Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

November 2, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LIST MANIA....The Telegraph's list of the most influential liberals and conservatives in America is now complete, and the #1 most influential conservative is.....Rudy Giuliani! Surprise! James Joyner calls the list "bizarre," and maybe it is. Putting Dick Cheney ahead of George Bush strikes me as merely common sense, but Condi Rice? That's a little harder to justify. And Matt Drudge at #3? Is the Drudge Report really that influential in the conservative community? Personally, I'd switch his ranking with Paul Gigot's.

But hell, what do I know about conservatives? Let's take a look at the liberal list, where the #1 most influential liberal is....Bill Clinton! Hillary clocks in at #4. Ouch. I thought this was supposed to a forward looking list?

But congratulations to blogosphere titan Markos Moulitsas, who, at #12, is officially more influential among liberals than Rahm Emanuel, George Soros, and Paul Krugman. (But behind Evan Bayh. Evan Bayh?)

And how did the massively influential power brokers of the blogosphere do in general? Six out of 200, that's how. The Telegraph chose three liberals: Markos (#12), Arianna Huffington (#16), and Jerome Armstrong (#62). And three conservatives: Andrew Sullivan (#33), Erick Erikson (#68), and Michelle Malkin (#93). But they blew it. Atrios is more influential than any of them except Markos. He should have been on the list too.

Among liberals, women made up 6.5 of the top 20. Among conservatives they were 2 of 20.

Anyway, fun for the whole family. My big problem with the Telegraph's rankings, though, is that I've heard of everyone in the top 40 or 50 on both lists. Frankly, there should have been at least half a dozen shadowy, media-shy, power broker types who have immense influence but that most of us have never heard of. Right? So where are they?

Kevin Drum 1:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (36)

Bookmark and Share

Where's good ol' Kevin D on the list?

Posted by: Kenji on November 2, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Arnold!? Oprah!? Oh my! It must be that they live in California (well part-time for Oprah). Arnold is a cons..., mod..., oh well, he is just Arnold. As for Oprah, she often talks the liberal game but mixes it up with consumer fetishism to such an extent that it ends up not looking very progressive to me.

Posted by: Bush Lover on November 2, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Among liberals, women made up 6.5 of the top 20.

Who's the hermaphrodite?

Posted by: elmo on November 2, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

The lists just get dumber. Arnold a liberal? I think that would surprise all of those Republicans drooling over the prospect of amending the Constitution to allow him to run for pres.

And putting both Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens on the conservative list just makes no sense at all. In a sense these two guys are mirror images of one another. But Sullivan's transformation (though he'd never admit it) is far more complete. Hitchens, curse his black heart, is still a crusading Marxist on most issues. It's just that "Islamofascism" is the only issue that seems to matter to him anymore.

Posted by: Rob Mac on November 2, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

But they blew it. Atrios is more influential than any of them except Markos. He should have been on the list too.

I wonder if they left Atrios off because technically he's using a pseudonym. I mean, it's not a very secret pseudonym since he has his real name right on the front page of his blog, but I still think that may have been a factor.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 2, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think Atrios got left off because of the quick note nature of his writing. He's the go to guy to find where to go to, if you know what I mean.

I think he is more important now than Jerome, whose influence seems to be on the wane.

Posted by: howie on November 2, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Why so much of the blogosphere not only gives a good goddamn what this list from the Telegraph--the Telegraph, for cryin' out loud!--says, but is actually devoting bandwidth to it today, is beyond me. Y'all can write about whatever you want on your own blogs, of course, but this one's a stumper.

Posted by: shortstop on November 2, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

But they blew it. Atrios is more influential than any of them except Markos. He should have been on the list too.

Yes. Duncan Black is so influential that you could probably stop a thousand people on the street in NYC, Chicago or SF before you'd find anyone who knew who he was. Eschaton is a lousy blog. Black is pretty much the Instapundit of the left.

