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 McConnellPolitical figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer Charles Krauthammer dies at the age of 68 Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos 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 ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary 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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