TIME magazine’s 'most influential' list reveals just who is on whose side in Washington

TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2019 list reveals exactly who is backing who in Washington, D.C., with former and current Democratic presidential candidates rallying behind Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.

Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, penned a short praise for Pelosi for winning back the House and standing up to President Trump.

“Too often it seems we have a surplus of bluster in our national politics and a deficit of action. But then there’s Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Clinton wrote.

“There’s a saying that goes: ‘If you want something done, ask a busy woman to do it.’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi is living proof that when it comes to getting the job done, more often than not, it takes a woman,” she added, noting that under her leadership “Democrats passed the first major gun-safety bill in a generation.”

Warren takes cues from AOC

But while Clinton picked a safe establishment choice, 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren opted to embrace Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman Democrat from New York who has lately been the target of Pelosi’s scoffs over her presumed influence on Congressional Democrats.

“Her commitment to putting power in the hands of the people is forged in fire,” Warren wrote of the self-described Democratic Socialist. “Coming from a family in crisis and graduating from school with a mountain of debt, she fought back against a rigged system and emerged as a fearless leader in a movement committed to demonstrating what an economy, a planet and a government that works for everyone should look like.”

ELIZABETH WARREN DEFENDS CAPITALISM AS 'FORCE FOR GOOD,' SPLITTING WITH OCASIO-CORTEZ

“... she fought back against a rigged system and emerged as a fearless leader in a movement committed to demonstrating what an economy, a planet and a government that works for everyone should look like.”

— Elizabeth Warren

Warren added that nowadays “millions are taking cues from” Ocasio-Cortez while just a year ago she was “taking orders across a bar.”

“She reminds all of us that even while greed and corruption slow our progress, even while armies of lobbyists swarm Washington, in our democracy, true power still rests with the people. And she’s just getting started,” she wrote.

The senator has embraced Ocasio-Cortez since her arrival in Congress, although though she appears to take a completely opposite view on capitalism, calling it a “force for good” while the congresswoman calls it “irredeemable”.

Despite the disagreement, Warren co-sponsored the Green New Deal, a radical overhaul of the economy in a bid to cut emissions, which is estimated to cost up to $93 trillion or $600,000 per household, though she somewhat distanced herself from it following the official launch of the proposal, saying she supports only the “idea” of the proposal.

Christie rediscovers love for Trump

On the Republican side, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie offered his praise for President Trump, for his foreign policy achievements.

“Every modern U.S. President tries to influence the world. President Donald Trump has done this through opposing the NATO countries not paying their fair share, pushing China and our North American neighbors for fairer trade agreements and withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement,” Christie wrote.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during an opioid and drug abuse listening session.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during an opioid and drug abuse listening session. (Associated Press)

“His boldest move in this direction is likely his personal efforts on the issue of North Korea. President Trump has, in fact, used the past year to place his imprint on a problem spanning more than six decades,” he continued.

“President Trump deserves great credit for daring to try to personally persuade Chairman Kim to join the family of nations. This approach holds the possibility for history–making changes on the Korean Peninsula to make us all safer.”

 “President Trump deserves great credit for daring to try to personally persuade Chairman Kim to join the family of nations. This approach holds the possibility for history–making changes on the Korean Peninsula to make us all safer.”

— Chris Christie

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Christie’s latest praise cements his support for the president. Initially a vicious critic of Trump during the 2016 campaign –even calling him a potential “entertainer-in-chief” – he went on to become one of the leading surrogates for the president.

Yet he fell out with the administration during the transition process after the election and accused Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner of engineering his ouster. He later criticized the administration over its negotiation tactics and personnel.

Earlier this year he also said during an appearance on Stephen Colbert's Late Show that would have been a better president than Trump.

Colbert asked Christie about his relationship with President Trump, saying “he'll throw anybody under the bus,” to which the former governor responded: “You think I don't know? I got fired from the transition.”

