.C. parlor game gone wrong

GQ has released its annual list of the "50 most powerful people in D.C.," and setting aside the inherently flawed nature of such lists (let alone the idea that GQ is well-positioned to do this one), it’s certainly fun to play the old Washington parlor game. So let’s play! In FP‘s world, the most noteworthy ...

GQ has released its annual list of the "50 most powerful people in D.C.," and setting aside the inherently flawed nature of such lists (let alone the idea that GQ is well-positioned to do this one), it's certainly fun to play the old Washington parlor game. So let's play!

In FP's world, the most noteworthy snub is listing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 18th, after CIA director Leon Panetta (whose boss Dennis Blair is not even listed and who presides over a much-diminished agency), after former Vice President Dick Cheney (who, though influential, is out of office), and after various members of Congress. Has State fallen this far? And has Hillary really lost clout since leaving the Senate (GQ previously ranked her as high as 8th), where she chaired no committees?

Meanwhile, apparently young GOP Rep. Eric Cantor rates but National Security Advisor James L. Jones doesn't (NSC chief of staff Denis McDonough, however, does); New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer makes the cut but Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen doesn't; White House climate advisor Carol Browner is supposedly powerful but Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donahue apparently isn't; CNAS CEO Nate Fick is listed but AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr isn't thought to be all that influential. And I'm sure that Chinese Amb. Zhou Wenzhong, whose country holds more than $2 trillion in U.S. Treasury bills, will be surprised to learn that Michelle Obama's fashion advisor outranks him in Washington.

GQ has released its annual list of the "50 most powerful people in D.C.," and setting aside the inherently flawed nature of such lists (let alone the idea that GQ is well-positioned to do this one), it’s certainly fun to play the old Washington parlor game. So let’s play!

In FP‘s world, the most noteworthy snub is listing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 18th, after CIA director Leon Panetta (whose boss Dennis Blair is not even listed and who presides over a much-diminished agency), after former Vice President Dick Cheney (who, though influential, is out of office), and after various members of Congress. Has State fallen this far? And has Hillary really lost clout since leaving the Senate (GQ previously ranked her as high as 8th), where she chaired no committees?

Meanwhile, apparently young GOP Rep. Eric Cantor rates but National Security Advisor James L. Jones doesn’t (NSC chief of staff Denis McDonough, however, does); New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer makes the cut but Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen doesn’t; White House climate advisor Carol Browner is supposedly powerful but Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donahue apparently isn’t; CNAS CEO Nate Fick is listed but AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr isn’t thought to be all that influential. And I’m sure that Chinese Amb. Zhou Wenzhong, whose country holds more than $2 trillion in U.S. Treasury bills, will be surprised to learn that Michelle Obama’s fashion advisor outranks him in Washington.

(It also seems that nobody told GQ that former NSC chief of staff Mark Lippert has already left the White House to return to the Navy.)

I do, however, appreciate the inclusion of Josh Wolman, the director of admissions at Sidwell Friends. He may not have AC-130s and helicopter gunships at his disposal, but he does have the ability to make all the parents above him on the list quiver in fear.

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