Looking Back at 2013, Part 2

A last look at 2013 and a prediction for 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listens to a reporter's question at the Fort Worth Texas Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

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Here is the second set of my "McLaughlin Group" 2013 judgments. You can read the first set here.

Destined for Political Stardom: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Destined for Political Oblivion: Tie between Liz Cheney, who is behind by more than 50 points in the most recent poll, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's opponent, who lost by 49 points

Best Political Theater: Tie between the revelations of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's alleged drug and sexual exploits, which revealed his extraordinary private life, and the shutdown of the federal government

[2013: The Year in Cartoons]

Worst Political Theater: The seemingly unending 21-hour speech by Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz that alienated so many political moderates in the country

Most Under-Reported Story: Tie between the energy boom, especially fracking, and the success of state governors like Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper

Most Over-Reported Story: The National Security Agency spying

Best Dollars Spent: National Institutes of Health research

Biggest Government Waste: Farm subsidies, too many of which go to rich, commercial companies

Boldest Political Tactic: Texas Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' pro-choice filibuster on the floor of the socially conservative Texas State Senate

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

Worst Political Scandal: Tie between the record and continuing real unemployment and under-employment and the failure of the government to do anything effective about it, for it continues to this day, and the continued gerrymandering of legislative boundaries to rig U.S. electoral outcomes

Best Idea of 2013: Tie between the "Volcker Rule" to protect the banking system and the Senate getting rid of obstructive filibusters for most presidential nominees

Worst Idea of 2013: Tie between the Iran deal recently negotiated by the Obama administration and Amazon.com's plan to use drones for deliveries

Sorry to See You Go: Tie between journalist Jack Germond and Tony Soprano, aka James Gandolfini

15 Minutes of Fame: Tie between Edward Snowden, the NSA turncoat, and Rob Ford, whose Sun News TV show was canceled after one episode.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

Best Spin of the Year: Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who said to the press, "What I'm trying to do is be as honest as I can, and I don't normally do that."

Most Honest: Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany

Most Under-Rated: John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives

Prediction for 2014: President Obama will formally recognize the Castro government of Cuba and raise the level of our dealings with that country within the year.