The Top Moments in 2010 Politics
The Tea Party really made things interesting this year
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2010 7:44 AM CST
Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, campaigns at the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

(Newser) – From a January special election right up to the unexpectedly-productive lame duck Congress that just finished, 2010 was an incredible year in politics. Here's the rundown of Politico's top moments:

  • Jan. 9, Scott Brown surges—The Republican took the lead in polls, sending uneasy Democrats into full-fledged panic mode. Just 11 days later, Brown did the unthinkable: Pulled Ted Kennedy's Senate seat into the GOP column (and touted his daughters' availability on national television).

  • March 25, Health reform passes—After a year of grinding wheeling and dealing, Democrats delivered the landmark legislation to President Obama, simultaneously giving Republicans a rallying cry for November.
  • May 8, Utah sends Bob Bennett packing—The GOP senator got dumped at his own state party convention. Lesson learned: The Tea Party has arrived and no incumbent can rest on his laurels.
  • Aug. 28, Beckpalooza—Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, neither an elected official, showed how much enthusiasm two outsiders could generate with Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally.
  • Sept. 14, Carl Paladino and Christine O'Donnell score primary upsets—By now no one questioned the influence of the Tea Party, but these two wildcards underscored its unpredictability and what Politico calls its "glaring weaknesses."
Click for the rest of 2010's top moments in politics.