Top 10 Political Stories for 2011: Page 8 of 11

Top 10 Political Stories for 2011

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THE REID AND MCCONNELL SHOW

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) never made any bones about his prime objective. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he said late last year.

McConnell’s Democratic counterpart, Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (Nev.) has an equally clear aim: to somehow preserve his party’s majority in the upper chamber in 2012, despite the fact that the Democrats must defend 23 seats to the Republicans’ 10.

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The consequence has been an especially ill-tempered Senate session, with maneuvering for political advantage often seeming to take precedence over crafting legislation that has any credible chance of passing into law.

There were exceptions to this: McConnell and Reid ultimately hammered out a deal on the debt ceiling in the nick of time. But, for the most part, productivity has taken second place to politicking.

Here are The Hill’s choices for the 10 most important political stories of the year:

Bin Laden | Giffords | Dissent
Message? | Economy | GOP's reign
Reid & McConnell | Debt ceiling | The wire | GOP candidates

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