GQ's 50 Most Important List Demos Difference Between Washington and DC

Names get far more interesting as you make your way down the list.

By Carissa DiMargo
|  Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012  |  Updated 11:44 AM EDT
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GQ released its 50 Most Powerful People in Washington -- which gets far more interesting as you make your way down the list.

Since people with the last names of Obama and Biden don't count, leading the list are Rep. Eric Cantor, Sen. Mitch McConnell, senior Obama adviser David Plouffe, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

They're IDed variously by icons noting why they've made the list: authority, access, wise man, intellect, bombs!, celebrity and, in the cases of #1 and #2, obstruction (the icon is a raised middle finger).

And of course, cute icons aside, the early part of the list brings few surprises --  including, perhaps, that 41 of those 50 are men. (Two spots go to a male/female pair.)

The list deviates from the government/lobbyist/analyst/lawyer set for the first time at #19, NBC News' Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd.

Then comes the dividing line between "Washington" and "DC."

Restaurateur José Andrés hits at #41; event planners Svetlana Legetic (Brightest Young Things) and Jayne Sandman and Barbara Martin (BrandLinkDC) take #42; Nats pitcher Stephen Strasburg made #47. Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, the new owners of Politics & Prose, slid in just under the wire at #50.

Possibly the best descriptor comes for James Alefantis, #49, labeled Restaurateur and Bon Vivant. Being a bon vivant is a way of life, of course, and related to his ownership of Comet Ping Pong, Buck's Fishing & Camping (yes, a restaurant) and the Transformer Gallery. "When it comes to D.C. radical chic, Alefantis is unsurpassed. If you don't know him, you aren't wearing your scarf right," GQ writes.

See? DC. Not Washington.

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