This is probably our favorite post to write each year, our Thanksgiving tradition in which we give due recognition to those great pols who fell flat on their faces most spectacularly (and humorously) over the last year.
Hillary Clinton, for not realizing her server was going rogue and improperly storing classified emails.
Scott Walker, for going from presidential front-runner to has-been in record time. We would have liked to see that wall down the middle of Lake Superior though.
Frank Guinta, for his verbal gymnastics in covering up his parents’ improper funding of his campaign. It wasn’t an improper donation. He embezzled that money from his family fair and square!
Chaka Fattah, for managing to parlay a fizzled mayoral run into a decade-long corruption scheme.
Dianna Duran, for using her campaign money to feed a gambling addiction while campaigning on a promise to clean up the office charged with monitoring elections. Guess she didn’t know when to walk away and when to run.
Troy Kelley, for building a business career out of embezzling money from customers and then managing to win election to an office charged with rooting out fraud.
Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, for pulling the impressive feat of having both of a state’s legislative leaders, from different parties, indicted in the same year for corruption. If they share a cell they can be two of the Three Men in a Room again.
Bill deBlasio, for being Bill deBlasio.
Atturkeys General: Two strong contenders in this category. Ken Paxton deserves a mention for not lasting a year in office before getting hit with a fraud indictment, but of course it’s impossible to beat Kathleen Kane, who continues to hang onto office by her fingernails despite being disbarred and thus no longer being an attorney. Perhaps we should just rename her office to the Defendant General.
Turkey Party of the Year: We had a competitive race for this award. The runner-up is the Mississippi Democrats, who had two respectable sacrifical lambs to choose from for Governor, and passed them both over for a candidate who didn’t campaign, raise money… or vote for himself. But as strong a challenge as the MSDP put up, our Turkey Party of the Year has to go to the UK Labour Party. After nominating a radical left-wing and personally awkward leader that got them flattened in a second straight general election, they decided their problem was that their leader wasn’t radical or awkward enough. Jeremy Corbyn is sure to provide much amusement in the years ahead.
The Charlie Crist Award for party-switching goes to Artur Davis, for attempting to come crawling back to one of the most anemic parties in the country (Alabama Democrats) and being rebuffed.
The Martha Coakley Award for campaign ineptitude goes to Nassau GOP machine hack extraordinaire Kate Murray. Despite being the well-regarded quasi-mayor for half the county, she couldn’t come up with a better rationale for becoming DA than it being her turn, and lost to an unheralded Democrat despite the legendary Nassau GOP machine backing.
The Bill Clinton Award for Philandering goes jointly to Michigan State Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Two married legislators having an affair think its a good idea to concoct a fake gay sex scandal so the real heterosexual thing won’t seem as bad. You’d be laughed out of any publisher if you tried to sell that as a story.
The Dan Quayle Award for Gaffe of the Year was hotly contested, with three strong contenders:
2nd runner up is Jack Conway, who aptly brought up his bitch as an example of his commitment to women’s rights.
1st runner-up for this award is Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who decided to give rioters space to destroy her city.
But the winner is Kevin McCarthy. Everybody thought he was unbeatable to become Speaker of the House, right? But then he put together a Benghazi committee.
Turkey of the Year:
And now, the 2015 Turkey of the Year. Their name will be inscribed on our wall of birdbrains, joining these illustrious honorees:
2014: Bruce Braley | 2013: Anthony Weiner | 2012: Todd Akin | 2011: Anthony Weiner
Our 2nd Runner Up is John Kitzhaber, for acting out a positively Shakespearean drama on the people of Oregon by allowing his fiancee to manipulate state resources to benefit her
sham marriage, er, marijuana farm, er, environmental consulting operation.
Our 1st Runner Up is David Vitter, for not seeing that Louisiana was giving him a red light despite his activities in that district.
And our 2015 Turkey of the Year is… Aaron Schock. It’s hard to turn a fluff-piece about your office decor into a career-ending scandal, but DC’s foremost Downton Abbey fan did just that. After his office servants turned away a Style section reporter looking to do a story on the stately manor’s decor, they started digging and found the lord of the manor playing fast and loose with the estate’s funds. And I thought watching PBS was supposed to make you smarter.