(Charlie Archambault for USN&WR)
The year 2011 occupied the political space that existed between the upheaval of the 2010 mid-term elections and the build-up to the 2012 presidential elections. It was a year marked as much by foreign events as domestic, between the Arab Spring and a still stagnant national economy. Yet several new players fought their way to the top and made their mark on the political discussion and policies of the country. Here's a list of the most influential political newcomers of 2011.