10 politicians to watch in 2013

  • Updated: December 31, 2012 - 6:52 PM
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U.S. Rep. Tim Scott

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From the halls of the U.S. Capitol to the Oval Office, plenty of political personalities will garner attention in 2013. Some have been in the spotlight for years, while others are embarking on the national stage for the first time.

Here's is McClatchy Newspapers' list of 10 people to watch in 2013.

Tim Scott: The soon-to-be senator becomes the first black Republican in the chamber since Ed Brooke of Massachusetts in the 1960s and 1970s and the first African-American from the South since Reconstruction. The South Carolinian joins the Senate at a time when the Republican Party tries to increase its outreach.

Cecilia Munoz: Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council is likely to play a critical role in the president's effort to reform the nation's immigration system. Munoz has long been involved in the issue -- first at the National Council of La Raza and later as the president's liaison to the Hispanic community -- and understands the frustration activists feel by lawmakers' failure to act.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: WWHD: What Will Hillary Do? The first lady turned New York senator is set to depart as secretary of state. After visiting more than 100 nations in four years, she says she wants to travel for fun, exercise and relax. But there are plenty of people who want her to run for president in 2016. At this writing, she is hospitalized with a blood clot near her brain.

John Boehner: The GOP House speaker fought with mixed results in 2012 to keep his Tea Party-infused caucus in line. In the midst of the fiscal cliff talks, he was forced to pull his own "Plan B" proposal from the House floor because of lack of support. Some conservatives off the Hill question his leadership.

John Kerry: The longtime Democratic senator from Massachusetts has been nominated to be secretary of state. Kerry will command attention merely because he replaces Hillary Rodham Clinton. But foreign policy experts also will be watching the Vietnam veteran and onetime presidential contender to see how aggressive he will be on the world stage in a job he had coveted for years.

Rick Snyder: Will the Republican governor of Michigan become the next Scott Walker? Signing right-to-work legislation has made Snyder a darling to the right and a target to the left as he faces re-election in 2014. On Friday, he signed into law one abortion-related bill and vetoed another, drawing mixed response.

Wayne LaPierre: The National Rifle Association's outspoken executive vice president is lobbying to put guns in every school following the massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. LaPierre's comments, in which he blamed movies, video games and the media for gun violence, evoked passion from both sides of one of America's most controversial issues.

Jim DeMint: The outgoing senator from South Carolina will soon head the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. As a senator, he helped bankroll Tea Party candidates, often to the chagrin of the Republican establishment. The firebrand is free of Senate rules and should remain a kingmaker.

Terry McAuliffe: The former Democratic National Committee chairman, businessman and friend of Bill Clinton is running for governor in Virginia, one of only two states with statewide elections next year. McAuliffe, known for his booming voice and outsized personality, lost the Democratic nomination in 2009.

Elizabeth Warren: The newly elected Democratic senator from Massachusetts won a hard-fought race against Republican incumbent Scott Brown in one of the most-watched elections of 2012. The former Harvard law professor who helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau landed a spot on the Senate Banking Committee.

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