2. Pete Rouse: As a senator, President Obama convinced Rouse, a long-time aide to former senator and Majority Leader Tom Daschle, to help put his office together. Five years later, Rouse is now Obama's principal deputy chief of staff and one of Obama's longest serving aides. He's Mr. Fix-It -- the guy the White House turns to when everything falls apart. Rouse is now supervising the interagency group dealing with the disposal of Guantanamo detainees. He's also supervising a re-think of the White House domestic policy process. He's also circumspect and almost never talks to the press.
3. Steve Coll: The Pulitzer-Prize winning author, former Washington Post associate editor and New Yorker columnist has had several private meetings with President Obama to talk about Afghanistan -- the only journalist-type Obama has consulted about his new strategy. Coll is now the CEO of the New America Foundation.
4. Anita Dunn and Robert Bauer - the White House communications director and the president's private lawyer, respectively.
5. John Hamre: the president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, he's also the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, and an important, though discrete, source of advice to the National Security Adviser, Gen. Jim Jones and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
6. Mark Mazzetti: ask Washington insiders whose byline is scarier these days: Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times's intelligence community correspondent, or Bob Woodward. At the very least, they'll have to think about it.
7. Tammy Haddad -- one of the best television news producers ever, Haddad is now the premiere multimedia event planner in Washington. If there's a major, news-making conference or gala, chances are that Haddad had a role in planning it. (Disclosure: Haddad has consulted for the Atlantic Media Company.)
8. Chief Judge Royce Lambert
, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
, Thomas F. Hogan
-- three judges on the U.S. District Court in DC who are dealing with the most difficult and sensitive GMTO, terrorism and national security cases. They've become our de-facto national security court, and their rulings significantly influence the policy -- and the politics -- of these issues.
9. Others: Ted Leonisis
(investor, sports owner), Aneesh Chopra
(U.S. chief technology officer), Laurie Battaglia
(#2 at Economist Group), Mike Allen
(Politico chief political writer), Gentry Collins
(RNC political director)