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2. Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
Last year's rank: 1

She cemented her reputation as the driving liberal force in Washington by getting the House to pass a climate-change bill and persuading the Obama administration not to scale back health care reform. But a Republican takeover of the House could prompt her exit on a sour note.

NEXT: Mary Schapiro

Last updated September 29 2010: 11:28 AM ET
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