Magazine's 'Most-Powerful' List Surprises The magazine GQ has just published its first list of the 50 most powerful people in Washington. Surprises on the list include deceased President Ronald Reagan and the manager of a popular Washington restaurant.
NPR logo

Magazine's 'Most-Powerful' List Surprises

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/12776140/12776145" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Magazine's 'Most-Powerful' List Surprises

Magazine's 'Most-Powerful' List Surprises

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/12776140/12776145" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Karl Rove is on it. President Bush is not. David Addington is on it. The man he works for, Vice President Cheney, is not. I'm talking about GQ magazine's list of the 50 most powerful people in Washington.

GQ's list compiler, Greg Veis, is here now. Hi, Greg.

Mr. GREG VEIS (Associate Editor, GQ Magazine): How are you?

BRAND: Fine, thank you. So you have the advisers to the president and the vice president but not the men, the bosses, themselves. Why?

Mr. VEIS: Well, we felt as if that would be, you know, a little too obvious. Everybody knows, I mean, they're going to be one and two - the president and vice president.

BRAND: So who are your top five?

Mr. VEIS: Top five. We start with Secretary of State Condi Rice and then Harry Reid, two; Robert Gates, secretary of defense; Justice Anthony Kennedy at four; and Nancy Pelosi, five.

BRAND: Okay. So that's sort of a list of who you might expect. Although Condoleezza Rice at number one?

Mr. VEIS: We got a little heat from Wonkette on that this morning. And right now it's kind of an interesting point because we're waiting for 2008 to play out and who the new players are going to be. And Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, obviously, have done influential things in the Congress so far. But in terms of somebody in the executive who we feel has the power to, you know, in terms of foreign policy and keeping us out of wars or in terms of actual day-to-day power, 2007 - in September 2007, she's the gal.

BRAND: Okay. Condoleezza Rice, number one. Number 13, just ahead of NBC's Tim Russert, a dead man, former President Ronald Reagan.

Mr. VEIS: That's right. How many times do you watch the debate? How many times do you hear any Republican open his mouth, every time Reagan is talked about the most glowing terms possible? It's full-on idolatry. He's unstoppable right now. He's so hot right now.

BRAND: He's unstoppable beyond the grave.

Mr. VEIS: Exactly.

BRAND: And just ahead of Tim Russert. I wonder how he feels about that.

Mr. VEIS: I'm sure Little Russ will be fine.

BRAND: All right. You have two presidential candidates from the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Plus, I have to note, two members of Obama's staff, but no Republican candidates.

Mr. VEIS: That's right. Giuliani, perhaps, but he's not based out of D.C. He was kept out on a technicality. Same thing with Mitt. And you know, Fred Thompson is still in Tennessee. So...

BRAND: Okay. So you had to actually be working or living in the capital.

Mr. VEIS: Exactly.

BRAND: It brings us to number 41, Gamal Helal?

Mr. VEIS: Yes.

BRAND: Who is Gamal Helal?

Mr. VEIS: Gamal Helal is a fantastic figure. He has been the translator for presidents, vice presidents, secretary of state, national security adviser, since 1991. And he's the one who talks to the Palestinian leaders. He's our Arabic diplomatic interpreter, is the official title.

BRAND: Okay. Number 45, Isabelle Goetz. Any relations to Bernie, or who is that?

Mr. VEIS: Zero.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. VEIS: As far as I know, no Bernie Goetz. She cuts hair. And we heard so much about the Edward's haircut and about, you know, John Kerry's hair, Hillary's hair. She sat more people in her - in her barber chair than just about anybody else.

BRAND: All right. And we'll note that there is absolutely no one anywhere near the top 50 from National Public Radio.

Mr. VEIS: But we love you all the same.

BRAND: That's very comforting.

Mr. VEIS: It's true.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BRAND: Greg Veis of GQ magazine. Their list of the 50 most powerful People in Washington is online now. Thanks a lot, Greg.

Mr. VEIS: Thank you.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.