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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 12/23/2010

The Reliable Source Person of the Year and other highlights of 2010

By The Reliable Source

Edwards on the campaign trail in 2007. See a gallery of Elizabeth Edwards photos. (Mark Duncan/AP)

The Reliable Source Person of the Year:

As her marriage and health fell apart, Elizabeth Edwards spent the last year of her life out there: She talked publicly about her separation from John, about his love child, about his mistress Rielle Hunter posing half-naked for GQ ("disgusted"). Edwards could have quietly retreated while battling cancer, but instead shared her mistakes, disappointments and lessons learned -- launching endless debates about marriage, betrayal, politics, health care -- and then posted a public farewell via Facebook the day before she died. It was a modern Shakespearean drama, and we couldn't get enough.


(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Peter Orszag: The OMB director made nerdy sexy by hooking up with ABC hottie Bianna Golodryga. Then he made wonky rakish -- when his jilted ex had his baby just weeks before he proposed to his new love. Now married, he ended the year cashing in for a big job at Citigroup.

(Genevieve de Manio via AP)

Chelsea Clinton: She did it her way, with a wedding of the year that was as big as she wanted it to be, and -- for all the media frenzy -- as private as it could be. (A gallery of Chelsea Clinton wedding photos.)

(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Carlos Allen: The other White House crasher had no reality-TV offers, so he extended his 15 minutes via a madcap mayoral campaign.

(Drew Angerer/AP)

Scott Brown: The centerfold, the gorgeous daughters, the upset win -- the whole package. (Photo gallery: Year in politics.)

Best of Biden 2010

(Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

  • "It's easy being vice president. You don't have to do anything." (Banter caught live on a C-SPAN mike at a Feb. 25 health-care conference)

  • "This new program that I looked and wished I was seeing it in 3-D. You sit there and watch this science-fiction thing unfold in front of you." (Describing, but never managing to name, his Oscar pick on MSNBC on Feb. 2. "Avatar"?)

  • "I voted for public housing all my career -- never realized how good it actually is!" (Humor at a media gala, March 17)

  • "This is a big [expletive] deal." (Another live-mike moment, to President Obama, after health-care reform vote, March 23)

    Strange love

    The course of true love is. . . weird, judging by these lovebirds.

    Marion Barry and Donna Watts-Brighthaupt (Jacquelyn Martin/AP; Hamil Harris/The Washington Post)

  • Marion Barry and Donna Watts-Brighthaupt: The former mayor-for-life and his honey survived accusations of stalking, kickbacks and X-rated leaked voice messages.

  • Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston: These crazy kids fought in public, then secretly got engaged without telling anyone -- except the tabloids! Split up again just in time for her to do "Dancing With the Stars" and him to run for mayor of Wasilla.

    The Kings, together again. (Mathieu Young/CNN Handout via Reuters)

  • Larry and Shawn King: Filed for divorce, then reconciled; she and the kids appeared on his farewell show. Awww. (A photo gallery of Larry King's career.)

  • Michelle Rhee and Kevin Johnson: Postponed the big Labor Day weekend wedding; still not hitched, as far as we know. (Photo galleries: Michelle Rhee and other top local stories.)

    Biggest breakups of 2010

    Al and Tipper Gore, in happier times: The 2000 Democratic convention. (Sam Mircovich/Reuters)

  • Al and Tipper Gore: No one saw this coming. (Who could forget the convention kiss?) Ditto daughter Karenna's split with Andrew Schiff shortly after.

  • Jim Johnson and Maxine Isaacs: Another surprise, but civil and classy so far.

  • John and Christina McLaughlin called it quits after 13 years.

  • Edwina and Ed Rogers: The Republican lobbyists hit each other with dueling lawsuits. Messy.

  • Cat and Charles Ommanney: The "Real Housewives" franchise finished off yet another marriage.

  • Jim Moran and LuAnn Bennett: The Virginia congressman and his wife of six years announced their separation on Dec. 23.

    2010: When we started getting real

    Spoiler alert: This all ended badly. (Stephen Boitano/Bravo)

    It was the year that reality TV invaded Washington. Were you one of the painfully few who watched? See if you can match the contrived drama to the show on which it unfolded:

    1. A feud erupts during a boozy afternoon of grape-stomping.

    2. A feud erupts over a missing bowl of pureed peas.

    3. A feud erupts after alcohol leads to a cast member getting thrown off a balcony.

    A. "Real World: D.C."
    B. "Top Chef: D.C."
    C. "The Real Housewives of D.C."

    Answers: 1C, 2B, 3A
    Sorry, was that too obvious? So were these shows!

    See also: The Washington Post's Best of 2010

  • By The Reliable Source  | December 23, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mystery stand-ins on the Kate-and-Wills commemorative coin finally identified -- by our readers!
    Next: Read this: Rep. Jim Moran and wife LuAnn Bennett separate


    The real question for RS 2010 is "are gossip columnists devoid of any shred of human decency?" Featuring smiling photos of the recently deceased Elizabeth Edwards and naming her your dubiously-honored Person of the Year is distasteful and disrespectful to the bereaved family and friends she left behind only a few weeks ago. How courteous of her to die from her recurring cancer just before your deadline, and make your "job" so much easier! Shame on you.

    Posted by: dateline1 | December 23, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

    There is no disrespect whatsoever. In life and in death the story of Elizabeth Edwards this year touched more readers and evoked a stronger reaction than any other in our column. She chose to take a public posture in her last year, and did so in an utterly captivating way. She was undoubtedly the most interesting person of the year, and that's hardly an insult. And it's a lovely photo -- why would we use one that is not?

    Posted by: The Reliable Source | December 23, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

    Okay, my reaction to seeing Elizabeth Edwards was mild surprise, but I did not detect any disrespect there. Reliable Source is basically gossip, but it's usually fairly classy about it, if that's possible. Anyway, I have an issue with one of the runners-up. I don't think Carlos Allen got his full 15 minutes- I never heard of the guy.

    Posted by: justmike | December 23, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

    @dateline1-grow up. I think this is better than Time magazines pick.

    Posted by: bbirdy202 | December 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

    How about the "Rent is too damn high!" guy from New York?

    Posted by: ozpunk | December 23, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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