The 10 best known politicians of the 2000's have served their country in roles ranging from state governor to U.S. Congress to the Office of the President. With partisanship plaguing Washington and the country getting caught in the middle, it's no surprise that the best known politicians of the 2000's are viewed in either extremely positive or negative lights.
- George Bush. The country soured during Bush's second term, and his first-term win over Al Gore was shrouded in controversy. Amid a misguided war in Iraq and embarrassing speech miscues, Bush managed to ward off terrorism post-9/11, though he is also widely criticized for not doing enough to prevent the tragedy. Love him or hate him, Bush is definitely one of the best known politicians of the 2000's.
- Barack Obama. Obama won the 2008 election over John McCain, and was heralded as the far left's answer to Ronald Reagan until over one year passed in his presidency and very little was accomplished. Whoever is to blame, Obama is still one of the best known politicians of the 2000's.
- Al Gore. After his controversial loss to George Bush in the 2000 election, Al Gore took a cue from former President Bill Clinton and devoted his efforts to causes that he could control rather than partisan Washington bickering. His efforts have been widely viewed as noble and well-meaning, and have also kept him in the spotlight as one of the best known politicians of the 2000's.
- Hillary Clinton. Clinton's bitter contest with Barack Obama ended with an appointment to the position of Secretary of State within the new administration. Wife to former President Bill Clinton and a powerful former New York Senator in her own right, Hillary will likely remain one of the best known politicians of the 2000's and beyond.
- Nancy Pelosi. Seen as a champion of the liberal platform by her supporters and a divisive shrew by the far right, Pelosi has flexed her political muscles on health care and counter-terrorist interrogation techniques. It remains to be seen whether she will keep her job during the mid-term elections, but the current Speaker of the House of Representatives has certainly earned her place on the list of best known politicians of the 2000's.
- Ted Kennedy. Kennedy is gone but not forgotten, as evidenced in the continued efforts to achieve universal health care. The former senator from Massachusetts died of brain cancer in 2009, but his desire that all Americans be able to afford health care continues to rage on in Washington making him one of the most prolific and best known politicians of the 2000's.
- Dick Cheney. The former Vice President of the United States advised President George Bush on the Iraqi War and has received a large amount of criticism as a result. His hunting accident in which he shot a fellow hunter during the Bush Administration's second term also garnered quite a bit of criticism and perhaps made him one of the best known politicians of the 2000's for the wrong reasons.
- Mitt Romney. Romney's bid for the 2008 Republican nomination was unsuccessful, but don't count this businessman and politician out just yet. After the Obama Administration's wildly unsuccessful efforts to restore the economy, the country could be open to his acumen in the 2012 elections.
- John McCain. The Arizona Senator may have lost his 2008 presidential bid, but he will be remembered for his partisanship during the Bush years, and his heroic time as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. With a career that continues into the Aughties, he could also be remembered as the Republican's answer to Ted Kennedy.
- Sarah Palin. Criticized for her inexperience as much as she is heralded for her devotion to husband and kids, Sarah Palin is a newcomer to the political scene, but as former governor of Alaska and current Fox News pundit, she proves her vitality in the political arena. Palin may or may not run for the 2012 Republican nomination, but she will certainly stay in the public eye as one of the best known politicians of the 2000's.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
6 Signs She Wants You to Come Talk to Her at the Bar
These not-so-subtle hints mean legit interest—and time for action.
The 7 Best Exercises to Build Arms That Turn Heads
Because who doesn’t want wicked big guns?
How to Turn (Almost) Every Lady’s Head
Top female stylists share their favorite men’s looks.