Harry Reid and John Boehner: Washington persons of the year

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 Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who closed the year very strongly by crushing the Tea Party and saving Republicans from another shutdown fiasco.

Reid and Boehner 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 Cruz (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 Rubio (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 Baucus (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 Wyden (D-Ore.) to become chairman of the Finance Committee, which opens to the door for Sen. Mary Landrieu (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?

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