Posted by: JeffII on November 2, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say Josh Marshall is more influential than Jerome Armstrong, and probably than Arianna Huffington.

Posted by: Andrew on November 2, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that Atrios should be on. Jeff, you equate popularity with power.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on November 2, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Why even waste time discussing this meaningless list from a foreign newspapper? For real enjoyment, go see pro and anti Hillary Kossacks rip each other apart over what Kos describes as the most effective anti-Hillary ad that was just put out by the Edwards campaign.

It's nothing but sweet music to my ears. lol

Posted by: Chicounsel on November 2, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Jeff on Atrios. Half his blog, anymore, is either one-liner links or open forum comments. Andrew's right about Josh Marshall; his moving toward an online newspaper model of blogging has "pushed the ball" on several news issues.

In fact, after the dust settles from the 2008 election, I think smart people will put Josh ahead of Kos as far as influence.

And, the liberal side IS bizarre. I read the whole thing last night; a good one-third of the people on the "liberal" list don't meet my liberal cutoff.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 2, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting... many of the top conservatives are media figures. Figures. Only one person of color in the top 60. Figures. Very few women. Figures. And I'll bet some of those republicans on the liberal list might be surprised.

Posted by: smiley on November 2, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

go see pro and anti Hillary Kossacks rip each other apart...

and compare with the goosestepping and groupthink that is the norm at wingnut blogs.

Posted by: ckelly on November 2, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Why are we expecting a British publication to know jack about American politics? Just look at anything Silly Sully writes. Or tune in to the BBC for the latest groaner.

Posted by: F. Frederson on November 2, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

interesting to go through the list and see how many of the top figures on the con side are people whose sole qualification is media-related-writer, columnist, talk show host; versus the number on the lib side.

Meaning the VRWC has many, many more "ministers of propaganda" who are contributing nothing but hot air. global warming, anyone??

Posted by: susan on November 2, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Jerome who? I've never even seen him mentioned in the liberal blogs I read. And Arianna is nice, but she seems to be the type that takes up a cause, or a project, and then moves on to something else within a year. The Huffington post got off to an OK start, but then it got kinda skimpy by last time I was there.

Posted by: jussumbody on November 2, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Half his blog, anymore, is either one-liner links or open forum comments.

I don't remember it ever being anything else.

What an inane set of lists. You could get something more coherent pulling names out of a hat.

Posted by: jimBOB on November 2, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Evan Freaking Bayh?!? Who the hell does he have influence with? He doesn't even have that much influence among the incestuous Beltway insiders. He has none among people outside the Beltway, if they've even heard of him.

Posted by: nemo on November 2, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

If Rudy is most influential conservative, then who better to influence him than his good buddy, the mobbed-up former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik? I feel so much safer already.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 2, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

This list is as worthless as a bubble gum machine in a lockjaw ward....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 2, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I completely agree that Josh Marshall deserves to be very high on the list -- at least as high as Markos, if not higher.

Posted by: Bocay on November 2, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

The Clintons are liberals? You've got to be kidding. How about Republican-lite.

Posted by: Lew on November 2, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

As I blogged today, a third list of Moderates would be included, and I created a top ten list of all three.

Did you notice that Holy Joe made BOTH lists at #47 on both? That Drew Carey was #39? As I wrote: "Yup, he must be more influential than Rove #42, Lieberman #47, abNorman Podhoretz #57, Scalia #62, O’Reilly #82, and Larry Craig #89. Rupert Murdoch? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell? House Minority head Boehner? Nope, none made the top 100."

Scaife Mellon and Bozell also failed to make the top 100.

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on November 2, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Umm, because that would ruin them as shadowy, power-broker sources? The fantasy of most MSM reporters, I think, is that their Watergate is just a parking ramp away. What they don't get is that these days Watergate would get embargoed due to "national security" by their executive editors.

I get the feeling that the most influential and, yes, shadowy Republicans are simply the guys who write the big checks to the sleazy, fake committees that inject sewage into campaigns. It's Republicans' best and just about only weapon left.

