In a year when Lady Luck seemed to desert the nation's most prominent political leaders, a few found the pot of gold under the rainbow, some in big fashion. Overall, Republicans were the luckiest considering how pundits like James Carville greeted President Obama's election with predictions that the Democrats would control Washington for the next 40 years. But some Democrats escaped disaster. So for this year it's a bipartisan collection of the five luckiest politicians of 2010. [See slide show: The 5 luckiest politicians of 2010.]
1. Scott Brown. The Massachusetts Republican shocked everyone by taking the Senate seat left after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Better yet, he ended his first year in the Senate with polls showing him leading several potential foes in 2012 in the heavily Democratic state.
2. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Nevadan was targeted by the GOP, his Senate Republican foes, and a well-organized Tea Party movement. His state suffered among the worst in the economic downturn. But the wily ex-boxer pulled off a stunning comeback to win re-election. [Check out our editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.]
3. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The Alaskan senator was left for dead when she lost in her GOP primary to newbie Joe Miller. But a well organized write-in campaign that taught state voters how to spell her name exactly was too much for Miller to hold back.
4. Vice President Joe Biden. The veep has had a great year, but seemed to be at the short end of rumors that he would be pushed aside to make room for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Biden kept his head up, brushed off the rumors and was eventually endorsed by Obama and the media-hyped threats to his position died down.
5. Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor proved her critics wrong by getting rich selling books while expanding her influence especially through the Tea Party movement. She's also become a reality TV show figure on Sarah Palin's Alaska and in one show shrugged off a few unlucky shots to take a majestic caribou. [See photos of Sarah Palin and her family.]