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2009 was a tough year. Perhaps appropriately so, considering that the last decade was one of intense political turmoil, largely due to the Bush regime. So when President Obama took office, expectations were almost unrealistically high. While the jury's still out on his legacy - and won't surface for several more years - his rookie season is in the books and worth reflection. But last year wasn't all about Obama. Numerous political figures put their stamp on history for better or worse. Let's review...

Top 10 Best Political Moments

President Obama Is Inaugurated, January 20
• In what was one of the few political events I ever attended to actually support a politician, the D.C. inauguration was easily the most historic political moment of 2009. With about as many authorities as crowd participants, America's first black President officially ushered in a new era, despite Justice Roberts flubbing the oath of office.

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Arlen Specter Becomes A Democrat, April 28
• Regardless of Sen. Specter's motives for defecting, his move was a significant come-up for the blue team. After 44 years of repping the GOP, the Pennsylvanian moved across the aisle to give Democrats that 60-vote squad they would need in crunch time. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

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Obama Pledges To Close Gitmo, May 21
• Acting on one of his campaign promises, Obama vowed to reverse one of the former administration's most high profile illegal creations. But it hasn't been easy. After congress rejected the President's $80 million request to make the closure possible, he came up with a new plan to relocate the prisoners to Illinois. While it's doubtful that simply shifting Gitmo inmates to a U.S. facility is any more humane, it does set the groundwork for their day in court - a necessary right in any self-respecting industrialized nation.

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Obama's Cairo Speech, June 4
• Bush's war presidency and boasts of a "crusade" seemed pretty disturbing to many Muslims across the globe. After Obama endured twisted accusations by the right of being secretly an Islamic agent infiltrating America, he gracefully reached out to the Muslim world to try and ease the cultural tensions. Still waiting on the outcome.

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Bill Clinton Rescues Prisoners, August 4
• Clinton's ego remained bruised after his wife got shafted in the primaries. Leave it to Kim Jong-Il to reinstate Clinton's sense of relevancy after requesting the fellow playboy to swoop two American journalists in a classic case of diplomatic chess. Bubba was back to his old tricks.

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Sonia Sotomayor Is Confirmed, August 8
• After a racially charged hearing, the Senate finally confirmed the Supreme Court's first Latina Justice. Lou Dobbs, eat your heart out.

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Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize, October 9
• Hating on Obama for receiving a Nobel Peace Prize is like hating on your mom for wearing a "mom of the year" shirt. It's just mean-spirited. Sure, there might have been other candidates who also deserved the nod, but they didn't win. Maybe next year. For now, salute this man for his accomplishments and let's hope he leaves a proud legacy. If not, we'll riot. Deal?

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Meghan McCain's Twitter Cleavage Shot, October 18
• Just as Lil' Maverick was struggling to define her voice as a political contender, she suffered an attention-craving slip up, live on Twitter. After posting a soft porn pic typically reserved for aspiring MySpace models, conservatives were aghast. Meghan quickly apologized, but personally I think she's found her calling. She should release a new pic every morning on her blog - call it the "daily beast". #noshots

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Sarah Palin Releases "Going Rogue", November 17
•America's most famous Alaskan helped to heighten the buffoonery of the Republican Party with her catty memoir. Keep it coming, baby. The more she shines, the more it's lights out for her party.

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Health Care Bill Passes In Senate, December 21
•"Better than nothing" has been the consensus for the health care bill that squeaked its way through the senate at the end of the year. Despite criticism that it protects the health of pharmaceutical companies more than patients, the people were sick of waiting.

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Top 10 Worst Political Moments of 2009

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Billion Dollar Bailouts, January - April
•It's funny how Capitalist CEO's hate elements of socialism until they're about to lose their jobs and go broke. Then they show-up begging for government safety nets. Oh, the hypocrisy. With a bailout tab exceeding $12.2 trillion, the staggering stimulus was supposed to ease the economic drought by trickling down water. But it sure smelled like piss.

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Blagojevich Gets Impeached, January 9
•As one of the most peculiar political oddballs in the game, Blagojevich was officially booted at the top of the year for trying to slang Obama's senate seat. While awaiting trial, he's gone on the offense. Not only is he set to appear on the new Celebrity Apprentice, but his wife, Patti, sought sympathy on I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. Chances are, Rod will also be featured on the spin-off, I'm In Jail, Get Me Out Of Here.

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Banks Award Bonuses, February - December
•In the summer, nine banks that received billions of dollars in government aid, dished out a total of $33 billion in executive bonuses (cross out bonuses) awards - including more than $1 millie a piece to almost 5,000 employees. The Feds moaned and waved their finger. In December, the banks did it again. The President moaned and waved his finger. In 2010...

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Rise Of The Tea Party Movement, February
•It's not entirely clear if the Tea Party clan was a direct wing of FOX News, but the gun-toting right-wing extremists got major coverage this year. I don't know what was in their tea, but they were pissed.

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Governor Mark Sanford Caught Cheating, June 24
•In the top political sex scandal of the year, "Mountain Hiker" Mark fronted like he was whistling Dixie in the Appalachians when he was wetting his whistle with an Argentinean slide. After some public humiliation and time at divorce court, dude's still the S.C. Governor. Go figure.

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Professor Gates Is Falsely Arrested, July 16
•In one of the more awkward scenarios thrown at the rookie Prez, Obama inserted himself in Boston's racial profiling episode, which ended in the unprecedented beer summit. *Gulp*

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Ted Kennedy Dies, August 25
•The patriarch of American liberal leadership spent decades putting in work for the people. One of his last deeds was co-signing Obama to accelerate the primary momentum over Hillary. RIP.

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Joe Wilson Yells "You Lie", September 9
•Rep. Wilson wins the "asshole of the year" award after infamously heckling the Prez, which was part of an escalating series of racist attacks towards Obama. A week after the outburst, Wilson raised $1.8 million from his supporters despite a formal admonishment from the House. He also got an SNL skit dedicated on his behalf .

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White House Party Crashers, November 24
•With all the hysteria surrounding potential attacks, it was not a good look when secret service agents let two uninvited weirdos into the state dinner. New reports also suggest that a third guest snuck into the event as well. What is this, the movie theatre? Well, tell those guards it's curtains.

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President Obama Escalates Afghan War, December 1
•All political maneuvering aside, Obama seriously let me down with this one. Yea sure, 30,000 more troops will do it! I'm still trying to figure out why we're really there.

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