2:15 p.m. ET: There may be 12 Days of Christmas, but the real key number this time of year is 10. As in, "Top 10 This in 2008" and "Top 10 That." As a public service, The Rundown has compiled this handy "Top 10 Top 10 Lists." This list can also be found on the "Top 10 Ways to Convince Your Editor That You're Working During the Holidays" list, which -- time permitting -- should be ready sometime after New Year's.
10. Top 10 Worst News Stories of 2008 (MSNBC/YouTube)
9. Top 10 Media Shifting Stories of 2008 (PBS: MediaShift)
8. Top 10 Media Blunders of 2008 (Politico)
7. Top 10 Political Sketches From Saturday Night Live (Beaufort Gazette)
6. Top 10 Political Turkeys of 2008 (CNN)
5. Top 10 Quotes of 2008 (AP/Yale Book of Quotations)
4. Most Popular Top 10's of 2008 (Lifehacker)
3. Top 10 Political Scoops of 2008 (Politico -- and note that they rank two of their own stories in the top five; very modest of them to only pick two)
2. Top 10 Most Viewed Articles and Columns of 2008 (Washington Post)
1. Top 10 Everything of 2008 (Time)
8 a.m. ET: While you and yours were enjoying holiday presents, cookies and the end of another middling Redskins season, the political world was generally quiet. Except for the part where Israel launched a sustained bombing campaign against Gaza, killing hundreds, possibly tarring President Bush's legacy in the region while complicating Barack Obama's path ahead.
Still on vacation in Hawaii, Obama and his team have generally deferred to Bush on the crisis over the last few days, reminding us yet again that "there is only one president at a time." (Except in the movie "Dave.") As with the auto bailout, it may be just as well for Obama that he's not president yet, leaving Bush to take the hit in a political situation with no good options. And Obama will have enough on his plate already on Jan. 20, as he's still vowing to cut taxes for the middle class even as he pushes a massive stimulus package.
With all that stress, this may not be the easiest time for Obama to finally quit smoking. (Given that every other kind of souvenir now seems to be available, perhaps some enterprising entrepreneur will introduce "44" brand nicotine gum.)
Up in New York, Caroline Kennedy picked the Saturday after Christmas to grant a half-dozen interviews to Empire State media outlets. The mean old New York Times found her to be "forceful but vague, largely undefined and seemingly determined to remain that way." The other sit-downs generally yielded more favorable results, though none were particularly newsy, you know.
And in snowy Minnesota, the Franken and Coleman campaigns are still squabbling over what to do with about 1,350 previously rejected absentee ballots. Franken currently leads by 46 or 47 votes, and it will be more than a week before there's any chance we'll know the winner. And it will be even longer before we know whether the Illinois state House will impeach Rod Blagojevich, though Pat Quinn predicts that the governor will be ousted by February.
December 29, 2008; 7:50 AM ET
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