Nominees For The 2012 Golden Duke Awards!

|
December 20, 2012 9:45 a.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

Nominees for the 2012 Golden Duke Awards!

TPM is pleased to announce that we will be awarding our Sixth Annual Golden Dukes on Friday, Dec. 28 in recognition of the year’s best purveyors of public corruption, outlandish behavior and The Crazy.

The awards are named in honor of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who epitomizes the iconic modern scandal. Few have so combined public corruption, a betrayal of the public trust and generally shameless behavior. Following his example, 2012 has been a banner year — from virulent outbreaks of The Crazy to David Petraeus’ biographer bingo to the nonstop nonsense that was the 2012 campaign–there’s been a lot to rake. On to the judges…The Judges

We’re happy to have a distinguished panel of expert judges to sort through the nominations and choose the ultimate winners. They are:

Alex Pareene, Politics writer at Salon
@PourMeCoffee, Twitter celebrity extraordinaire
Marin Cogan, Political correspondent for GQ Magazine
Lizz Winstead, comedian, co-creator of The Daily Show and author of: “Lizz Free Or Die: Essays”
Susie Bright, feminist sex writer and Editor at Large at Audible.com.

The Nominees

We’ll be giving honors in seven categories:

1. Best Scandal — General Interest

David Petraeus for leading us All In … to not just a Love Pentagon but the quintessential DC scandal that snared two generals and an eager FBI agent

Jesse Jackson, Jr. for the wild year that was 2012, from federal investigation, disappearance, and to ultimate resignation

GSA for showing us how to really throw a party in Las Vegas, Hangover style

Mitt Romney for revealing what he really thinks about 47 percent of America and that his “job is is not to worry about those people”

U.S. Secret Service, the people who should know better, for spending a night partying with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia

2. Best Scandal — Sex and Generalized Carnality

David Petraeus for leading us All In … to not just a Love Pentagon but the quintessential DC scandal that snared two generals and an eager FBI agent

Scott DesJarlais for supporting his first wife’s decisions to have two abortions, pressuring a mistress to have an abortion … and winning re-election

Paul Babeu for allegedly threatening to deport his gay lover, an illegal immigrant, if he ever told anyone about their romance

Amy Koch for her resignation as majority leader in the Minnesota Senate amidst allegations she engaged in an “inappropriate relationship” with male Senate staffer

U.S. Secret Service, the people who should know better, for spending a night partying with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia

3. Best Scandal — Local Venue

Paul Babeu for allegedly threatening to deport his gay lover, an illegal immigrant, if he ever told anyone about their romance

DC City Council, for constituting possibly the most corrupt city government with fraud, theft, shadow campaigns, improper contracts … and that’s not even counting Marion Barry.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. for the wild year that was 2012, from federal investigation, disappearance, and to ultimate resignation

Amy Koch for her resignation as majority leader in the Minnesota Senate amidst allegations she engaged in an “inappropriate relationship” with male Senate staffer

Patrick Moran, son of Rep. Jim Moran, for offering advice on how to commit voter fraud … all while being caught on James O’Keefe’s camera

4. Meritorious Achievement in The Crazy

Paul Broun for tearing into scientists, calling them tools of the devil for evolution and the Big Bang Theory

Jan Brewer for that finger pointing, tarmac tiff with President Obama, climate change denial and allegedly punching a reporter

Donald Trump for being a top Romney campaign surrogate while simultaneously offering to donate $5 million to charity should Obama release his college records

Todd Akin for claiming that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy

Clint Eastwood for delivering a bizarre, rambling speech to an empty chair on stage at the Republican National Convention … in prime time

5. Biggest Campaign Freakout

John Sununu, the irascible TV face of Mitt Romney’s campaign, for claiming Colin Powell endorsed Obama due to the color of his skin

The Obama campaign for taking that Big Bird thing a little too far

Democrats for metaphorically turning Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” line into a theme of the campaign

Republicans sounding the alarm after Hilary Rosen said Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life

Republicans for making Obama’s “you didn’t build that” a centerpiece of their entire party convention..again, and again, and again

6. Most Hilariously Wrong Campaign Prediction

Dick Morris for his continual belief in a coming Romney landslide

Mitt Romney’s campaign for projecting full confidence in their polling and impending victory, even making a last ditch play in Pennsylvania

Jim Cramer for predicting an Obama blowout, 440 electoral votes, to Mitt Romney’s 98

Jennifer Rubin for…well pretty much every piece of advice she gave to the Romney campaign, and then contradicted later

Karl Rove for his election night meltdown, refusing to concede Ohio and forcing Fox News’ Megan Kelly to make an SNL-like walk through the Fox building and confront the network’s official number counters

7. Most Over-The-Top Campaign Ad

Allen West for a military themed ad that included his opponent’s arrest for a 2003 bar-fight

