Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

Harry Reid

Highs: Mild–mannered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spent much of 2010 pulling off herculean political feats. Faced with a fiercely obstructive Republican minority, Reid managed to cobble together majorities — and, at times, supermajorities — to get major Democratic initiatives through the world's most deliberative body. He helped secure passage for a massive health care overhaul in March and a historic financial regulatory reform package in July. Despite subbasement approval ratings back home in Nevada and a conservative movement itching for his ouster, Reid survived a hard–fought reelection battle in November by luck, pluck and mercilessly savaging his gaffe–prone opponent.

Lows: Many of Reid's Democratic allies weren't so fortunate. Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown robbed the caucus of its 60th vote after a stunning upset in a January special election and the GOP went on to pick up six more seats in midterm elections that saw Tea Partier Rand Paul ascend to the Senate and longtime liberal stalwart Russ Feingold go down in defeat. Reid wasn't without his legislative struggles either. Bills passed by the House on energy, immigration, and defense, among others, failed to make it through the Senate quagmire. But as the 112th Congress draws to a close, the scrappy boxer turned Senate leader is ready to go another round.

Adam Sorensen