This year has been a tumultuous one, particularly when it comes to politics. The economic pain has continued and has seemingly awoken American voters, who voiced their frustrations at the polls in November. After about 365 days of ups and downs, here's who came out on top, and who didn't fare as well.
Tea party: They were dismissed as phony as "astroturf" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and "manufactured outrage" by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, while the ever-smug Anderson Cooper made crude "teabagging" jokes. But who's laughing now?
The tea partyers are the political phenomenon of the outgoing year, responsible for tipping dozens of elections and giving voice to a significant portion of the population that feared its message of smaller government and fiscal responsibility would never be heard in Washington. Watch for Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky to become a champion of government responsibility and restraint.
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