21. Tim Geithner
President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
One way or another, he’ll be crucial to remaking the U.S. financial system--either at the Treasury Department or from his current perch. A smooth operator who’s made humility his disarming modus operandi, he’ll be called on to craft reforms and then sell them to Wall Street. The banks might get rolled, but at least they’ll feel like they’ve been heard.
22. Al Gore
Chairman, Alliance for Climate Protection
Obama may have run on the greenest platform in decades, but the former veep took pains not to get too involved in the campaign--a reticence that may point to his skepticism of Obama’s environmental bona fides. That means an EPA slot or climate-czar role looks unlikely. Instead, he’ll be the looming conscience of the party: If Obama edges away from his promise to pass a stringent cap on greenhouse gases, the Goreacle could use his new $300 million grassroots “We” campaign to publicly push him back to the green.
23. Greg Craig
Senior foreign policy adviser, Obama campaign; partner, Williams & Connolly
One of the most loyal Clintonistas--he was Bill’s lawyer during impeachment and served in his State Department--and one of the first to defect to Obama, Craig added insult to injury when he offered a devastating point-by-point rebuttal to Hillary’s inflated claims of foreign policy experience (sniper fire, et al.). He’s such a true believer that Obama calls him a “Kool-Aid boy”--and now he’s on the shortlist for jobs as prized as White House counsel or national security adviser.
24. Nicolas Sarkozy
Sarkozy’s chief ambition is to make France powerful again. And he’s found l’Américain to partner with. After Sarko’s rapturous meeting with Obama in July (“You must want a cigarette after that,” Maureen Dowd teased Obama), Mr. Pro-America became even more pro-Obama. (Key bonding point: They are both sons of immigrants who busted ethnic monopolies on power.) Sarkozy is poised to be to Obama as Blair was to Clinton and Bush--the first foreign leader consulted in an international crisis, the honored guest at the most lavish state dinners. One potential hitch: According to Haaretz, Sarko doesn’t especially like Obama’s plans for sitting down with Tehran.
25. Cassandra Butts
Senior adviser, Obama campaign
Funny who you can meet in the financial aid office. During his first year at Harvard Law, Obama hit it off there with Butts. Twenty years later, this Hill veteran (Butts advised Dick Gephardt) signed up as Team Obama’s all-around domestic policy guru. Working from her outpost at CAP, she already has played a big role in doling out jobs in Obamaland. Now, one could be coming her way: chief domestic policy adviser.
By TNR Staff