NEWSWEEK's Power 50: The List

In the oversaturated, hypercommodified media culture of 2010, the most influential political figures are generally the ones who make the most money peddling their perspectives.  To figure who's tops in this new world, NEWSWEEK asked Wealth-X, an intelligence and research firm, to compile a list of the 50 highest-earning political figures of 2010. Included in the rankings are politicians, ex-politicians, media personalities, and political consultants who hawk their personal brands in the public marketplace—and influence American political discourse in the process.  To see a profile of any member of the Power 50, just click on their name in the list below.  You can also sort these names to see the list broken down by gender or occupation, just click on the category at the top of the list. And, you can find our full methodology here.

Rank Name Gender Category Earnings Estimate
1 Rush Limbaugh 25 Male Talk show host $58.7 million 1
2 Glenn Beck 4 Male Talk show host $33 million 2
3 Sean Hannity 18 Male Talk show host $22 million 3
4 Bill O'Reilly 36 Male Talk show host $20 million 4
5 Jon Stewart 48 Male Talk show host $15 million 5
6 Sarah Palin 37 Female Current or former government official $14 million 6
7 Don Imus 21 Male Talk show host $11 million 7
8 Bill Clinton 8 Male Current or former government official $7.7 million 8
9 Keith Olbermann 35 Male Talk show host $7.5 million 9
10 Rudy Giuliani 16 Male Current or former government official $7 million 10
11 Laura Ingraham
(tied with 10) 22
Female Talk show host $7 million 11
12 Newt Gingrich 13 Male Current or former government official $5.5 million 12
13 Madeleine Albright 1 Female Current or former government official $5 million 13
14 Stephen Colbert
(tied with 13) 9
Male Talk show host $5 million 14
15 Arianna Huffington
(tied with 13) 20
Female Journalist $5 million 15
16 Mark Levin
(tied with 13) 24
Male Talk show host $5 million 16
17 Chris Matthews 31 Male Talk show host $4.5 million 17
18 George W. Bush 6 Male Current or former government official $4.2 million 18
19 Bill Maher 28 Male Talk show host $4 million 19
20 Barack Obama
(tied with 19) 34
Male Current or former government official $4 million 20
21 Jorge Ramos
(tied with 19) 40
Male Journalist $4 million 21
22 Joe Scarborough 45 Male Talk show host $3.5 million 22
23 Fareed Zakaria 50 Male Journalist $3.1 million 23
24 Bob Barnett 3 Male Power broker $3 million 24
25 Alan Greenspan
(tied with 24) 15
Male Current or former government official $3 million 25
26 Frank Luntz
(tied with 24) 26
Male Political strategist $3 million 26
27 Mark Halperin 17 Male Journalist $2.5 million 27
28 John Heilemann
(tied with 27) 19
Male Journalist $2.5 million 28
29 Bob Woodward
(tied with 27) 49
Male Journalist $2.5 million 29
30 Thomas Friedman 12 Male Journalist $2 million 30
31 Al Gore
(tied with 30) 14
Male Current or former government official $2 million 31
32 Rachel Maddow
(tied with 30) 27
Female Talk show host $2 million 32
33 Jon Meacham*
(tied with 30) 33
Male Journalist $2 million 33
34 Charlie Rose
(tied with 30) 43
Male Talk show host $2 million 34
35 Karl Rove
(tied with 30) 44
Male Current or former government official $2 million 35
36 Condoleezza Rice 42 Female Current or former government official $1.8 million 36
37 Charlie Cook 10 Male Journalist $1.5 million 37
38 David Plouffe 38 Male Political strategist $1.5 million 38
39 David Remnick 41 Male Journalist $1.3 million 39
40 Roland Martin 29 Male Journalist $1.1 million 40
41 Tina Brown 5 Female Journalist $1 million 41
42 Dick Cheney
(tied with 41) 7
Male Current or former government official $1 million 42
43 John McLaughlin
(tied with 41) 32
Male Talk show host $1 million 43
44 Colin Powell*
(tied with 41) 39
Male Current or former government official $1 million 44
45 Eduardo 'Piolin' Sotelo
(tied with 41) 46
Male Talk show host $1 million 45
46 Richard Stengel
(tied with 41) 47
Male Journalist $1 million 46
47 Paul Krugman 23 Male Journalist $900,000 47
48 Mary Matalin* 30 Female Current or former government official $800,000 48
49 Ann Coulter 11 Female Journalist $750,000 49
50 David Axelrod 2 Male Current or former government official $720,000 50

* Disputed our estimates, but declined to provide further information on the numbers.

All source photos: AP, Getty Images, AFP-Getty Images, Corbis, Landov