Since I am on a roll with Time magazine choosing Pope Francis as Person of the Year, after watching President Obama in his farewell press conference for the year, it occurred to me to suggest my first annual Washington Person of the Year.
This year the result is a tie. The co-winners are Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWeek ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE (R-Ohio) who closed the year very strongly by crushing the Tea Party and saving Republicans from another shutdown fiasco.
Reid and BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE both learned from their mistakes and became champions and winners of Person of the Year. Reid became fed up by the filibusters, so he changed the rules. Boehner became fed up by tea party nihilism, so he put his legislative boot on their necks. They both closed the year very strong and by learning from their mistakes, and correctly changing course, they stand in contrast with President Obama, who gives no evidence of learning from mistakes and made a strong bid to be loser of the year.
Don't get me wrong, I am not comparing Harry Reid to the pope, I am comparing him to Niccolo Machiavelli in the most honorable sense of the comparison. And Speaker Boehner ended the year like a champion by laying down the law to my loser of the year who edged out Obama for the honor: the tea party, which will have lots of time to go duck hunting.
President Obama obviously had a bad year, though Obama was not even close to being the big loser of the year. The loser of the year award goes to the tea party and Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzKansas Republican sworn in after special election Overnight Finance: Dems want ObamaCare subsidies for extra military spending | Trade battle: Woe, Canada? | Congress nears deal to help miners | WH preps to release tax plan Cruz: Seize money from drug lords to fund border wall MORE (R-Texas), who may be able to milk suckers for dollars but who have been marginalized into insignificance first by American voters and then by the now-formidable Speaker Boehner.
Another candidate for loser of the year was Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioTop Trump officials push border wall as government shutdown looms Rubio defends Trump: 'This whole flip-flop thing is a political thing' Rubio: Shutdown would have 'catastrophic impact' on global affairs MORE (R-Fla.), who seemed to believe that his pathway to citizenship at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was to campaign as the younger brother of Ted Cruz, and who ended the year being eclipsed by former former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) who will be the only serious Floridian candidate for the presidency in 2016.
Obama was certainly a big loser this year, but he was no match for the tea party, Cruz and Rubio for the loser slot.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was a strong candidate for Person of the Year and big winner. Reid was once the frontrunner for both with his big win on the nuclear option and pushing through Obama's judicial nominations, and the Obama masterstroke of sending Sen. Max BaucusMax BaucusChanging of the guard at DC’s top lobby firm GOP hasn’t reached out to centrist Dem senators Five reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through MORE (D-Mont.) to be ambassador to China, which was probably a secretly inspired masterstroke of Harry Reid because it would give a huge boost to maintaining Democrats control of the Senate.
As a devout student of Niccolo Machiavelli, the Baucus move is a work of art. It not only allows the Montana governor to name his Democratic successor for the remainder of the Baucus term, and thereby improve the chances of Democrats holding the Montana seat, but it allows Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenOvernight Finance: Dems want ObamaCare subsidies for extra military spending | Trade battle: Woe, Canada? | Congress nears deal to help miners | WH preps to release tax plan Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly Lighthizer unanimously approved by Senate panel MORE (D-Ore.) to become chairman of the Finance Committee, which opens to the door for Sen. Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Five unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist MORE (D-La.) to become chairman of the Energy Committee, which will make Landrieu the prohibitive favorite to be reelected, which markedly increases the chances that Democrats keep the Senate, which makes Harry Reid my first among co-winners as Washington Person of the Year.
Don't ya' love this stuff?