Everyone obviously has his or her own criteria for Person of the Year. I don’t buy the Time Magazine approach that it can be something like a computer or…surprise, surprise (not!)… a protestor as it was in 2011. To me, that’s the ultimate cop out. I always opt for one living breathing human being, and I try to base it on the one person who symbolizes what has been happening the past year. And I’m not big on repeat performers like Barack Obama (2008 and 2012).
For 2011, I chose Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who in fact went on to survive a recall attempt in 2012.
I had no trouble picking Massachusetts’ Senator Scott Brown in 2010. When he won that special election early in the year, it set the tone for what was to come.
In 2009, I went with Glen Beck, a year before he reached full prominence on the national scene.
Obama was an easy pick for 2008 (the obvious should never be overlooked in favor of some obscurity).
French President Sarkozy was my 2007 choice.
For 2006, I felt Carol Shea Porter symbolized the year of Republican losses, and in 2005, I went with Congressman John Murta who had just come out against the Iraq War.
My Person of the Year need not be someone I like—certainly Hitler would have been the choice in 1939, but rather someone who best sums up the year.
1--Person Of The Year--John Roberts--Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who went against the wishes of his conservative colleagues by giving us Obamacare with the reasoning that Congress has the power to tax.
2—International Person of the Year—Francois Hollande--For bringing Socialism with a capital S back to France (and for driving more than a few French citizens to Belgium due to his new 75 percent tax rate), I'm going with the man who defeated Sarkozy 51.64-48.36 percent, Francois Hollande. Hey, I wouldn’t have voted for him; I fear he’ll lead France on the road to Greece, but we’re judging impact not merit here.
3—New Hampshire Person of the Year--John Lynch—He didn't win every veto battle with Bill O'Brien's forces in the New Hampshire House, but John Lynch won enough of them to make him person of the year. Oh yes, he also leaves office with an approval rating other politicians merely dream of.
4—Sports Person of the Year—Miguel Cabrera—In 1966 and 1967, baseball had back to back Triple Crown winners (Carl Yastrzemski and Frank Robinson), but it hadn’t happened in 45 years until Miguel Cabrera came along with .330, 44, and 139 in 2012. Good thing he did. Until then, I was going with Eli Manning for his run last January, a run which hasn’t been matched this fall!
5—Biggest Winner Nationally—Barack Obama—Ho-Hum. I didn't vote for him, and I have about 16.3 trillion reasons why...or is it 16.4 trillion? Wait a minute and it will be!
6—Biggest Winner Locally—Maggie Hassan –When it comes to governing (and keeping her promises) with little prospect of sufficient revenues, she’s also set up to be the biggest loser for 2013!
7—Biggest Loser Nationally—Mitt Romney—pardon the predictability, but it is what it is…especially after his son came out this past weekend claiming Mitt didn’t even want to run. Can you imagine? Spending that much time and money on something you didn’t want to do? Only the biggest loser on the planet would do that!
8—Biggest Loser Locally—Ovide LaMontagne—Sorry, I can’t go with Billy The Bully. Ovide not only became a four time loser (or was it five?), but he dragged the Grand Old Party down with him.
9—Best Non-Fiction Book—Cronkite A Biography by Douglas Brinkley. Not only did we learn new things about Uncle Walter, we also were provided an opportunity to think back at what we were doing in our own lives when so much happened.
10—Best Work of Fiction—In One Person, John Irving’s 13th novel. A man lives with his bisexuality in the age of AIDS; it’ll make you laugh; it’ll make you cry.
11—Story of The Year Nationally—Newtown Massacre and other inexplicable senseless tragedies from the Batman shootings to the murder of firefighters doing their job on Christmas Eve day. Sorrow floats!
12—New Hampshire Story of the Year—Bill O’Brien’s Tyranny In The New Hampshire House and the resulting takeover by New Hampshire Democrats. A little German anyone?
13—Most Over-Reported Story—The fiscal cliff. Enough already. Let’s just go over the damn thing and see what happens next.
14—Most Under-Reported Story—Political Shooting in Montreal. You probably didn’t hear of it in the U.S., but the day after Labor Day, when separatist Pauline Marois was celebrating her minority government PQ win in Quebec, a madman (apparently fearing for the English) showed up and killed a person at the rally. This kind of thing just isn’t supposed to happen in a western democracy.