Mitt Romney for his campaign’s Jeep ad that went off the fact-checking rails in Ohio

Priorities USA for this ad alleging Romney’s Bain contributed to the death of a husband’s wife

Pete Hoekstra for an ad featuring an Asian-American actress speaking in broken English against Debbie Stabenow

Newt Gingrich for King of Bain, his super PAC’s early, brutal volley against Mitt Romney’s Bain in the primaries

The E-mails

Here are the best e-mails that selected some of our lucky nominees:

Best Scandal — General Interest

From TPM reader DC:

47%: A May evening in Boca Raton, a $50K a plate GOP fundraiser, held at the garish mansion of private equity manager Marc Leder. Was it the bartender who recorded Willard Romney pandering to the assembled about tax dodging, campaign strategy, Israel, and – most damningly – his deeply cynical view of our social contract? The release of this secretly recorded footage, facilitated by the grandson of right-wing piñata Jimmy Carter, became most viral tracker video of the election, and had a decided effect on the outcome. It also makes a persuasive case for raising the tax rates on the rich, if throwing boorish dinner parties like this is what they’re doing with their extra scratch. Takeaways: don’t denigrate half of the electorate while running for national office, and always be kind to the catering staff.

Best Scandal — Sex and Generalized Carnality

From TPM reader DC:

Petraeus: Paula Broadwell’s biography of David Petraeus was described as “thinly veiled hero worship” and “a not very good term paper” before the scandal broke. All In, in retrospect, is the most snicker-worthy title ever. Broadwell boasted of her being “embedded at Headquarters” and having “unusual access” to Petraeus, with a straight face, in various interviews. Then a protective, possibly jealous Broadwell goes after a military groupie (portrayed by the media as a “Tampa socialite” – as if that were a thing). This lapse in judgment leads to an inquiry, and the Director of the CIA is eventually brought down with his inbox out. Now we can read between the lines and through the steam. Will the second edition of All In catalog the General’s penchant for sweaty fangirls? The whole episode reads like an overripe fantasy out of Harlequin Romance, Her War Hero or Nights in Khandahar.

From TPM reader EK:

Paul Babeu: Deputy Louie Puroll got the ball rolling by falsely claiming to have been shot by illegal immigrant smugglers. This rocketed his boss, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, into national attention as an exempler of tough immigration policies. Babeu supported Puroll before firing him. Babeu’s star dimmed when his gay lover, an illegal immigrant, accused the sheriff of threatening to deport him.

From TPM reader DM:

Needless to say, DesJarlais is a pro-life conservative. What really makes this scandal is the over-the-top theatricality of his wrongdoing. Any one of these would be a solid scandal; to combine them all in one campaign, and nevertheless win re-election, is a Hall of Fame performance.

Meritorious Achievement in The Crazy

From TPM reader BP:

Trump: For EVERY word that came out of his mouth this year. Just pick a random quote from any day this year, and you’ve got crazy written all over it.

From TPM reader JE:

Arizona: With a tip of my hat to the many deserving nominees, I humbly submit Jan Brewer as the most worthy. Finger pointing the Prez; defying the Constitution with S.B. 1070, then doubling down on defying federal immigration law with the “no driver’s license” policy; “where the hell did that come from?” response about climate change question about an energy speech (with or without punching reporter?, as ably detailed in TPM)…trying to change the state Constitution to run for a third term. She’s outdone even her own previous achievements in the Crazy – and those of everyone else.

Biggest Campaign Freakout

From TPM reader CM:

Rove on FOX: I suppose other, smaller scale candidates had more entertaining freakouts. But for my money, Karl Rove’s election night freak-out on Fox News is still the winner here. Like most of the right, you keep assuming the upper echelons knew it was coming. But to have Karl Rove, King of the 21st Century “Permanent Republican Majority” throw a temper tantrum on Fox News truly marked a changing of the guard.

Most Hilariously Wrong Campaign Prediction

From TPM reader CM:

Morris: It requires no explanation. The very award needs to be renamed the “Dick Morris Award for Hilariously Wrong Campaign Prediction“.

From TPM reader MF:

Morris: I have no specific nominations to make beyond the suggestion that, rather than giving the Hilariously Bad Prediction Award to Dick Morris, in view of his impressive and unblemished record of spectacularly bad predictions going back so many years, it would be better just to put his name on the award and declare him henceforth ineligible so that merely dumb or mistaken pundits have a shot at winning it.

Most Over-The-Top Campaign Ad

From TPM reader JMC:

King Of Bain: While not over the top in the sense of being wack-a-loon crazy or inaccurate, Newt Gingrich’s pipe-hitting Bain centered beat down of Mitt Romney sticks in my head for its sheer brutality and ‘Pub on ‘Pub violence. It’s the sort of commercial I wish Dems made.

Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: