Top 10 Political Losers of 2012

With the election, scandals and budget battles, 2012 saw plenty of political losers. Here are the top ten political losers in American politics for 2012.

1. Americans

With Congress and President Barack Obama on the verge of passing an agreement to avoid the "fiscal cliff," America's political leaders have again shown an unwillingness to make difficult choices to deal with the nation's national debt, now at around $16.4 trillion. Americans said they were unsatisfied with the status quo and wanted their political leaders to work together to solve the nation's difficult problems, yet they re-elected a Democratic president, Democratic Senate and Republican House.

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2. Mitt Romney

Listening to his own campaign's internal pollsters, Mitt Romney went into election night convinced he would be the nation's next president. In one of the biggest gaffes of the election, he was caught by a hidden camera telling wealthy donors that 47 percent of Americans would not vote for him because they are dependent on the government. In a stroke of irony, Romney finished with 47 percent of the vote.

3. Fiscal Cliff

The fiscal cliff was designed by members of Congress, in part, to force themselves to make the tough choices necessary to get the nation's finances in order. Instead, the fiscal cliff has become a fiscal flop as Congress, once again, put off those decisions for another day.

4. National Rifle Association

In the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., that led to the deaths of 20 young children, the nation renewed a conversation on appropriate gun control legislation. A press conference by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre in which he called for more armed security in schools was widely viewed as "tone deaf" to the nation's concerns.

5. Susan Rice

After the terrorist attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice appeared on five talk shows and claimed that the attack was likely due to a spontaneous demonstration caused by an anti-Muslim YouTube video. Due to that misleading testimony, she withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of state to avoid the controversy that would undoubtedly come from the confirmation hearings.

6. David Petraeus

Retired General David Petraeus was one of the most respected men in Washington, D.C., after his leadership of American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He resigned as CIA director in disgrace, though, after admitting to an affair with the author of his biography.

7. Labor Unions

Labor unions were unsuccessful in their attempt to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Plus, in the state considered the foundation of the labor movement, Michigan lawmakers decided to pass a "right to work" law.

8. Kathleen Sebelius

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was responsible for the "birth control mandate" that has led to around 40 lawsuits. One court has ordered Sebelius to keep its promise to never enforce the mandate as written and update the court every 60 days on her progress toward an accommodation.

9. Rick Perry

Once seen as the savior of the Republican Party by some Republicans, Texas Governor Rick Perry's presidential bid ended before the South Carolina primary after a poor showing in the Iowa caucus.

10. Millionaires and Billionaires

President Obama and the Democratic Party showed that bashing "millionaires and billionaires" was a winning election strategy. Additionally, a recent poll by Pew Research Center showed that the only solutions to the fiscal cliff and the nation's debt crisis that received majority support were those that impact the wealthy. Combined, these events suggest that "millionaires and billionaires," (defined by Democrats as those making more than $250,000), will likely face greater taxes in the future.

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