Who were the 2013 political losers? There seemed to be a lot more losers than 2013 winners, that is for sure. Five big names floated to the top of the losers list, and all have a lot of work to do if they want to make an impact in 2014 or 2016.
US Senator Marco Rubio started the year at the top of the world. He was both a tea party and establishment favorite, the rare person approved by both wings of the Republican Party. He gave a praise-worthy, high-profile speech just months earlier at the Republican National Convention. He topped most 2016 polling in the early months of the year. He was seemingly the answer to a lot of problems within the GOP. Then he haphazardly tossed in with Democrats and open-borders moderates on an immigration package that gave illegal immigration advocates what they wanted while delivering little on enforcement measurements popular with large sections of the population.
His numbers collapsed and he was quickly surpassed in stature by Rand Paul. He then lost more ground later in the year with the Ted Cruz upswing. Rubio would later step back from immigration – noting the unworkability of such legislation with President Obama – and offered up plenty of strong conservative ideas to try to make up for earlier missteps. But it was all too little too late as grassroots conservatives saw other leaders step up to the plate in a big way and seemingly moved on.
The former Secretary of State/US Senator/First Lady thought ditching the flounder Obama administration and laying low would help her prepare for a 2016 run. But lingering questions about her lackluster State Dept. performance and deceptive responses regarding the Benghazi massacre have dragged her down. The rapid decline of the United State’s world standing also happened under her command, along with a disturbing rise in power of adversaries including Russia, China, and Iran.
Take this and in the reality that Obamacare will be forever linked to her initial attempts at universal healthcare while First Lady in the 1990s. Earlier in 2013, she came out in favor of gay marriage though, by then, she was pretty much several years behind her counterparts in that regard. By the end of 2013, Hillary’s favorable ratings collapsed into the 40’s, her lowest level since running for President the first time back in 2008. And this happened while staying mostly out of the spotlight for most of the year.
Boehner showed uncharacteristic guts by sticking to the compromise/shutdown strategy for as long as he did. Though the move was risky, forcing red-state Democrats who are up for re-election in 2014 to once again refuse to touch Obamacare just weeks before it started to fall apart could prove beneficial in the years to come. But at the end of the day he failed to get much accomplished and the whole of Congress enjoys single-digit approval ratings. He has been ineffective in getting the President to budge on anything. Though, to be fair, who could? Boehner’s biggest obstacle may be that grassroots conservatives do not feel Boehner is in their corner and find he is far too willing to negotiate and get nothing in return. The House is likely to retain control of the House in 2014, but Boehner has a lot of work to do to get his house in order.
President Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013 and it was all downhill from there. This was the year the mainstream media finally found a little backbone and started to report on his presidency. The Benghazi scandal finally gained media interest. The IRS and phone-tapping scandals emerged, though they remain mostly unresolved at the end of 2013. His signature legislation faceplanted at the starting line and has put Senate Democrats in a deep hole heading into an important election year. Meanwhile Americans have seemingly tired on him. His approval numbers started to collapse into the 30s while a desire to repeal Obamacare hit an all-time high. He was embarrassed on the world stage by Syria, Russia, and Iran while Americans lost confidence in his foreign policy results.
Bloomberg has three main goals in life: managing the eating habits of Americans, raising taxes, and taking away guns from law-abiding citizens. All suffered serious blows in 2014. First, Bloomberg’s ban on sugary drinks over 16 oz. was ruled unconstitutional. When Bloomberg sank $1 million into an overall $10 million campaign to persuade Coloradans to approve a $1 billion tax increase, voters opposed the measure by a 2-1 margin. Oh, and the Bloomberg-supported tax hike outspent opponents 500-1. Perhaps Bloomberg was hardest hit with the failure of his anti-gun agenda. His crusade dumped over $300,000 into the campaigns of two Colorado State Senators facing a recall for their support of anti-gun legislation. Both lost, and a third retired after voters successfully collected enough signatures for a separate recall election. In Virginia, Bloomberg poured a ton of money in various state races, but NRA-backed delegates won 65 of 67 seats. Will Bloomberg continue to “help” Democratic candidates in pro-second amendment states in 2014? The GOP can only hope so.