Top 10 Political Stories for 2011: Page 8 of 11



Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRubio: GOP Congress could go in different direction than Trump Pelosi blasts GOP leaders for silence on Trump Reid: Groping accusations show Trump’s ‘sickness’ 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 ReidNevada GOP Senate candidate drops support for Trump McConnell to Trump: 'Take full responsibility' for lewd comments Reid to GOP: Drop 'sociopath' Trump 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.

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