7. Eric Cantor 

Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
Cantor is Richmond’s direct line to federal pull, no matter how tenuous that source of power may be. With the federal deficit receding and the economy on the mend, the new Mr. Nice Guy seems to be searching, along with his Republican Party, for new footing before elections in 2014 and 2016. It’s a crucial quest, and the stubborn-headed House majority leader seems downright peaceable these days while he tries to stem federal jobs cuts in exchange for chopping entitlements. Still, he postures to the GOP faithful by proclaiming that he’ll do anything to “try and remove the threat of Obamacare.” Cantor no longer seems to be battling House Speaker John Boehner at every turn; no more continual, open dissing of President Barack Obama. The word is bipartisanship. Peace, brother.

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