Occupation: Republican House whip
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The Virginia Republican has had a meteoric rise: he's been in the House for less than a decade and is already the No. 2 House Republican and the potential next majority leader if the Republicans manage to take back the House. This past year he's been busy authoring many of the GOP counterproposals to Democratic legislation, whipping his members to near unanimous opposition and sparring with President Obama on national television. Comparisons are being drawn between Cantor and another fiery House member who made his name leading the GOP out of the political wilderness: Newt Gingrich.