OCCUPATION: Former Republican governor of Arkansas, ex-Presidential candidate
NUMBER OF TIME COVERS: 0
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES ON THE TIME 100: 0
PRO: With his surprise capture of Iowa, the affable, surprisingly ironic (Chuck Norris was his highest-profile endorsement) evangelical upended the Republican race before Fred Thompson stopped his march in South Carolina, siphoning off just enough votes to give John McCain a strategic Southern victory. After belatedly dropping out of contention, he gave a graceful speech on race, in praise of Barack Obama's oration.
CON: It's almost enough to make you forget about how he pandered to South Carolina fire-eaters with talk of proudly flying the stars-and-bars. But while evangelicals liked him, Wall Street and the GOP center remained suspicious of his wacky, quasi-populist economic policies which might have torpedoed his hopes of nabbing No. 2 on the McCain ticket.
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