When Barack Obama declared "We are the change we've been waiting for," the pundits scratched their heads. In retrospect, though, it seems as if That One was onto something. For better or worse, we're living through a moment of intense transformation. In politics, the Bush years have been dustbinned. As far as the economy goes, the heady days of hedge-fund excess have been reduced to burnt toast. And from a Madonna standpoint, the Guy Ritchie era has been swept away. "The Power 40" reflects this whiplash-inducing volatility. Many of the usual suspects have been replaced with an array of wild cards and agents of change. A home-wrecking home-run hitter? Check. Tech guys who have all of tweendom a-Twitter? Yup. Buddhists with bombs? Uh-huh. This year proved you can never be sure of what comes next (hell, Chinese Democracy finally showed up, didn't it?). The whole point of power, after all, is to keep 'em guessing.
*Todd, Track, and Trig Palin,
*David Plouffe, Campaign Manager,
*David Jones, Euro RSCG,
Christopher Barger, GM,
*Kai Huang, CEO, RedOctane
*Mikheil Saakashvili, President, Georgia
Don't miss our Power Tools list of 2008's biggest losers, including Brett Favre, Mario Lopez, and Joe the Plumber.