The Year In Forgettable Candidates
We now turn to a group of more disappointing contenders -- the most Forgettable Candidates and campaigns of 2010. These spanned the country this year and in most cases, they were highly touted recruits -- Democrat and Republican alike -- who never got their campaigns going.
Think anyone, for example, will remember Tom Emmer? The Republican Minnesota gubernatorial contender couldn't have asked for a better opponent than former Democrat Mark Dayton. Dayton, a generally lackluster retail politician known for his one term in the Senate, wasn't the preferred candidate of most Democrats. But Emmer -- a Tea Party favorite -- proved to be too far to the right for Minnesota and wasn't helped by Independence Party contender Tom Horner. The race was too close to call on Election Day, but Emmer eventually conceded after a month-long hand recount and legal challenges showed he had no chance to overtaking Dayton.
If Emmer got his preferred opponent, so too did Democrat Alex Sink in the Florida governor's race. Attorney General Bill McCollum was most Republicans' preferred nominee, but he lost to businessman Rick Scott (R) in the primary after Scott poured millions into the race. Scott's past business dealings led Democrats to dub him the "Madoff of Medicare" -- something that you'd think would be pretty damaging in a state with as large a senior citizen population as Florida. But Sink had plenty of her own missteps, including apparently cheating during a debate. In the end, Scott and his millions won in what was a major blow to Democrats.
People will remember outgoing Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth's 2010 Senate campaign -- but not in a good way. Getting Ellsworth to run for retiring Sen. Evan Bayh's (D) seat was considered a major recruiting accomplishment for Democrats. But that was just about the only bright spot for Ellsworth, who struggled to close Republican former Sen. Dan Coats's double-digit lead. Ellsworth may return, however; his name is being floated as a potential 2012 gubernatorial or Senate contender.