10 most powerful women in Washington

Rarely has D.C. wielded so much power over business, and never have so many women been calling the shots. We've ranked the 10 with the most impact excluding just one -- Michelle Obama -- who exercises her own brand of influence.

1 of 10
1. Nancy Pelosi
1. Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House

Feared and loathed by many, she's the force behind efforts to overhaul entire sectors like health care and energy. And while the Senate serves as a check on her authority, no one crosses Pelosi without regretting it.
NEXT: 2. Hillary Clinton
Last updated September 10 2009: 3:38 PM ET
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