Politics 2010: A Look Back at 12 Unpredictable Months


He and other Republicans pointed the finger at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who charged ahead with his party's agenda knowing that a stronger Republican contingent in the Senate and a GOP majority in the House were just weeks away.

Here's Looking At You, 2011

As wild a ride as 2010 was, there are likely even more surprises in store in the coming year. We already know that there is change in store at the White House.

Senior adviser David Axelrod is expected to leave early in the year as he turns his attention to the president's re-election effort. New faces will be popping up in the West Wing and no one knows just how significant a staff shakeup the president has planned.

It will be a brand new era on Capitol Hill, with soon-to-be House Speaker John Boehner at the helm. How much will he be willing to work with Democrats and is there any hope for bipartisanship in either chamber?

And what does the future hold for Nancy Pelosi who, instead of fading from the spotlight after the Democrats' stinging defeat at the ballot box, ran for and won the position of House Minority Leader?

Also worth keeping an eye on are the politicians who swept into power under a Tea Party mantle. Will they stick to their principles or follow in the footsteps of Scott Brown, who has lately emerged as a Senate GOP ally of the Obama administration on a variety of issues, including the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" and ratification of the START agreement.

Those votes earned him the ire of some members of the Tea Party, who backed his Senate campaign, but are now talking about recruiting a candidate to his right to take him on in a primary in 2012. How quickly things change.

And perhaps the biggest elephant in the room is the nascent 2012 presidential contest.

Some potential Republicans candidates are already traveling the country, buttering up donors and laying the groundwork to mount campaigns. None have officially entered the race, and the primary dynamics are as strange as they've ever been with several possible GOP contenders keeping a close eye on Sarah Palin's next move before they decide on theirs.

Who gets in, who stays out and who's got the best chance to beat Obama?

Lots of questions and the answers are right around the corner: 2011, here we come.

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