The most influential Democrats? Rahm Emmanuel and Chuck Schumer, who have the important task of talking grassroots liberals out of running for Congress, then shutting down sources of funding in case they don't get the message. Or maybe Bob Kerrey, whose refusal to run for Senate from Kansas next fall has been portrayed by DC Dems as a huge loss of national-scope leadership. Who knew America was longing for another Joe Lieberman?

Posted by: W Action on November 2, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios is the only blogger who influences my opinion. But Kevin is the most interesting.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on November 2, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Woops, I forgot Juan Cole. If he said the moon was made of green cheese, it would probably persuade me.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on November 2, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

The most influential liberal bloggers would have to be Juan Cole, Josh Marshall and John Aravosis.

Krugman's stock fell during the Times Select Fiasco but is rising again. Together with Cole and Brad DeLong they are influential for the classical reason of being influential - they are subject matter experts. One can pretty well expect that all of them can have the pick of advisory body jobs in the next Democratic administration.

Josh Marshall is the most influential reporter. He is pretty much the point guy for taking out an Attorney General and forcing the prosecution of Cunningham and Ney. John Aravosis is the most influential activist leader.

Markos is influential in a very different way. The Daily Kos is a community, not an individual. Kos is an organizer.

Which creates something of a paradox, Kos is not personally a major influence on the direction of Liberal politics but he has created a political machine and could if he chose become a candidate and run for office himself.

Posted by: PHB on November 2, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

A couple of surprises for me on the liberal list: Colin Powell (I didn't know he was a liberal) and Vernon Jordan (I didn't know he was still alive).

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on November 2, 2007 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

1. He's not.
2. He's not.

Posted by: jprichva on November 3, 2007 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

So Joe Lieberman and Arnold Schwarzenegger are more influential liberals than Jimmy Carter??? Where's the Joe Lieberman International Center for Conflict Resolution? Where's Joe Lieberman's Nobel?

Donna Brazile and John Murtha (??!) are more influential liberals than Ted Kennedy?

Who would have thought. Foreigners have unusual perspectives on American politics and politicians.

It comes down to what your definition of "are" is.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 3, 2007 at 4:43 AM | PERMALINK

Howard Dean, number 84? But then what do you expect from the Torygraph?

Posted by: KathyF on November 3, 2007 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK
a dozen shadowy, media-shy, power broker types who have immense influence but that most of us have never heard of. Right? So where are they?
Geez, Kevin, if they're any good at what they are, they're being media-shy & made damn sure not to make the list!

FWIW, my wife's favourite paper is the Torygraph - she says it's the only one that makes her laugh out loud.

Posted by: firefalluk on November 3, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Josh at TPM, Juan Cole and Kevin D are have to be right behind Markos and miles ahead of whoever comes next.

Posted by: Russell King on November 3, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Biggest name missing from the list: hedge fund billionaire Eddie Lampert, stock broker to the stars. Eddie heads ESF investments & is a big backer of the Democratic party.

Barbra Streisand probably wouldn't be on the list without Eddie's management of her investments.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 4, 2007 at 3:50 AM | PERMALINK

They are all a bunch of Dysfunctional Globalists in the New World Order or should it be called the New World Dis-order? Who said we had to compete like this in a global economic arena of gladiator workers? Trace it all at http://www.bizarrepolitics.com
and read about Green Gore being gray in the story about The Dark Side of Energy Saving Light Bulbs and the darker story behind it at

Watch the COSCO shipping containers roll by at a railroad stop near your neighborhood. COSCO is the giant shipping company owned in part by the Chinese Liberation Army. We are being liberated. Just go and shop your way out of your job at Wal-Mart courtesy of COSCO.
See- Clinton Years American Dream Reversed artwork and read story at http://tapsearch.com/clinton/

Posted by: Tapsearcher on November 13, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK



Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM

buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly