These are the pieces that got viewed the most online, of my articles that
ran in the paper this year. Seems to be heavily skewed to the past two months,
and to anything with Mitt Romney in it. Some of that is probably due to growing interest in the GOP 2012 contest.
Special issue contributions are apparently my secret strength. Oh, and I went through
#11 to include my Ayanna Pressley piece.
If it's good enough for the great Dan Kennedy, it's good enough for me:
According to the great gods of the Boston
Phoenix, these are my 10 most popular blog posts of the year. They’re a mix
of news scoops, commentary, analysis, snarkiness, ranting, and of course
calling out Mitt Romney. Seems surprisingly light on Scotto posts, but I’m sure
that will change in 2012.
Additional polls out of Iowa today add to the quickly developing sense that
maybe, just maybe, long-shot Rick Santorum will be the conservative alternative
who emerges from Tuesday's caucuses.
But I keep hearing that the former Pennsylvania Senator would have no staying
power in the race, primarily because he will, of course, be barely a blip in New Hampshire the
following week -- if he even bothers to compete there -- and suffer the same
momentum-killing fate as Mike Huckabee four years ago.
Now seems like a good time to once again haul out my major-appliance theory of Presidential nominations, to assess what's going on and what might happen in the crucial couple of weeks ahead.
The theory, for those who haven't heard it before, is that for most voters choosing a Presidential candidate is like buying a major household appliance -- a refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes dryer, that sort of thing.
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I preview the coming Year In Mitt. These are the key dates along the way, and my suggestions of what to keep an eye out for as that handsome head of hair frequents your TV screen.
Check it out here: The Year Ahead In Mitt
From the perspective of a Boston-based political journalist, 2011 was the year of duds -- when all the potentially interesting, reader-generating story lines kinda failed to develop.
The scandals of the past couple of years played out in pretty straightforward fashion. No big new revelations -- or additional indictments -- came out of the Wilkerson, Turner, or DiMasi codas.
Here's a serious question that I would love to see some of the smart political observers take on: How would Republicans govern if they get the keys to the country back in January 2013?
It's certainly a likely enough possibility. I think if I had to place a wager I'd pick Obama to win re-election, but it's surely a toss-up. The Senate is probably more likely than not to move to Republican control, and odds are against Democrats retaking the House.
SPECIAL CHRISTMAS CONTEST! WINNER GETS SOMETHING I'LL SWIPE WHILE REPORTING ON NEW HAMPSHIRE CAMPAIGN TRAIL!
You've had plenty of opportunity recently to watch the great Newt Gingrich in action -- in debates, making speeches, giving interviews.... you should have a pretty good sense of him by now.
So here's the contest: write a Newt Gingrich response (whatever length you think appropriate), if the great Newt were to be asked the following question by a reporter or debate panelist:
In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print and online now -- I offer a special quiz as part of the annual Year In Review Issue. Can you tell which quotes are from Republican Presidential candidates, and which are from incarcerated criminals?
I think that speaks for itself, so here's the link.
A quick stipulation: for the purposes of this review, I will pretty much pretend that Core of Conviction,
by Michele Bachmann, ends with her 2006 election to Congress on page
140. Up to that point, I enjoyed the memoir and found it, and her,
interesting enough to think and write about. The rest of the book is
pretty standard Obama-bashing fare.
Two new polls of Iowa out today show Gingrich collapsing. The Real Clear Politics rolling average for Iowa now looks like this (rounded off): Paul 22; Romney 20; Gingrich 16; Perry 12; Bachmann 10; Santorum 6; Huntsman 4.
I've been arguing all year that Iowa evangelical conservatives hold a major key to the GOP nomination.
State Representative Will Brownsberger of Belmont will soon be State Senator Will Brownsberger; his Belmont base turned out for him in today's special election primary to succeed Steve Tolman. The seat not only goes north of the Charles, it goes way up Tupelo Rd. (There is no Republican on the ballot -- although I've heard some rumors of organizing some sort of write-in/sticker campaign.
Well, lotsa stuff happened in tonight's GOP Presidential debate, but only one involved my reporting and a $10,000 wager, so obviously that's what I care about.
Many months ago, I reported that Mitt Romney had made some changes to his book No Apology when it came out in paperback -- and that the changes appeared to be politically motivated.
Mitt Romney hasn't been giving many on-the-record extended interviews, so when he does -- as he did earlier this week with the Washington Examiner editorial board -- they get pored over and dissected like holy epistles. In this case, some Romney detractors are trying to make issues out of two things that I don't think amount to anything: first, Romney saying that he wouldn't recommend the Massachusetts health care system, in toto, for any other states; and second, Romney saying that he has a "limited understanding of the economy."