15—Winning Media Personality—Kirstin Powers. She’s one of the Democrats (token?) on Fox News, but she’s not your normal left wing loonie; I often disagree with her, but she’s never outrageous for the sake of being outrageous and is often persuasive.
16—Losing Media Personality –Dick Morris—No explanation needed. What a loser!
17—Up And Comer Nationally—Florida Senator Marco Rubio—He should have been Mitt Romney’s choice for Vice President. If Republicans are to have any future, Marco Rubio must be the leader.
18—Up And Comer Locally—Bedford Republican Represenative Laurie Sanborn—Her husband Andy won the Senate seat by a hair. She’s the only non-good old boy member of Gene Chandler’s leadership team. If the Republican Party is to survive in New Hampshire, it needs to find a way between the good old boys (whom Chandler has chosen) and Bill O’Brien’s bad new boys. Laurie is the way!
19—Down And Outer Nationally—Outgoing Florida Congressman Alan West—There are so many Republican losers, this is a tough choice, but Congressman West lost with such a lack of grace that he picks up this award.
20—Down And Outer Locally—William O’Brien--Who else could there be? Lest schadenfreude prevent me from saying it…what goes around comes around to Billy The Bully.
21—Biggest Outrage Nationally—Benghazi Excuses—The fact that four Americans were killed in Libya is not the outrage; the fact that team Obama (with complicity from Hillary and Susan Rice) tried to blame it on an unseen video…now that’s the outrage!
22—Biggest Outrange Locally—State House Guns—Republicans insist that guns should remain in the State House. To paraphrase NRA Chair LaPierrre, are they crazy?
23—Happiest Moment For Me Nationally—Republicans Maintain House Control. Even as Mitt Romney was going down and Democrats won all closely contested Senate seats except Nebraska, Republicans lost only a handful of seats in Congress. May they stick by their fiscal guns and stop spending us into Greekland.
24—Happiest Moment For Me Locally—Winning By a Landslide. Only kidding. Actually I would have preferred to lose had Billy the Bully remained in power, so the Republican defeat was the happiest moment for this Republican (last time I checked at least).
25—Funniest Something Nationally—The Perry Campaign—Specifically Texas Governor Rick Perry trying to remember the Cabinet departments he would eliminate, but any number of things from this ill-fated campaign (pushed by NH Majority Leader To Be Peter Principle Silva and NH Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker) would suffice.
26--Funniest Something Locally—DJ Bettencourt—The disgraced Majority Leader was more pathetic than funny in his departure, but close enough. And the bizarre Guida role in the whole affair.
27—Smack Down of the Year Nationally —The Debates—Mitt Romney smacking down Barack Obama in the first debate; Candy Crowley smacking down Mitt Romney in the second debate.
28—Smack Down of the Year Locally—Nashua Democrats—They went from a 6-22 minority following the 2010 election to a 24-3 majority following November 6, 2012. Even the Peter Principle lost big! Oh what not having Kelly Ayotte coattails will do to a Grand Old Party.
29—Biggest Surprise Nationally—United States Senate—Who would have thought Republicans would actually lose two seats when so many opportunities were out there? Certainly not I. Thanks Mssrs Akin and Donnelly.
30—Biggest Surprise Locally—Voucher Bill Passes—Republicans in the NH House somehow managed to override John Lynch’s veto of a terrible tax break voucher bill for religious schools. Too many normally sane and moderate Republicans were simply afraid to stand up to their Speaker, but fear not. Repeal is on the way.
31—The Just Go Away Award (someone you’d prefer to never see or hear from again)—John McCain—Actually the John McCain troika which includes the equally egomaniacal Lindsey Graham and the aforementioned Ayotte replacing Joe Lieberman. I can’t turn the TV off fast enough when one of the three stooges appears (as they so often do). On the NH level, the ticket topping Rep from Londonderry, not to be named here since my number one New Years resolution is to avoid even mentioning a dozen or so people I truly don’t like.
32—We Wanna See More Award (someone you want to hear more from)—Kentucky Senator Rand Paul—He’ll never be as great as his father (at least for me), but he may prove more successful.