1. John F. Kennedy: He had it all, and modern politics is based on his charisma, good looks and style. Indeed, much of the modern America myth making is based on the "Camelot" years.

2. Ronald Reagan: Effortless, easy, comfortable, utterly committed but somehow accessible like no President since.

3. Bill Clinton: A big Irish heart and a success record on Ireland that no President in history enjoyed. Looking better and better in the rear view mirror, too.

4. Barack Obama: Irish on his mother's side from County Offaly. Still unproven, but he sure got our attention with his incredible victory.

5. Teddy Roosevelt: a founder of the American Irish Historical Society in tribute to his mother's Dublin roots. Gave us the modern day conservation of our natural resources movement.


1. Edward Kennedy: Lion of the Senate much missed and beloved -- or reviled and disdained depending on your point of view. A giant.

2.Newt Gingrich Singlehandedly created the modern conservative movement with his contract for America. Donegal roots.

3. Tip O'Neill: Big bluff smiling Boston Irishman with a brain like a razor who belied his crumpled image to become a great legislator.

4. Mitch McConnell: "Doctor No" of the Senate who has tied up the Democrats in knots. Canny and wise, he is playing an extraordinary hand.

5. Hillary Clinton: Not Irish, but her work on behalf of peace in Northern Ireland qualifies her. Unlucky not to be President.