Occupation: Governor, State of Illinois
Like Sam Zell (No. 8), the governor is moving up on the list more from a spate of good luck than his own machinations. His formidable primary challengers have all but disappeared from the governor’s race. His suspension of legislators’ pay to push pension reform was more stunt than strategy—but, hey, many voters liked it. And his longtime support for same-sex marriage culminated in an emotional—and popular—bill-signing ceremony. Quinn is hardly out of the woods; at presstime, his poll numbers, like Illinois’s credit rating, were still bringing up the rear.