The week between Christmas and New Years day brings us a plethora of "Top Ten" lists in every area of politics, culture, media, and sport. Why this is so is something of a mystery. My own theory is that writers are desperately casting about for something to write about during what is a fairly quiet news period, and latch on to some form of a top ten list to fulfill their quota of articles for the week.
Be that as it may, Politico has the "Top Ten Political Moments of 2010." You can guess at most of them. Others may surprise you. Scott Brown's victory, for instance:
Brown's shocking surge was interpreted as hard evidence of the tea party movement's momentum and the notion of a Republican sitting in Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy's old seat left Democrats wondering whether the special election was an aberration - or a sign of things to come.The passage of Obamacare and the AZ immigration statute also made it. And then there was Christine O'Donnell and Carl Paladino primary wins:
Their stunning wins in Delaware's Senate primary and New York's gubernatorial primary left the GOP with two not-ready-for-prime-time players with a record of embarrassing past statements and antics to explain to general election voters.
O'Donnell's victory would cost the GOP a Senate seat: The pol she defeated for the GOP nomination, Rep. Mike Castle, had a wide lead in every matchup against Democratic nominee Chris Coons.
The GOP nominee for governor in New York was always going to be an underdog against Democratic Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, but Paladino's bombast proved costly - he won just 34 percent at the top of the ticket, a performance that helped no other Republican candidates and almost certainly hurt many others.
That's an awful lot taken for granted. Measuring coattails in New York is an exercise in magical thinking while the Castle "victory" was not assured by any means. Castle would have been one or two gaffes away from losing and to posit otherwise is nonsense.
Can't really argue with what was chosen as the top ten political moments but how Andy Barr spun the stories was perhaps to be expected but arguably partisan.