Special/Signature Issues » 2011 Power List

7. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell

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The Guv is well-liked — 62 percent of Virginians think he’s doing a good job, according to a Washington Post poll in May. But is he only popular because Virginia’s economy hasn’t crashed and burned? McDonnell is an old-school fiscal conservative, a business-first Reaganite at a time when the tea party threatens to derail the GOP. The governor irked some fellow Republicans with his vetoes this year, and 2012 will be last call for his liquor-store-privatization plan. If that fails, McDonnell will need to figure out what he wants to be remembered for.

2010 Ranking:6

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