McConnell's fiery praise for Kavanaugh

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote a fiery tribute to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation last year came after turbulent hearings and allegations of sexual misconduct, slamming “unhinged partisanship” for trying to block his nomination.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 10: (L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence pose for photographs before a meeting in McConnell's office in the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 10: (L-R) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence pose for photographs before a meeting in McConnell's office in the U.S. Capitol July 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to succeed retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“When Brett Kavanaugh was named the President’s choice to succeed Justice Anthony Kennedy, he was one of the most qualified Supreme Court nominees in modern history. He had a sterling academic record, impeccable legal credentials and a prolific record of thoughtful and impartial jurisprudence over more than a decade on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” wrote McConnell.

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He added: “But when unhinged partisanship and special interests sought to distract the Senate from considering those qualifications, we saw other facets of Justice Kavanaugh’s character shine forth as well.

“But when unhinged partisanship and special interests sought to distract the Senate from considering those qualifications, we saw other facets of Justice Kavanaugh’s character shine forth as well.

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“The country saw his resilience and commitment to public service. We saw his loyal devotion to family and friends. We saw his undeterred reverence for the law, for precedents and for our nation’s highest traditions.”

McConnell played an integral part to make the Supreme Court more conservative, standing behind Kavanaugh even as the allegations of impropriety were disclosed at the very last moments of the confirmation process.

Kamala Harris’ stand for Christine Blasey Ford

As a counterpoint, 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris paid a tribute to the first accuser to step forward with the allegations of misconduct against Kavanaugh.

“Her story, spoken while holding back tears, shook Washington and the country. Her courage, in the face of those who wished to silence her, galvanized Americans. And her unfathomable sacrifice, out of a sense of civic duty, shined a spotlight on the way we treat survivors of sexual violence,” Harris wrote.

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“Christine Blasey Ford’s ambition wasn’t to become a household name or make it onto this list. She had a good life and a successful career—and risked everything to send a warning in a moment of grave consequence.”

During the confirmation hearing of Kavanaugh, Harris praised Ford and said she believes her allegations that include Kavanaugh allegedly attacking her in the 1980s at a high school party.

“I want to thank you for your courage and I want to tell you I believe you,” the senator told her, “You have bravely come forward and I want to thank you. History will show you are a true profile in courage.”

The battle for Russia collusion

TIME’s list also features dueling tributes among current and former deputy Attorney Generals, with one praising Attorney General William Barr’s “principles” and the other touting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “apolitical” service.

“A brilliant and principled conservative lawyer, Barr brings unique experience to the challenge of working at the intersection of law and politics,” wrote Rod Rosenstein.

“He knows the history, he understands the issues, he respects the employees, and he will defend the principles. With Bill Barr at the helm, the rule of law is secure.”

“He knows the history, he understands the issues, he respects the employees, and he will defend the principles. With Bill Barr at the helm, the rule of law is secure.”

— Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein

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Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general who was fired by Trump after she refused to defend the administration’s immigration policies, said Mueller’s life was “governed not by a sense of entitlement but of duty.”

“Distinctly apolitical, he confounds those who can’t comprehend a person driven by his all too uncommon values: honor, integrity, humility, service. He is the inverse image of the man he would ultimately come to investigate,” Yates wrote.

“Distinctly apolitical, he confounds those who can’t comprehend a person driven by his all too uncommon values: honor, integrity, humility, service. He is the inverse image of the man he would ultimately come to investigate.”

— Ex-Deputy AG Sally Yates

“Soldier, prosecutor, FBI director, and when our country needed someone to untangle Russian election interference, he served again. Taking daily incoming fire, he neither flinched nor retaliated. He just did his job. For Mueller, it’s always about the work, and never about him.

“Abhorring self-promotion, while the country held its collective breath during his nearly two-year investigation, Mueller uttered not a single public word. And when he finished, he called it as he saw it. He did his duty.”