The 2011 TIME 100, Time magazine’s list of the 100 “most influential people in the world,” includes three — and only three — potential Republican presidential candidates. Which three? Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Michele Bachmann. Could Time, for all its weaknesses, have a better sense than the inside-the-Beltway crowd of which prospective candidates have the capacity to catch fire in the popular culture and gain favor with the wider citizenry?

Not coincidentally, these three also have at least one other thing in common: They are the Tea Party’s three favorite presidential prospects.

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