Here is one blogger’s take on this list:
Paul Krugman – Goodwill and credibility generated by the ‘Iraq call’ is the lifetime achievement apart from his Nobel Prize. Unless he screws spectacularly (which seems tough today) his well of credibility is quite deep. Something to watch will be his contributions to ‘behavioral economics’ in years to come. He is obsessed with failures of professional economics and Neo-Classicism (triumph of market, a la Milton Friedman) in recent years and one expects that this no non-sense brain to contribute significantly to the body of human knowledge in years to come.
Rush Limbaugh – The #9 on this list calls him ‘race war monger in America’ and #9 is right there. As long as this guy is at such a high spot, there is no redemption for GOP.
George Will – Oh, that gutsy call for ‘pull out from Afghanistan’ after decades of Conservative and Neo-conservative commentary. Old horse, but that one single article shows still powerful chips are with him. Remarkable article and worthy of salute.
Thomas Friedman – Stock is still down after America essentially withered away ‘outsourcing’ wave without much succumbing to what he had been hawking all along.
David Brooks – Obama’s Speech writer in disguise and David Axelrod’s alter ego. But in any case White House is for sure on good track as long as it follows this brainy and honest commentator.
Charles Krauthammer – Spent force.
Glenn Beck – America’s disease of today.
Frank Rich – Powerful, force in a classical art critic style of that Gray Lady.
Andrew Sullivan – Who say’s we do not have equivalent of Michel Foucault (that avant-garde French Philosopher) in today’s world? Not only does he look bit like that old French Brain Worrier, the guy lives highly cerebral life. Two life time achievements in recent years – Atlantic Cover Story about Obama way early in Primaries and blogging follow up of Iranian resistance. Remarkable. My favorite for Pulitzer prize.
Karl Rove – Do not even bother to read his commentary.
Sean Hannity – Good that I do not watch TV.
David Broder – Another of an old horse. Recently doing good.
Peggy Noonan – Oh Peggy, can I have your ‘pen’? That beautiful prose. Most of the times I do not agree with her but her commentary is so beautiful and well written. Always worth reading and very, very positive, all American. 'Morning in America' still means something substantial.
Rachel Maddow – Do not know.
Arianna Huffington – You read her (like Daily Kos) when chips are down for Liberalism. In dog days of Bush when Liberalism was kicked all around and screwed royally, posts on Huffintonpost.com and DailyKos.com maintained the flame of Liberalism. Otherwise in Obama era not much of use to follow them.
Fareed Zakaria – Ever since that post of ‘under secretary’ in State Department is missed, the guy seems subdued. But productive years are still there in future and as always this honest guy is on the right side of the history.
Maureen Dowd – Hard to categorize this old flame. Incisive, original and ready to take risk (as like how in her young age she had the courage to follow what her body demanded…). Recently had guts to speak out her mind – implicit racial attacks on Obama perpetrated by GOP or likes of GOP.
EJ Dionne – Loyal liberal voice.
Bill O’Reilly – Nothing to say, do not watch TV.
Keith Olbermann – Again nothing to add, no TV. But have heard about his bias in favor of Dems.
Kathleen Parker – Occasional sparks.
Glenn Greenwald – This is what happens when a lawyer takes upon political commentary. You can be sure of who will ‘write more than what his readers can read’. But in the end have to accept the positive contributions to the discourse. Unapologetically Liberal.
Nicholas Kristof – Honest efforts to put us in front of the mirror of conscience, just that most of the time we are not ready to get out of our comforts.
William Kristol – Now that Bush is out and Karl Rove himself is writing, no need to get a middleman between Neo-Conservatism and we the commoners. In any case Rush is the one who is leading those troops and in that sense, Kristol is unemployed. Just pay him unemployment allowance and make him shut his mouth. It is pretty useless in anycase.
Robert Samuelson – Boring but does bring points and issues of importance. At times his penchant for ‘balancing budget’ makes him blind to see the larger point. Well, in his universe there is NO larger point than reducing the budget deficit. However, still worthwhile and net addition to America’s discourse.
Eugene Robinson – All Barack man. But I like him, his honesty.
David Ignatius – Not much to comment except that a respectable commentator.
Josh Marshall – Do not know much, do not follow him.
Mark Levin – Nothing I know about him.
Holman Jenkins – Unknown.
Bill Moyers – Not much is known.
Richard Cohen – Old ‘free’ tongue, not owned by anyone. Lately however going down. Hope he gets back his mojo.
Jonah Goldberg – Nothing is known.
Gail Collins – Worth reading those ‘useless’ columns. But smarts are such that through this on surface uselessness, quite a few insights are brought to the table.
Ruth Marcus – Not much to say.
Steven Pearlstein – Lately weight is increasing in the Obama court. Good commentary.
Joe Klein – Old horse, brings lot of insights and ‘arc of history’; but hated lot for variety of reasons in different quarters.
Anne Applebaum – Hard to categorize or comment.
Michael Kinsley – Do not follow him.
Matthew Yglesias – What is to like about him is he is ready to ‘take egg’ on his face. That is good. Hard working and quite earnest to bring worthwhile comments to the table on many occasions. Bit of ‘too much reflection’ of opinions of others.
Joe Nocera – Solid economic commentary.
Ronald Brownstein – Do not follow him.
Steve Benen – Do not follow him.
Lou Dobbs – In the end not much contributor to America. More divisive than helpful.
Bret Stephens – Do not follow him.
Kimberley Strassel – Do not follow her.
Harold Meyerson – Another Obama loyalist, unbeatable voice of Labor.
Ezra Klein – My man! Why is he at #49? Don’t they know that practically he is the one who is writing the most important bill of Obama Presidency and by that of our generation (Health Care Reform)? Look at the numbers – 52 hot topics since January on this subject. By far the most relevant (influence - I am not so sure) commentary on this subject. Really, he is at the ‘sweet spot’; he has the first row seat of History in making. Bright future. Why are not there more such Ezra’s for different policy matters? But I am fine; I will take one Ezra at a time. You want to know America’s ‘competitive advantage’ in today’s world? Look no further than Ezra. ‘Smells like a teen spirit….’. Original act.
Hendrik Hertzberg – My ignorance and limits, do not know him.
Missing one is Martin Wolfe of Financial Times. When Larry Summers of the world read him religiously you better take Wolfe seriously. May be because he is not in USA, he is not included by Atlantic. Sullivan is also non-American, a British subject. In any case, Wolfe is where insights are.