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 McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit 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 Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle 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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