John Edwards makes the list at #16, in recognition of his awful judgment; Geraldine Ferraro comes in at #14 for her frequently-obnoxious campaign surrogacy; and the EPA’s Stephen Johnson finished at #13 for his shameless on-the-job performance.
In the top 10, Eliot Spitzer probably deserves his rank at #9; Dick Cheney came in at #8 (“just because,” Tomasky explained); and Joe Lieberman is obviously a fine choice at #6. The top five is very hard to disagree with: Michelle Bachmann, with the “single most appalling political statement of the year,” was #5, followed by Rod Blagojevich at #4 for fairly obvious reasons.
George W. Bush was third, followed by Sarah Palin for having “perfectly embodied everything that is malign about my country: the proto-fascist nativism, the know-nothingism, the utterly cavalier lack of knowledge about the actual principles on which the country was founded.” Taking the top spot was Bernard Madoff, thanks to his $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
I love Tomasky’s list, but I’d just add a few more names for consideration:
* Rudy Giuliani — His campaign hackery, before and after his own candidacy, continues to offend. His convention speech, accusing Obama of being “cosmopolitan,” was so painfully stupid, it’s hard to forget.
* Bill Kristol — Dollar for dollar, the worst newspaper columnist in America was a constant source of predictable drivel and misguided predictions.
* Phil Gramm — Not only did Gramm’s policies help create the financial nightmare, but he mocked Americans’ pain, calling us a “nation of whiners.” That he was a leading candidate to be the Treasury Secretary in McCain’s administration continues to send shivers down my spine.
* Paul Broun — The Republican congressman from Georgia argued, publicly and on the record, that Barack Obama reminded him of Adolf Hitler. Bachmann’s McCarthyism was “single most appalling political statement of the year,” but Broun’s insanity was second.
* And I think Ashley Todd probably belongs in the mix of the year’s worst Americans. Her self-mutilation/racist/sexual-assault story was the year’s most offensive stunt.
Are we forgetting anyone?