Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards for 2014
Well, we’ve made it through another strange political year — and let’s face it, they are all strange — so it’s time for me to devote another column to picking the best, the worst and the weirdest candidates, campaigns and outcomes of the year.
As always, I will select a few nominees and offer my own winner. If you don’t agree, feel free to send an email complaining to someone else. Just not me.
Biggest Surprise of 2014
Dave Brat over Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th District GOP primary
Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage re-elected
The University of Connecticut men win the 2014 basketball national championship by defeating Iowa State, Louisville and Kentucky.
Sen. Thad Cochran over Chris McDaniel in Mississippi’s GOP Senate primary
Larry Hogan Jr. over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for Maryland governor
My winner: UCONN, obviously.
The Worst Campaign of 2014
Martha Robertson, D-N.Y.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
Ed FitzGerald, D-Ohio
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.
Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont.
My winner: Udall.
Almost every Democrat running in Arkansas
Terri Lynn Land, R-Mich.
Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa
Stuart Rothenberg, Rothenberg Political Report
Alison Lundergan Grimes, D-Ky.
Boston Red Sox
Ann E. Callis, D-Ill.
My winner: All deserving nominees, so it’s a seven-way tie.
Underrated for Too Long
Joni Ernst, R-Iowa
Seth Moulton, D-Mass.
Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo.
Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.
Brad Ashford, D-Neb.
My winner: Moulton, but I still can’t believe Grimm won comfortably.
Most “Memorable” Candidate Interview of the Cycle
Lee Bright, R-S.C.
Annette Bosworth, R-S.D.
Brad Hutto, D-S.C.
Mead Treadwell, R-Alaska
Gary Kiehne, R-Ariz.
My winner: There were no winners among this group, which ranged from hopefuls who were angry and bitter, to possibly delusional and silly and out of touch. But they were all memorable, certainly, and even entertaining, in a bizarre way. (See our interviews from this cycle below.)