he 2010 election cycle was a carnival of umbrage-taking — not all of it unwarranted — with some bright spots of political humor. Sometimes, depending on your point of view, the outrage was the comedy. Here's a look at 10 of the quotes that will live on past Nov. 2, for better or worse:
1. "I'm not a witch"
Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell, responding to the uproar surrounding her decades-old admission that she "dabbled in witchcraft," opens her first campaign ad with the memorable "I'm not a witch" line. (Watch the ad.) She later told ABC News she regretted making the ad, because she wants people to think of her as "a woman who wants to lower our taxes," not "a woman who is not a witch."
2. "Man up, Harry Reid"
Nevada Tea Party Republican Sharron Angle questioned Senate Majority Leader Reid's manhood in their first (and only) debate. She made her remark in the improbable context of Social Security solvency. (See the video)
3. "Don't leave me hanging in the wind"
Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), the Harlem icon, pleaded with his colleagues to expedite his House ethics trial so it would be held before the election (they didn't), in a captivating 37-minute floor speech critics called rambling and "often incoherent." (View the video)
4. "Nooooooooo! Goooooooooo!"
South Carolina Democrat Alvin Greene — the inexperienced, "Forrest Gump"-esque underdog chosen to challenge Sen. Jim DeMint (R) — didn't exactly boost his credibility by "howling and wailing" the words "no" and "go" to a local TV reporter. (Here's a local news report)
5. "God, what is that hair? Soooooo yesterday!"
California GOP Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina was caught on a live mic repeating a friend's "catty" remark about Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). In the ensuing flap, Fiorina said people frequently comment about her short hair, a result of cancer treatment. (Watch the video)
6. "I have a message from the Tea Party... We have come to take our government back"
Republican Rand Paul, running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, made his quotable declaration after defeating "establishment" GOP pick Trey Grayson in the primary. (See the video)
7. "I don't want to give them the keys back. They don't know how to drive!"
President Obama laid out an elaborate car analogy in a Labor Day stemwinder in Wisconsin. Short version: The GOP drove our country "into a ditch," Democrats pushed it out, and the GOP wants the keys back. (View the video)
8. "Gather your armies!"
Alabama Tea Partier Rick Barber raised some eyebrows with an ad featuring a "fantasy" George Washington character — part of Barber's unsuccessful bid to win the GOP nomination for a House seat. (Watch the ad)
9. "He can take his endorsement and really shove it, as far as I'm concerned"
Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio failed to keep his displeasure to himself after President Obama opted not to endorse Caprio while tacitly supporting Lincoln Chafee, an ex-Republican who's mounting a third-party bid. (Here's a Fox News report)
10. "What about saying she's a whore?"
An unidentified aide to Jerry Brown (D) infamously asked that question about rival California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R), in a strategy meeting that was accidentally recorded on a phone answering machine (and subsequently leaked). Whitman hammered Brown over the comment in their debates and on TV. (Watch an NBC report)
SEE MORE OF THE WEEK's 2010 ELECTION COVERAGE:
• 6 biggest voter 'screw-ups' of 2010
• Top 6 tense debate moments of 2010
• Top 6 political stunts of 2010
- How to make people like you: 6 science-based conversation hacks
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' 'white Santa' claim
- How John Boehner learned to stop worrying and hate the Tea Party
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How the budget deal could pave the way for immigration reform
- A scientific argument for dressing a little nicer at work
- A candid look at what went wrong with Mitt Romney's campaign
- Why a Mike Huckabee presidential run is Chris Christie's worst nightmare
- The Idina Menzel-Taye Diggs split, and 5 other break-ups that hurt us more than it hurt them
- The Black Death is back
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