Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., aren’t very much alike, but in Time magazine’s view, they’re among the 100 most influential people.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell does not appear on the list, though he wrote the profile for his junior counterpart from Kentucky. McConnell praised Paul for his willingness to speak to a wide variety of audiences and for avoiding attacks on other members of the party.
“He has also embraced the 11th commandment made famous by Reagan, ‘not to speak ill of any fellow Republican.’ But the real secret to Rand’s rapid rise from a Bowling Green operating room to the center of American politics is his authenticity,” McConnell wrote. “It’s a trait that’s obvious to anyone who has seen him come out of a D.C. television studio in Ray-Bans and shorts, or hold the Senate floor for half a day to get answers from an imperious White House.”
Gillibrand, meanwhile, gets a glowing review from the Republican senator for whom she once interned, Al D’Amato.
“Don’t ever underestimate her. She can go as far as she likes. If Kirsten Gillibrand wants to be a rock star, she’ll be a rock star. But she’d make a great President. When she draws a line in the sand, everyone knows not to cross it,” D’Amato wrote.
As for the Senate’s majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada? He did not make the list, though the targets of his frequent criticisms, the Koch brothers, certainly did. Charles and David Koch were profiled by top Republican strategist Karl Rove.
“The Kochs have answered abuse with courage, giving encouragement to others on the center-right to get into the fight,” wrote Rove. “Bless them for all they do and all the liberals they send into orbit.”