Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards for 2014

Posted December 2, 2014 at 4:01am

 Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards for 2014

Braley is a nominee for most over-rated campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Well, we’ve made it through another strange political year — and let’s face it, they are all strange — so it’s time for me to devote another column to picking the best, the worst and the weirdest candidates, campaigns and outcomes of the year.

As always, I will select a few nominees and offer my own winner. If you don’t agree, feel free to send an email complaining to someone else. Just not me.

Biggest Surprise of 2014

The nominees:

Dave Brat over Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th District GOP primary

Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage re-elected

The University of Connecticut men win the 2014 basketball national championship by defeating Iowa State, Louisville and Kentucky.

Sen. Thad Cochran over Chris McDaniel in Mississippi’s GOP Senate primary

Larry Hogan Jr. over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for Maryland governor

My winner: UCONN, obviously.

The Worst Campaign of 2014

The nominees:

Martha Robertson, D-N.Y.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

Ed FitzGerald, D-Ohio

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont.

My winner: Udall.

Most Overrated

The nominees:

Almost every Democrat running in Arkansas

Terri Lynn Land, R-Mich.

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa

Stuart Rothenberg, Rothenberg Political Report

Alison Lundergan Grimes, D-Ky.

Boston Red Sox

Ann E. Callis, D-Ill.

My winner: All deserving nominees, so it’s a seven-way tie.

Underrated for Too Long

The nominees:

Joni Ernst, R-Iowa

Seth Moulton, D-Mass.

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.

Brad Ashford, D-Neb.

My winner: Moulton, but I still can’t believe Grimm won comfortably.

Most “Memorable” Candidate Interview of the Cycle

The nominees:

Lee Bright, R-S.C.

Annette Bosworth, R-S.D.

Brad Hutto, D-S.C.

Mead Treadwell, R-Alaska

Gary Kiehne, R-Ariz.

My winner: There were no winners among this group, which ranged from hopefuls who were angry and bitter, to possibly delusional and silly and out of touch. But they were all memorable, certainly, and even entertaining, in a bizarre way. (See our interviews from this cycle below.)