Looking Back at 2013

2013, from Putin to Mandela and more

President Barack Obama listens to a question during his end-of-the-year news conference on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, in the Brady Press Room at the White House in Washington.

President Barack Obama told the year's worst lie.

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This past weekend on the "McLaughlin Group," we issued part one of our judgments for 2013; here are mine. Tune in next weekend for part two, or check back here next Monday to read them.

Biggest Winner: Vladimir Putin, whose Russia outmaneuvered the United States in virtually every theater in the world

Biggest Loser: Tie between the city of Detroit, which went bankrupt, and the average American blue-collar worker, who faced diminished real wages

Best Politician: Hillary Clinton, who kept a low profile during the debacle of the Affordable Care Act

[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

Worst Politician: Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner, who 17 women have accused of sexual harassment

Most Defining Political Moment: A three-way tie between President Obama's public assertion of a red line in Syria – which he then walked away from, vastly diminishing his credibility both at home and abroad; the Obamacare launch by the same president; and Bill Clinton distancing himself from the Obamacare screw-up in part to protect Hillary for 2016

Turncoat of the Year: New York Democrat Anthony Weiner if you're talking "raincoats," otherwise Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency spy

Most Boring: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – tied with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul droning on for hours

[See a collection of editorial cartoons on the NSA.]

Most Charismatic: Internationally it is Pope Francis; domestically it is New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie

Bummest Rap: That "stop, question and frisk" is racist because it was disproportionately focused on minority communities against whom most of the violent crime is committed

Fairest Rap: The widespread criticism of the sheer incompetence of the Obamacare presentation by the president and his staff

Best Comeback: Tie between Secretary of State John Kerry  and California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown who has emerged once again as a presidential candidate and may continue to do so for the next 40 years

Most Original Thinker: Pope Francis, who consistently shows a commitment to convert a first century church into a 21st century church

[See a collection of political cartoons on Obamacare.]

Most Stagnant Thinker: The tea party

Best Photo Op: Obama posing for a selfie with Prime Ministers David Cameron and Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela's memorial service

Worst Photo Op: Pictures of the translator imposter at the Mandela service

Enough Already: Tie between Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was finally sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud, and everything Kardashian

[Check out 2013: The Year in Cartoons.]

Worst Lie: From President Obama when he said "If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you've got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor." Kentucky's Paul comes in a distant second for saying that extending unemployment benefits "actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help."

Capitalist of the Year: George Mitchell, Texan who died this year at the age of 94 and is credited with pioneering the economical extraction of shale gas through the process of fracking and who has done as much to change the world as almost any businessman I can think of

Person of the Year: Tie between every under-25 techie who invented a new app and started a new company that invigorates the world of technology and the late South African President Nelson Mandela, whose passing reminds us of what a single person can accomplish, not only to lead a revolutionary movement but to lead the country to reconciliation