Most Defining Political Moment: Sen. Bond's retirement announcement
Worst Idea: Nixon administration attempting to ban reporter cell phones at a news conference in the Governor's office
15 Minutes of Fame: Linda Martinez, Dave Coonrod
Best Comeback: Springfield sales tax; FAILED in February 52%-47%, PASSED in November 55%-45%
GOP Up & Comers: Springfield City Councilman Nick Ibarra, #140th District House candidate Lincoln Hough
DEM Up & Comers: Rep. Jason Kander (#44th House District), 8th District U.S. House candidate Tommy Sowers
Best New Blog: The Missouri Record
Fastest Rise: Billy Long
Words Added to the Lexicon: E.Coli-gate, Shovel-ready, Birthers, MIAC (pronounced My-yack), Cash for Clunkers, Green Balloons
Toughest Call: Motorcycle Helmet Law
Political Play of The Year: Tom Schweich striking a deal to run for Auditor instead of U.S. Senate in exchange for Republican establishment support
Gutsiest Move: Sen. Claire McCaskill's series of summer townhall meetings
Biggest Diss: Gov. Nixon not telling Lt. Gov. Kinder about his trip to the Middle East before he left
R.I.P: Gov. Warren Hearnes
Reporter of The Year: Karen Dillon, Kansas City Star
Anonymous Quote Of The Year: "When Karen Dillon calls you, you know you're already f*$!ed. She doesn't call until she's got you by the balls."
5 Best On The Record Quotes:
1. "So stick it up your ass." -- Rep. Ike Skelton, caught on an open microphone on the House floor, in reference to Rep. Todd Akin.
2. "Alaska doesn't know we have our own Sarah." -- Sen. Claire McCaskill, in a speech in Hannibal, referencing Sarah Steelman's potential challenge to Congressman Roy Blunt in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Steelman decided against a run.
3. "I don't think people care that much about when I'm brushing my teeth." -- Robin Carnahan, dismissing the social media tool Twitter. Months later, her campaign had signed up for an account
4. "Can you see me behind this mic?" -- Billy Long, in his opening line on stage in a summer speech at "Patriots in the Park"
5. "If somebody's actively opposing me and then I win the election, am I going to support that person in 2012? Well, no." -- Tom Schweich, answering a question on whether he'd pledge to serve a full 4-year term if elected State Auditor
Most Outlandish Political Attack: Calls to boycott President Obama's school speech to students for fears of "indoctrination"
Fairest Political Attack: That members of the Nixon administration mislead the public and the media about E.Coli-gate
Most Unfortunate Final Tweet: "Betsy is tomorrow" 10:15 p.m. Dec. 6th from txt, by @jedijetton
Rising Pundits: Missouri State University's Brian Calfano, Democrat/Springfield attorney Kris Barefield
Republicans Who Should Get on Twitter: Former Gov. Matt Blunt, David Steelman
Democrats Who Should Get on Twitter: Jack Cardetti, Former Gov. Bob Holden
5 Top Notebook VIDS:
1. Matt Blunt's scooter accident LINK
2. Ralph Manley abruptly resigns LINK
3. Nixon testily responds to Kinder question LINK
4. Bond jokes about Carnahan tracker LINK
5. Lawmaker Caught Snoozing LINK
To the loyal readers of this little experiment I fondly call The Notebook, my whole-hearted thanks to each of you for your loyalty, your encouragement, your level-headed critiques -- but most of all, for caring about politics and your government.