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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. Im doing it again this year, because lets be honest its 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 dont 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. Ill never believe Democratic statewide spin about Texas at least not until they finally win one.

That leaves Sink who couldnt 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.

Im Over Them: Candidates and Personalities Im 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 cant vote for all of the above. Im so tired of the Palin coverage its like the media is on Palin heroin and cant resist reporting on anything that she or her family does, no matter how irrelevant. Im voting for Spitzer in this category. Every intelligent, reasonable woman Ive 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.

Im Over Them: Candidates Who Shouldnt Run Again

• Washington GOP Senate nominee Dino Rossi

• Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)

• Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine ODonnell

• 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 hes absolutely sure its in the bag. ODonnell 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 hell figure out that he shouldnt run again.

That leaves Barnes and Grayson as the best choices. Im 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 isnt, Alan. Trust me. It isnt.

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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