Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Awards

Before I hand out the awards, I apologize that so many are related to the Presidential election. It's just that it was such an earthquake that it can't be ignored.

Story Of The Year: Pretty easy--the election of Donald Trump.  Any other year, it might have been Brexit, but Trump managed to make that look like small potatoes.

Person Of The Year: For the second year in a row, Donald Trump.  No matter how you feel about him, he's shaken up everything. 

Winner Of The Year: Mike Pence.  The guy had been around, but he wasn't exactly on everyone's lips. Then he gets picked for no obvious reason to be the running mate of someone who looks like a sure loser.  Instead, Pence is now second-in-command for a President whom a lot of people would love to impeach.
Loser Of The Year: James Comey.  When the year started, everyone thought highly of him.  Now both sides think he's horrible.  Runner-up: Billy Bush.  Just another show biz guy obsequiously laughing at whatever an important person says, and that laugh finished him (even if it didn't finish the person it was supposed to finish).  Second Runner-up: Merrick Garland.  A nice, reasonable guy who had to wait months and month, hoping he might get a hearing from the Senate.  And then, near the end of the year, he even could hope if Hillary Clinton won and the Dems took the Senate, he might lame-duck it in.  So close.

Glass Ceiling Award: Kellyanne Conway, the first successful female presidential campaign manager.

Winner/Loser Of The Year: Barack Obama.  I doubt he's happy a Republican won, and that his legacy may end up in the ash heap.  But, as much as I don't like mindreading, I can't help but wonder if he sort of enjoys still being the top person in his party, with no one else close.  He and Hillary (plus Bill) hadn't exactly been the best of friends in the past, and if she won, the Clintons would be back in charge, and who'd care about Obama?

Most Pathetic Figure: Hillary Clinton. It had been finally her turn 8 years ago, but we know how that turned out.  Now it was finally, finally her turn.  Could there be any doubt?  And then she lost to the most unpopular candidate for President the GOP had ever chosen.

Biggest Surprise Election Result: Let's go with Ron Johnson holding his Senate seat in Wisconsin over Russ Feingold.  Johnson had been losing in every poll, but won handily, and with a majority.

Most Quixotic Story Of The Year: Trying to flip the electors.  I guess you can't blame them (for trying to turn our nation into a banana republic), but did they really think there was a chance?

Runner-up:  Jill Stein's recount.

Time To Say Goodbye Award: Harry Reid.  A fighter who's been around forever--now he's leaving, his party not in great shape. Some will say he did what he could, some will say he's partly responsible for the mess.  Runner-up: The Bush and Clinton dynasties.

Do We Have To Prove This Every Year Story: The Clinton people spent about half a billion more than the Trump people, once again showing money isn't everything in politics.

Top New Personality. Steve Bannon.  No one had heard of him in 2015.  Now they're sure talking about him.
Biggest Non-Story: Fake news.  If it means anything, it doesn't mean much, but everyone is running around declaring it's significant.  (There are a number of runner-ups here related to other thing Hillary Clinton supporters blame for her loss.)
Biggest Story That Meant Absolutely Nothing In America: Brexit.  A huge story, yes, but we don't really care, and it doesn't really make much difference here.

Best Question:

To Be Continued Story: In 2010, President Obama lost the House.  In 2014, he lost the Senate.  Now his party lost the White House.  Will this finally mean his legacy disappears, or will he and his party be more resilient?

Biggest Story Still To Be Bigger Story: Trump's lack of foreign policy knowledge.  It meant something when he ran, but it'll really mean something starting next year.  He'll have plenty of advisors, of course, so maybe he'll make up for this deficit.  Stay tuned.
Most Overhyped Story: A rise in hate crimes.  Not clear if it happened, and less clear if the rise (which doesn't mean there's a lot in any case) is due to Trump supporters or Trump opponents.  Runner-up: Trump to change the Supreme Court.  Perhaps, but at present, he'll only be replacing Justice Scalia, which means the Court will probably stay the same or perhaps get more liberal.  We don't know if he'll end up doing anything more than that.

Biggest Unforced Error: Hillary Clinton's entire campaign.  She thought she had it easy (as did most people) and so will now get to spend perhaps the rest of her life wondering if, with just a little more effort--especially in the industrial Midwest--she might have won.

How Soon We Forget Award: Remember when people were thinking Trump might win the vote and Hillary win the Electoral College?

Whatever Happened To Award: John Kasich.  You could say this for a lot of Republicans who ran against Trump (or chose not to, Mitt), but if Kasich stands out it's because he was so clearly hoping to be the spokesperson for a rational GOP after Trump lost.  Now, who cares? Runner-up:  Evan McMullin.  For a while it looked like he might actually make a difference, but now I don't think he'll even rise to the level of a Jeopardy! question.

Celebrity Meltdown Of The Year: So many to choose from related to the election.  Guess I'll go with Chelsea Handler.  I couldn't find it by itself, so here's a compilation: 

Worst Trend:  Dead musicians.  I know it happens every year, but with David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Paul Kantner, Maurice White, Keith Emerson, Merle Haggard, Prince, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Greg Lake, George Michael and others, somehow it seemed worse than usual in 2016.

Most Unifying Moment:  MTV puts out a video where annoying people talk down to America.  It brought us together in that almost everyone except the people who made this hated it.  (MTV pulled it, but it's still easy to see.)

Biggest Show Biz News:  It appear Saturday Night Live will once again be making fun of the President.

Biggest Sports Story:  Could there be any doubt?  In some years, this could have been the biggest story of the year.

Most Compelling TV Show:  Stephen Colbert's election night special on Showtime.  He was off from CBS that night for obvious reasons, so planned an hour that was supposed to be a victory lap, and one last chance to slam Trump.  Instead, as the awful truth started to dawn on Colbert and his guests, it turned into a wake.  You couldn't take your eyes off it. 

Most Surprising Prize Prize:  Bob Dylan wins the Nobel for literature.  Seems ridiculous until you look at some of the other recent Nobel Prize winners.
Fifteen Minutes Award:  Ryan Lochte.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Brexit may never happen.

Trump could be the "liberal" bulwark against a crazy congress.

Yep that's reaching

I don't know why Putin didn't consideration as man of the year, in fact nary a mention here. I guess folks are awkward about the whole Kremlin stooge thing.

4:39 AM, December 30, 2016  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I think the most momentous effect of 2016 is that Hillary Clinton will not select the Scalia replacement. I agree that Trump is not a conservative in the political sense, but if he picks off his list of 20, the S.Ct will remain center right for at least another decade.

I would add a "Most Sour Grapes Award" for 2016, to President Obama, for the most passive aggressive lame duck period in memory (ever?). Maybe he feels it is justified by Trump's insertion of himself into government matters even before his inauguration, but it seems to me Obama has gone way beyond what anyone might have expected. A short list: damaging relations with Israel, complicating relations with Russia, undermining efforts to defeat ISIS, punishing Utah, punishing the oil industry, and already the highest number of Presidential pardons on record, we'll see what he does in his last 3 weeks.

I wonder if his staff will be gluing file cabinets shut and removing telephone connections, like the Clinton administration did when George Bush was coming into office?

9:20 AM, December 30, 2016  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Put was "Winner of the Year" last year. Maybe I figured that was enough. (Fidel Castro was runner-up--he didn't do so well this year. He almost got the "Goodbye" award but it seemed like rubbing it in.)

10:04 AM, December 30, 2016  

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