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Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards for 2010

Every year, I look back and nominate a number of politicians, campaigns and politically related entities as the “best,” “worst” or even “weirdest” of the cycle. I’m doing it again this year, because — let’s be honest — it’s a way of combining political analysis with personal animosity.

So here are my finalists for various categories. Please send your votes to Chris Cillizza of The Fix. Just don’t send them to me.

Most Overhyped Candidate Of 2010

• Connecticut GOP Senate nominee Linda McMahon

• Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink

• New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino

• Pennsylvania Democratic Congressional candidate John Callahan

• Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White

I always thought that Paladino was a joke and that much of the media attention he received after his primary win was delusional. McMahon fell far short of defeating Democrat Richard Blumenthal, but there was a time when she looked credible. I’ll never believe Democratic statewide spin about Texas — at least not until they finally win one.

That leaves Sink — who couldn’t even beat a guy whose company paid a $1.7 billion fine for Medicare fraud — and Callahan, who Democrats insisted would defeat Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). Callahan drew 39 percent of the vote — 17 points less than President Barack Obama did in 2008. My pick: Sink.

I’m Over Them: Candidates and Personalities I’m sick of

• Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R)

• Any other member of the Palin family

• Any “personality” on Fox News after
3 p.m.

• Any “personality” on MSNBC after 3 p.m.

• Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D)

No, you can’t vote for all of the above. I’m so tired of the Palin coverage — it’s like the media is on Palin heroin and can’t resist reporting on anything that she or her family does, no matter how irrelevant. I’m voting for Spitzer in this category. Every intelligent, reasonable woman I’ve ever spoken to refuses to watch the CNN show because of him. You would think that might disqualify him as a host, but the former boss of CNN apparently figured that fame — even the kind of fame that makes one infamous — is enough. Wrong.

I’m Over Them: Candidates Who Shouldn’t Run Again

• Washington GOP Senate nominee Dino Rossi

• Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)

• Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell

• Colorado GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes

• Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes (D)

Another difficult choice. Rossi has lost three competitive races in a row. He can run again, but only if he’s absolutely sure it’s in the bag. O’Donnell has also run three times and lost. Hopefully, that will be enough for her. Maes drew 11 percent of the vote as a major party nominee. Even he’ll figure out that he shouldn’t run again.

That leaves Barnes and Grayson as the best choices. I’m going with Grayson, who is so arrogant and self-centered that he probably figures his 38 percent showing is enough reason to run again. It isn’t, Alan. Trust me. It isn’t.

Worst Political Hair of the Cycle

• Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott (R)

• Stuart Rothenberg

• Missouri GOP Senate candidate Chuck Purgason

• Charlie Cook

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