5. Charlie Rangel - his ethical issues notwithstanding, the Harlem representative brings a unique perspective as a military veteran, black caucus member, and seasoned lawmaker.
4. Maxine Waters - while not the most eloquent, the California rep. pursues her left wing agenda with great skill.
3. Barney Frank - his quick thinking skills serve him and the nation well. He knows how to balance achieving ideological goals with concrete progess.
2. John Spratt - his work on budget issues especially while in the minority was very impressive. Now that Democrats have the majority he will be tested to formulate a concensus within a wide coalition.
1. Nancy Pelosi - Her tight reign on the House of Representatives is impressive. She constantly dedicates herself to the nation's well being. It is clear the country and the caucus are generally to her right, yet the Speaker of the House is well respected by all sides.